Series: Star Wars
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: John Cassaday
Summary from Comixology: “The greatest space adventure of all time returns to Marvel! Luke Skywalker and the ragtag band of rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet- the destruction of the massive battle station known as the Death Star. But the Empire’s not toppled yet! Join Luke along with Princess Leia, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, droids C-3PO and R2-D2, and the rest of the Rebel Alliance, as they strike out for freedom against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder), and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!”
The wait is over! Marvel kicks off the New Year right with the return of its long lost franchise – the Star Wars. When it was first announced the Marvel had reacquired the rights to Star Wars I was excited to see the direction they would take. Then they announced that starting in January 2015 a new ongoing series would launch helmed by none other than Jason Aaron, who happens to be one of better writers in Marvel’s bullpen. Since that announcement I have been biting at the bit to get my hands on the first issue and relive the magic of A New Hope. That being said I was also a bit hesitant. There is an insane amount of hype surrounding this book, and I was worried that there was no way the book could live up to the expectations that had been set. At last count there were an insane 63 variant covers for this book, and over one million copies sold already. The bar was set pretty high for an inaugural issue, but did it deliver?
Short answer: yes.
Overall I thought the story was absolutely wizard. From the first page to the last, this book had me totally engrossed and the sense of nostalgia was overwhelming. I was surprised just how well Jason Aaron and John Cassaday were able to capture the look and feel of the Original Trilogy, while still making it their own. Jason Aaron did a good job making sure the dialogue fit the precedent set by the films; Han’s dialogue with Threepio in particular would have felt right at home in the movies. Prior to this issue I was unfamiliar with John Cassaday’s work, but I’m sold. His art was full of nods to the Original Trilogy while also showing us a new locale that still had that “lived in” quality that stood out in the films. Another thing I enjoyed about this issue is that it picked up pretty much immediately after the destruction of the Death Star. Luke is even wearing the yellow jacket and black shirt he wore at the end of the movie when Princess Leia refused to give Chewbacca a medal.
The only real low here is that I couldn’t read it sooner. I sat for a while and just pondered actual weak spots in this book and came up empty. There’s a chance it’s just my inherent Star Wars bias, but I think it has more to do with the quality of the book. Marvel is really trying to do this series justice, and they nailed it with this first issue.
The Final Say-
Star Wars #1 is about as close as you can get to the overall tone of the A New Hope in 1977 as you can get this side of a tricked out Delorean. Jason Aaron is a master craftsman and you can tell that he and John Cassaday really love the galaxy far, far away. This book is an easy 5 out of 5, and since there were over a million sold with over 63 covers, it should be pretty easy to find one. Also, I included some of the variant covers below. Let us know what you think!