Written by: Gerry Duggan
Art by: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Summary from Comixology: “Known as the skilled co-pilot of the infamous Millennium Falcon, the legendary Wookiee warrior Chewbacca will star in his very own limited comic series! After the battle of Yavin, Chewbacca is on his own when he crash lands his ship on an Imperial occupied planet. Now stranded, Chewie finds himself caught in the middle of trying to return to the rebellion and helping a young and feisty girl in need. Writer Gerry Duggan (Deadpool, 1872, Hulk) and artist Phil Noto (Black Widow, X-23, Uncanny X-Force) bring us a never-before-seen tale of the heroic Wookiee we all know and love.”
I can’t stop being excited about comics lately. I mean, I’m pretty much always excited about comics, but there’ve been so many announcements over the last couple of months about new forthcoming series’ and many of those are finally hitting comic shop shelves. Yesterday saw the release of a handful of #1 issues, including the new Star Wars limited series featuring everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca!
The story starts with a young girl named Zarro and her father being forced to work in a mine by a rotten a-hole named Jaum. Zarro’s father helps her to escape the mines and while on the run from Jaum’s cronies she bumps into our big hairy hero, Chewie, who eventually, and reluctantly, agrees to help her.
Gerry Duggan is a great writer. I’ve loved his work since his Image Comics series The Infinite Horizon, which was a brilliant modern take on Homer’s “The Odyssey”. He’s also been co-writing the main Deadpool series for the past few years, and wrote a limited Batman series called “Arkham Manor” that is drastically underrated. His first issue of Chewbacca is a great opener for the story to come, as he paints Chewie in a light we’ve not seen him in before. He is the hero of this story and even the opening credits page perfectly summarizes the feel that they’re going for, by stating that he is the one who destroyed the Death Star, and that Han is his sidekick. I really love how clear Duggan makes it that this is how Chewie sees himself. He’s the star and everyone else is along for the ride with him.
You’d think that since Chewbacca communicates through a series of growls and Grrr’s it would hard to craft a story around him. Not the case. Duggan moves the plot along even with no one being able to make out what Chewie is grunting about. That fact is even a big part of moving the plot. When Zarro is talking to Chewie and she keeps assuming that she knows what his rawr’s mean, you can see that it’s irritating him. Which brings me to the art…
Artwork in the book is done by Phil “Master of The Craft” Noto. I think I’m the first person to give him that nickname, but it’s 100% deserving and I stand behind it. Phil just finished up Black Widow with writer Nathan Edmondson, and also worked with Duggan on The Infinite Horizon. Noto and Duggan always do fantastic work together, and there’s no doubt that they were the right pairing for this book. I will say, I feel like saying that Noto does “draws comics” is an understatement that fails to express how brilliant he is. Phil Noto is an incredible artist who could paint an entire story with no dialogue and still convey the plot perfectly. In fact… I really want that to happen now.
Noto’s style is kind of minimalist, but manages to never sacrifice details for the sake of simplifying. For example, his depictions of Chewie use a lot of shading and equal parts line work to show his long, flowing face & body mane, and the facial expressions that he captures show you exactly what’s going on in Chewie’s head even though you, nor anyone else in the book, can tell what he’s saying.
All the new Star Wars books from Marvel have been great so far, and Chewbacca #1 isn’t a weak link in that chain. You don’t even have to have read any of those in order to read this. It completely stands on its own.
This first issue gives me the indication that Duggan has crafted a really fun and interesting solo adventure for Chewie, and you can bet that Phil Noto’s art will be top notch all the way through. Honestly, I found this to be the easiest read of any of the Star Wars books so far, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who likes Star Wars. Also, If you have a kid in your life that is interested in comics, or might be, or just really loves Star Wars, this would be a great book to pick up for them. In today’s comic book landscape it’s tough to find characters that kids love who also have a comic series that would be safe for them to read, and I appreciate that on top of creating a really good comic, Duggan and Noto have also made this one friendly for, I’ll say, any kids 10 and up. I think it’s important to encourage kids to read comics and explore their imagination, after all, they’re our only hope…
Music Pairing –
I don’t feel like I need to provide an explanation for why I chose this as the music pairing. You get it.