Title: The Star Wars (Issue one of eight)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: J. W. Rinzler
Artist: Mike Mayhew
Colorists: Rain Beredo and Brad Anderson
Cover Art: Nick Runge
Publication Date: September 4th, 2013
Pages: 32 pages
Format: Full Color Miniseries
Retail Price: $3.99
As with most Star Wars fans I was certainly interested in what direction Dark Horse would take with The Star Wars. In case you’ll not followed the story, after nearly forty years George Lucas agreed to have his original 1974 rough draft of the classic film adapted to the comic book medium. Many comic fans believe 2014 will be the last year DH has a license to publish Star Wars comics and if the fairly recent launch of an all new Star Wars series, focusing on stories between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and The Star Wars I can say the publisher should be going out (at least as far as SW is concerned) with a bang.
As per usual I’ll stay spoiler free…
At the offset I mentioned I was interested how Dark Horse would pull this off. Would The Star Wars just be a bit of a money grab, seeing the company had the exclusive rights to present the material? Would the storyline be nearly the same as the film with a few cosmetic changes thrown into the mix? Or would the series receive a less than a first rate presentation given the fact it’s a short run – eight issue – series?
Since we’re talking about Dark Horse here I can’t say I was overly concerned The Star Wars wouldn’t be a series which received a lot of effort from those involved. Sorry to say all that effort might end up in vain though.
I tackled the first issue, as best I could, with a mindset of not knowing anything about Star Wars; a pretty difficult endeavor right there but it’s important to know if the story can stand on its own two legs as opposed to the reader needing to have previously invested in the SW universe for the comic to work. Unfortunately, the first issue of The Star Wars comes up rather short in the story telling department as too many characters are introduced (in near rapid fire succession) to get a handle on while, in the overall scope of the issue, not much action takes place.
The Star Wars universe can be many things but one of those things should never be “boring.” I’m not saying every turn of the page should bring about huge splash panels of action since story and character development should be important but I think it’s a bit of a cardinal sin to put down an issue of any sort of Star Wars comic with the thought of, “Meh…” coming to mind.
On the upside, Mike Mayhew’s art is impressive (maybe I should write “Impressive …most impressive.”?) and is surely the highpoint of the issue. It’s a shame his skills are wasted on what boils down to a talking heads issue. By the time you’ve finished the comic you’ll have read all these characters yammering on but still have not a clue who the central character, characters, or rooting interest will turn out to be in the end.
I’ll mention it’s kind of fun to see the changes from what we now know as Star Wars canon, although I can’t rightly say what’s based on the rough draft and what’s influenced by the prequel films, but the bloom falls off that rose soon enough due to the introduction of over a dozen characters we have absolutely no association with and the mighty slow pace of the issue. I’m sure The Star Wars will go through multiple printings, and it’s possible the series will pick up the pace, but judging by the first issue you might want to buy the comic more for the novelty than for the content.