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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 #941, Wonder Woman #7, Star Trek: Waypoint #1, Star Wars #23, Teen Titans #1, Doctor Strange Annual #1, and Action Comics #964.
The best comic I read last week was Star Wars #23.
I’ve read many, many comic book adaptations of film and television properties and they tend to suffer from one of two problems: 1) they try too hard to adhere to established continuity, so much so that they are just warmed over rehashes of the properties on which they are based and 2) knowing they cannot truly affect the status quo of established characters, they focus too much on characters created for the comics and not enough on the ones that got readers to buy the book in the first place.
Jason Aaron, the talented scribe who has written every issue of this Marvel Star Wars comic book has, at times, flirted with both of these problems. However, in this new arc (issue 23 is the third chapter of it), he not only avoids these pitfalls, he creates a story that is so fun, inventive and over-the-top, that it seems to have spun right out of the original trilogy itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved this title since its launch and have selected this book numerous times as my pick of the week. What sets this issue apart is how enjoyable it is and how I smiled upon reading it.
The caper around which this arc centers is the audacious theft of a Star Destroyer by Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie (along with other Rebel forces). To say it is a terrific and terrifically fun story is an understatement. This is what Star Wars has been at its best. If Rogue One is anywhere near as fun as this story, it will be great. Jason Aaron is a wonderful writer and a great fit for this book.
Jorge Molina has a cartoon-y style that is a bit different from the established “house” style of the title up until now, but his work in recent issues has been excellent. A reader can see who Leia is, who Han is and who Luke is and, once in a while, a reader can see the image of the actors behind the drawings. That’s a good thing. Good too is Molina’s command of space action – the ships, the starscape, the weaponry, et al – and his panels are fluid and dynamic.
This is a great book and, most importantly, it’s fun. Shouldn’t Star Wars be fun? This title certainly is!