Marvel's Star Wars Comics

Marvel’s Star Wars is one of the best selling comics since the Chromium Cover Age, but is it any good?

Short answer, Oh Hell Yes.

Long answer: Staring with a version of the opening to set the tone, this is a comic that is preoccupied with Getting It Right. Set right after Star Wars and before Empire, it shows Luke, Han, Leia and the rest on a mission to shut down an Empire Weapons manufacturing plant, and much like the mission to rescue Leia in Star Wars, things go off the rails and whatever planning was put together falls apart entertainingly. The original trilogy of Star Wars had a great mix of humor and action, and this comic does as well. Story wise, this was a good start.

And while people may disagree with me, I think NOT continuing the Extended Universe was a good choice. I had drifted away from the Star Wars comics and books quite a while ago, simply because they didn’t feel like they connected to the movies any more. None of the characters we knew and loved were in them, you had to know what order to read things in (and it was NOT the order in which things were published) and when my entertainment becomes work, I move on to other entertainment. This comic only asked that you had seen the movies, and that is what a tie-in should be.

John Cassaday’s art was spot on – photo realistic and really nailed the look of the first movie in detail. Sometimes I find his work a little too stiff for a super-hero comic, but his stuff is just perfect here.

Marvel’s got a success on their hands. I just hope they don’t succumb to the Media Tie-In curse of a huge splash to start, and then a slow fade to where it feels like an after thought.
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Comments

  • I'm eager to see more reviews. The majority of what I've read so far have been in the line of: it's not bad, but because we know what happens through the first three films the characters are never in danger, so there is no real sense of tension, making hard to get into the story.
  • It is pretty awesome, I was sceptical but I bought it anyway (and because I'm a star wars whore) but very well illustrated and written.
  • I'm eager to see more reviews. The majority of what I've read so far have been in the line of: it's not bad, but because we know what happens through the first three films the characters are never in danger, so there is no real sense of tension, making hard to get into the story.

    That's an element in EVERY media tie-in comic (and in many ways all serialized fiction). And when they DO kill off a major character, like when they dropped a moon on Chewbacca, it doesn't resonate. Still, people rewatch the Star Wars movies all the time, even after seeing them multiple times because of the roller coaster ride aspect.

  • compsolutcompsolut Posts: 150

    I'm eager to see more reviews. The majority of what I've read so far have been in the line of: it's not bad, but because we know what happens through the first three films the characters are never in danger, so there is no real sense of tension, making hard to get into the story.

    I approached this from a different angle. This is the first Star Wars comic I have ever read, so I didn't know what to expect right off the top. With the knowledge of when in time this is taking place, I viewed it more of "how the hell do they get out of this now!?" as opposed to "well I know they don't die, because there is another movie."
  • ilgogailgoga Posts: 2
    I think it was pretty great, but I did have a little problem with the ending (I don't want those two characters to interact at this point in "history"). The art was good but not great. I don't see a problem with the "you know they wont die" thing as this is (as someone pointed out) quite a usual thing and you can still write good stories around that. And when you read the Marvel/DC you (or I, rather) don't really feel much real danger for the big characters to die there either (for any large period of time at least).
  • joewhite73joewhite73 Posts: 23
    edited January 2015
    Did I hear correctly that this book sold over 1 million copies? Wow!! #interjection
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2015
    Having been a huge fan of Brian Wood's Star Wars run at the end of Dark Horse's tenure in this same galaxy far, far away, I started out a bit nonplus about all this. These stories were told already, or this narrow era at least. This makes the third or maybe fourth time we've visited this moment in time after the destruction of the first Death Star - including Marvel's own adventures of Han & Chewie starting with Star Wars #7 way back in 1978.

    I've only flipped through the issue so far, and my first impression was the great artwork. The wide-screen layouts give it a cinematic feel and my bet is that they work very well for guided-view digital comics on a mobile device. I also think Cassaday’s excellent work here is further enhanced with outstanding work by colorist Laura Martin keeping everything in a realistic palette.

    To the audience that loves those original three films (as I do) and just wants to spend more time in that world with those characters, this should have a lot of appeal. My concern is that Star Wars is just one of three new ongoing series from Marvel all set during this time, and while the creative teams for Darth Vader and Princess Leia are most impressive, this rapid fire expansion runs the risk of exhausting this time period between the two best-regarded installments of the film series. I expect that with the help of their overlords at Disney, this is all going according to plan.

