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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 7 comics last week: Detective Comics #939, Star Wars #22, Titans #2, Flash #5, Wonder Woman #5, Action #962 and International Iron Man #6.
The best comic I read last week was Star Wars #22.
Star Wars has been consistently good for the last few months. Good, but not great. It’s been an enjoyable read and remained a great bridge to December and Rogue One. Jason Aaron is a dependable writer, one I would follow to almost any title, and his comfort in the Star Wars universe is so deep that Disney should consider pulling him aboard to write a standalone movie. This has just been a good title, but not one that, in recent months, has not really made an impression on me beyond being an enjoyable read.
Star Wars #22 changed all that.
The art in this issue by Jorge Molina is more cartoon-y than the line work of recent issues featuring Mike Deodato and that’s okay. The art captures the spirit of the story Aaron is telling; it’s big and adventurous and the space ships look truly great which is very important to the workings of this particular issue. While Molina’s characters look more standard comic book than photo-realistic images, that’s okay. It all works to propel the book visually forward to its unexpected conclusion.
It took me a little while to figure out where Aaron was going with this issue, but the twist end was so gratifying I thought to myself “if Rogue One has a caper this good, it’s going to be a great movie.” As I mentioned about, Aaron has the feel of the Star Wars universe down pat, and that familiarity extends to the dialogue he writes. The characters sound like the characters we love, they act like the characters we love and, since these comics are in continuity, they for all intents and purposes are the characters we love.
Star Wars #22 has the title back at the top of its game and back at the top of my virtual read pile. It’s getting me all the more excited for Rogue One, and I was pretty excited to begin with!