Bridging the Gap Between the Old and the New in Star Wars 43

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I’ve always considered Marvel’s Star Wars comic to be an extension of the Original Trilogy — a way to continue telling stories with the characters and within the framework that most fans are familiar with — but Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 43 surprises by also acting as a satisfying coda to 2016’s Rogue One. From closing the book (for now) on Jedha to calling back to Princess Leia’s final line in the film, Star Wars 43 neatly bridges the gap between “old” Star Wars and “new” Star Wars in way that fulfills the promise of post-George Lucas single canon Star Wars cross-media world-building.

And as sterile and filled with corporate buzzwords as that all sounds, it’s effective when it works.

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“High” and “Low” Art Collide in The Wicked + The Divine 1923AD

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The difference between “high” and “low” art has always seemed rather arbitrary and elitist to me, but that hasn’t stopped debates about the two from raging in one way or another for centuries. That conflict is the heart of The Wicked + The Divine 1923AD, manifesting both in the actual plot and in the format in which Kieron Gillen chooses to tell his story, a tale and a format that can really only serve as celebrations of all kinds of art: “high,” “low,” or otherwise. Continue reading

Doctor Aphra 16 Finally Lets Aphra’s Queer Flag Fly

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Hey, what’dya know, actual queer people in Star Wars. Continue reading

Chewie Gives Good Hugs in Star Wars 42

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Very little has been leaked about the new Han Solo movie, and depending on who you talk to, that may or may not be a very bad thing. Even though its release is only a few months away, details about it are sparse with the exception of a few tidbits, such as explaining how Han and Chewie first met. Unless Disney has changed the lore drastically, this will probably take the form of Han saving Chewie’s life so the former owes the latter a life debt. While that might be the basis of their relationship, in Star Wars 42, we see that there’s so much more to it than just that. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Best Series

Series

We all love a good one-off or anthology, but it’s the thrill of a series that keeps us coming back to our comic shop week-in, week-out. Whether it’s a brand new creator-owned series or a staple of the big two, serialized storytelling allows for bigger casts, bigger worlds, and bigger adventures. That bigness was on full display this year, as series made grand statement after grand statement about what they were all about. These are our top 10 series of 2017.  Continue reading

Best of 2017: Best Writers

Best Writers

In such a collaborative medium as comics, it can be difficult to say where a writer’s influence on the story ends, but there’s no question on where it begins: words on the page. Whether they thrill, elate, chill, or deflate, the best writers create characters, settings, and situations we want to return to, again and again. These are our top 10 writers of 2017. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Best Issues

Best Issues of 2017

Episodic storytelling is the name of the game in monthly comics. Month- or even multi-year-long arcs are fine, but a series lives and dies by its individual chapters. From self-contained one-offs to issues that recontextualize their respective series, this year had a ton of great issues. Whittling down those issues to a list was no easy task (and we look forward to hearing how your lists differ in the comments), but we would gladly recommend any (and all) of these issues without hesitation. These are our top 10 issues of 2017. Continue reading

Luke’s in Hell in Star Wars 41

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Like pus from an open sore, a dangerous energy seeps into the universe in Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 41, escaping from the remains of the Jedi temple on Jedha. Luke has come to Jedha and the Cult of the Central Isopter looking for guidance in mastering the Force. Larroca and colorist GURU-eFX paint an evocative portrait of a planet in torment — Luke’s in Hell, basically, but that’s the point.

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The Complexity of Magna Tolva in Doctor Aphra 15

by Taylor Anderson

Star Wars Doctor Aphra 15

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

A lot of the time when I think about what makes Star Wars so much fun I think about the memorable characters. Darth Vader is the perfect villain, Han is the archetypical anti-hero, and Leia is the strong willed leader who won’t let herself or others fail. While all these characters are great, I have to admit that in many ways they’re pretty flat characters. Sure, you can argue that Leia, Han, and Vader all undergo a journey and gradually change, but none of them undergo a transformation that literally changes who they are. What I’m getting at here, is that Star Wars is sorely lacking in complex characters. It is for this reason, however, that Magna Tolva is such a welcome addition to the universe.  Continue reading

Sins of George’s Past Arise Once More in Star Wars 40

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

George Lucas has many sins to atone for. Jar-Jar Binks, Episode II, and of course the “special edition” of the original trilogy. Of this last sin, perhaps what makes it the most grievous is that it has taken that which was perfect and smeared crap all over it. While there’s a lot to complain about with the re-releases, nothing gets me more worked up than the added scene in Episode where Han encounters Jabba outside of the Millennium Falcon. The CGI in this scene is just awful and it’s clear that Harrison Ford is not actually talking to a giant slug, but simply an overweight man, as Jabba appeared in the original scene. With such sins as its burden, I though Star Wars would be careful not to repeat anything of that nature. And so it was, until Star Wars issue 40.

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