STAR WARS VOL. 1: SKYWALKER STRIKES (Marvel, First Printing, 2015; Softcover)
Collects Star Wars #1-6 (cover dates January- June, 2015)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Cassady
Colorist: Laura Martin
Dark Horse had the Star Wars license ever since Marvel and Lucas parted company in the 1980s, building into an entire line of comics. I haven't read any of the original Dark Horse material but I do know that it is well regarded by the fans.
Marvel has taken a somewhat different approach, treating Star Wars as a universe of comics unfolding across all titles at once. There are events in this title that also occurred simultaneously with the new Darth Vader title and vice versa. And it works. It really, truly works.
There is some considerable talent on this book. Writer Jason Aaron gets it. John Cassady is a master, with a cinematic style of comic book art that fits a comic book based on the cinema like a glove. Laura Martin provides solid, tasteful coloring that compliments but never overpowers the art. That is the real trick with modern colorists. They have a million colors to choose from, and the results are often a garish S-P-L-A-T right across the art. Not so here.
The story takes place between Episodes IV and V, stretching known movie continuity to its limit with the lightsaber battle between Luke and Vader. Nothing flies in the face of anything, so including all of this stuff from earlier and later films works. Luke returning to Tattooine stretches it, though, as we are led to believe in Return Of The Jedi that he never thought that he would be back there.
There are lots of crowd pleasing stunts here, like pitting Boba Fett against an inexperienced Luke Skywalker. I thoroughly enjoyed the bargaining between Darth Vader and Jabba The Hut, as did my son, who checked this book out of our local library and asked to read it with me.
My 9 year old son's take: It was really good. He liked the fact that they used Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. He felt that there was suspense through the whole thing, like that one bounty hunter that they don't tell you who he is. It bothers me that they don't tell me who he is. He also said that he liked that there was minimum swearing.
As a lifelong Star Wars fan there is nothing more that I could possibly ask for out of a Star Wars comic. My son was equally impressed with it. I am pleased with everything that Disney has done since acquiring Lucasfilm. The future is bright. Star Wars lives!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Good weight coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.