    As long as it's always a bit better than Shadows of the Empire, and so long Marvel can meet or exceed the best Dark Horse work, then we're in for a fun ride as long if they can just sustain it. This book actually feels like the sequel I expected to the original Star Wars back in 1978 (I saw it during its second year release). And while The Empire Strikes Back more than exceeded my expectations in every way, this comic feels like Episode IV.I to me.
  • Did I hear correctly that this book sold over 1 million copies? Wow!! #interjection

    I haven't heard or read that, but remember, that's just the number of what Diamond sold to the retailers. The actual number that wound up in consumers hands I believe is virtually unknowable.
  • GregGreg Posts: 1,925
    Didn't Loot Crate buy up a bunch of issues?
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,314
    Greg said:

    Didn't Loot Crate buy up a bunch of issues?

    Yep.
  • Did I hear correctly that this book sold over 1 million copies? Wow!! #interjection

    Early estimates are that one million issues shipped to stores. That's the biggest release since the early 90's. Crazy!

  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,183
    Greg said:

    Didn't Loot Crate buy up a bunch of issues?

    Yes, and they've got quite a sweet deal going on. Subscribers, like me, like getting the variants and publishers love the sales. Lootcrate is sitting in the middle counting dollars.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967
    I don't know how many subscribers they have now, but Loot Crate had over 200,000 monthly subscribers as of 2 months ago. I don't know how much Marvel compelled them to buy, but over a quarter million isn't out of the realm of possibilities.
  • jaydee74jaydee74 Posts: 1,506
    I thought it was very good. I liked the art. I liked the story and the characterizations. It's a good start.
  • Just read it (my LCS ran out of copies so I had to wait).

    Not bad. Very cinematic opening and held all of the gravitas of Star Wars AND of the property coming back to Marvel.

    I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to feel about this comic however as this is the first Star Wars series I've ever read. (well, I read a few issues of that Jedi origin series a little while back, but that was mostly pure curiosity) It struck me as keeping with the characterization of the characters fairly well. Nobody seemed off track to me. It didn't occur to me that the Empire wouldn't have known of Han at this point. So that was kinda fun.

    Previews for Darth Vaders series and Leias series BOTH look pretty damn good. The art for the Vader series looks PHENOMENAL.

    My only concern is HOW this series will play out? How much "time" exists between Star Wars and Empire? What will that translate to in issue numbers? Once we reach that point is the next storyline just going to skip over Empire and become about the time between Empire and Jedi? Or will they tell little side stories that could have been happening DURING Empire?
  • compsolutcompsolut Posts: 150
    Don't forget everyone, there were a lot of variant tiers, and requirements to get to some by shops ordering 200% of their Original Sin #8 books. Our store ordered 200% more than we would normal have, to get some of the variants that we wanted. However the book is doing steady business. Less than one week in, and we are down to 20% of our stock already.
  • Just read where Marvel is doing a 2nd and 3rd print. Crazy. I think Aaron and Cassaday could probably buy houses with their royalty checks.
  • Just read where Marvel is doing a 2nd and 3rd print. Crazy. I think Aaron and Cassaday could probably buy houses with their royalty checks.

    Heh. I remember back when Marvel was publishing the Ren & Stimpy comic and the first few issues went back for second and/or third printings, and in general was just selling phenomally -- artist Mike Kazaleh told me it was the first time in his life and already formidable career that he was able to go out and buy a brand new car. Not a new used car, he pointed out, but a new NEW car.
  • Just read where Marvel is doing a 2nd and 3rd print. Crazy. I think Aaron and Cassaday could probably buy houses with their royalty checks.

    Heh. I remember back when Marvel was publishing the Ren & Stimpy comic and the first few issues went back for second and/or third printings, and in general was just selling phenomally -- artist Mike Kazaleh told me it was the first time in his life and already formidable career that he was able to go out and buy a brand new car. Not a new used car, he pointed out, but a new NEW car.
    That's not that big of a deal. I was halfway through college and I bought the first car I've ever owned, and it was new new. My parents did not help me pay for it, but I did have my college loan, and they had a loan that helped pay for college. I also was not working while actually in school, but only during summer and winter breaks, and they weren't jobs that were greatly over minimum wage. I was able to save enough money from working part time in high school and a couple summers interning. I got a loan from my bank for the car and made reasonable down payment.

    Maybe he paid for it all in cash, and that would be impressive, but just getting a fairly inexpensive new new car isn't impressive based on my experience.
  • Just read where Marvel is doing a 2nd and 3rd print. Crazy. I think Aaron and Cassaday could probably buy houses with their royalty checks.

    Heh. I remember back when Marvel was publishing the Ren & Stimpy comic and the first few issues went back for second and/or third printings, and in general was just selling phenomally -- artist Mike Kazaleh told me it was the first time in his life and already formidable career that he was able to go out and buy a brand new car. Not a new used car, he pointed out, but a new NEW car.
    Maybe he paid for it all in cash, and that would be impressive, but just getting a fairly inexpensive new new car isn't impressive based on my experience.
    It is a big deal if your job has been in a lot of lower selling, small press comics, which is what he was doing before. Going from living paycheck to paycheck to being able to buy a new car off the lot is a Big Deal. I know I haven’t ever done it.
  • Just read where Marvel is doing a 2nd and 3rd print. Crazy. I think Aaron and Cassaday could probably buy houses with their royalty checks.

