I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 9 comics last week: Batman Eternal #44, Star Wars #2, Action Comics #39, Avengers #41, Grayson #7, Detective Comics #39, Hawkeye #21, Superman #38 and Wytches #4.
The best comic I read last week was Star Wars #2.
This is two months in a row for Star Wars. I would like to suggest that my selection has little to do with my excitement surrounding The Force Awakens, but I am not that deluded. What I will say is that this Jason Aaron written book not only captures the spirit of the original trilogy, it also captures the characters’ voices. There is something 1980s about this book – in a very good way – and it seemingly effortlessly evokes a galaxy far, far away.
The series is set immediately upon the conclusion of A New Hope (Luke is even wearing the gold jacket from the medal ceremony that ended the movie) and the first issue readily set up a new conflict with Darth Vader. I’ve got to hand it to Aaron for jumping right in. He’s not afraid of the big guns, which is good, but he’s also not shying away from mixing elements from all of the movies into his narrative as evidenced by the Imperial AT-ATs showing up in Issue #2. He writes Han, Luke and Leia very well. The cadence of the characters is right on and that’s important. He’s not looking to do something “new” with Star Wars, he’s looking to play in the universe. Good call, Mr. Aaron.
John Cassaday continues his fine work from the first issue here. Though he’s perhaps too slavishly devoted to the likenesses of the characters he’s drawing, most panels transport readers into the Star Wars world. It’s a fun trip. Cassaday has lately not stuck around for a long run on any individual title – and I don’t know how long he plans to be with Star Wars – but I hope he’s with the book for a while. He may not be as distinctive as he was earlier in his career, but he’s perfect here.
Star Wars continues to be a great debut for Marvel’s new line of comics from a long time ago and I look forward to Darth Vader and Princess Leia, two titles that are coming up in the next few months!