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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DAMN Good Comics -- STAR WARS #1

I have a good feeling about this.

Like many of my fellow Generation X geezers who watched Star Wars over and over and over when it debuted in 1977, I snapped up Marvel's Star Wars comic book series as soon as found each new issue on the local drug store spinner rack.  (The dark times before comic book shops.)  The license eventually moved to Dark Horse Comics in 1991, which had a good 23-year run with the Lucasfilm property until Disney assimiliated Marvel into the Mouse Collective and the rights were finally returned.

Although I have major respect for Dark Horse keeping the torch going all those years before, during and after the prequels, I have to confess that I really had no interest in buying any of their Star Wars comics.  Oh, I'd flip through some every so often, but the titles looked so desperately dull, overly convoluted and lifeless, compared to Marvel's crude but fun and innovative comics before The Empire Strikes Back arrived.

And now, the Force has awakened at long last.

Right from the very first page, Marvel captures the tone of Star Wars better than Dark Horse could ever dream with the very simple words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." in the proper blue font.  You flip the page and BAM, a double-page spread with the Star Wars logo coming at you so hard in widescreen that somehow, inexplicably, you can hear that John Williams theme blasting through the pages.  You turn the page again and Oh, thank the Maker -- there's the familiar opening crawl presenting the story title along with a quick synopsis that tells you this new series is set just where you hoped it would be, right after the very first Star Wars film.

Writer Jason Aaron, artist John Cassaday and colorist Laura Martin quickly prove to be the dream team for Star Wars comic fans, because they seem to understand the one important thing that many Dark Horse creators didn't -- getting the tone right.  This book looks and feels like a Star Wars comic, from the right amount of glib humor to the frantic escapes when things go inevitably and horribly wrong.

So if you're a fellow Star Wars fan who rediscovered your love for the films when the teaser for The Force Awakens appeared online, or just a comics fan who loves good sci-fi action tales with snappy dialogue and beautiful artwork, you owe it to yourself to pick this book up. Oh, and may the Force be with you...always.

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