    Heh. I remember back when Marvel was publishing the Ren & Stimpy comic and the first few issues went back for second and/or third printings, and in general was just selling phenomally -- artist Mike Kazaleh told me it was the first time in his life and already formidable career that he was able to go out and buy a brand new car. Not a new used car, he pointed out, but a new NEW car.
    Maybe he paid for it all in cash, and that would be impressive, but just getting a fairly inexpensive new new car isn't impressive based on my experience.
    It is a big deal if your job has been in a lot of lower selling, small press comics, which is what he was doing before. Going from living paycheck to paycheck to being able to buy a new car off the lot is a Big Deal. I know I haven’t ever done it.
    Mike had also been doing a lot of animation work as well; he'd just come off of working on the latest TV version of Mighty Mouse in the early 90's when R&S came up.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967
    Marvel is advertising this book EVERYWHERE
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,612
    Read Star Wars #2 today. I think this is excellent so far. I really enjoyed the recent Dark Horse series that played in the same time period, and this book so far is pretty different, but also top notch. I feel like this Marvel series is not afraid to go big right out of the gate, with a very big and cinematic story that feels like it could be an incident in one of the movies (whereas the Dark Horse series felt like it was dealing a little bit more in the minutia, and that series felt more like it was in the world of the EU novels-- again, I liked that, too, but I think Marvel has made some specific choices about how to feel different from the Dark Horse comics right out of the gate.)

    A thing I think Aaron and Cassaday are doing a great job of, that I didn't find to be the case with material outside of the movies, is that they are getting Luke right. And properly featuring him as the main character, the main hero, of the saga.

    It is a really strong start. I don't know how long Cassaday will stick around, and it will be interesting to see if Marvel continues to staff the book with an A-list artist, but they certainly have made a start that shows that they are taking this property seriously. I'm in.
  • The first two issues have caught the original movie's tone pretty well though how long the creators will be able to sustain the "wow" factor is debatable. But has been fun.

    Much better - in terms of narrative and art - has been the first issue of Darth Vader by Gillen & Larroca. Set in the same continuity as what's going on in the main title, it's really interesting to see a post-Death Star Vader who has been demoted by the Emperor and shaken up by recent events.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,612
    edited March 2015
    Up to #3 now on the Aaron/Cassaday Star Wars and the Gillen/Larroca Darth Vader. Both have continued to be excellent.

    Cassaday is excellent, as usual. And in the case of Larroca, I feel like, in this licensed material, the photo-referenced-looking faces that could sometimes be a distraction for me with his work are an asset here. Not only do the characters look sharp and cinematic, but there are moments where a particular Imperial officer is on the page and, looking at their face, I recognize them immediately in a way that actually HELPS tell the story. (As opposed to, say, Tony Stark often looking too much like the actor Josh Holloway in a way that would take me out of a story).

    Star Wars at Marvel is off to a great start as far as I can see.

    I didn't get the Princess Leia mini. Anyone reading it? How is it?
  • popestupopestu Posts: 782
    I'm enjoying it. Sniper Chewie...awesome! image
    Vader and Luke meeting...diminishes thier eventual battle in Empire. image
    The photo referencing can be annoying. Luke's face on the cover of issue 3 is terrible. image
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,612
    Re: Luke and Vader meeting early

    I get the push back on that. But, at the same time, really ANY story that gets told about these characters-- especially in the gaps between the established films like this series-- could potentially diminish the meaning of of the things that happen in the movies.

    So the people creating these sorts of stories are left with the choice of either getting really narrow and telling us stories were the stakes are low... or just deciding to let themselves play with all the big toys and tell stories that feel more like the movies.

    I feel like the recent Wood/D'Anda series for Dark Horse tended to find little side pocket stories, and so far the current Marvel series is going bigger. Personally, I can enjoy both. The Dark Horse series did what it was doing very well. And I am really enjoying the Marvel one so far. I mean, for me, the movies are and will always be the true saga. When I dip into other material, like these comics, the occasional novel, and series like Clone Wars or Rebels, I don't worry about what if any impact they have on the movies, because the movies are the movies. I just want them to be fun and feel like Star Wars. So far, these series are doing that.
  • popestupopestu Posts: 782
    I agree that they definately fell like Star Wars. Han and Leia are spot on. I also loved Vader kick the walker's ass!
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,612
    Darth Vader #4? Oh HELL yeah.
  • Star Wars comics are now on Marvel Unlimited!
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