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Review: ‘Star Wars Adventures Vol. 1: Heroes of the Galaxy’

Star Wars Adventures Heroes of the Galaxy

Star Wars Adventures Vol. 1: Heroes of the Galaxy
Writers: Landry Q. Walker, Cavan Scott, and others
Artists: Derek Charm, Jon Sommariva and others
IDW Publishing; $9.99

Star Wars Adventures CoverIDW Publishing was apparently pretty excited to get the license to publish new comics based on the Star Wars franchise, and who could blame them? The fact that Disney was inked a deal with any comics publisher other than Marvel—a major comics publisher that Disney actually owns, and is already publishing all the other Star Wars comics—comes as something of a surprise…and, perhaps, a sad commentary on Marvel’s ability to produce comic books for kids in the 21st century.

How excited was IDW? So excited that they couldn’t wait to publish the customary four or five issues to rush out a collection of their new Star Wars Adventures series, but instead published this slender trade paperback with just the first two issues of the series, plus eight pages from a Star Wars Adventures ashcan edition. Filling up the back with all of the many, many variant covers and pages of primary artist Derek Charm’s character designs, they manage to bump the content up just enough to make it to trade length.

What’s here is good, but there’s surprisingly little of it.

The story from the ashcan edition is written by Landry Q. Walker and drawn by Charm, and though it is only eight pages, it does a pretty good job of establishing just how wide the series’ remit will be. Bickering droids C-3PO and R2-D2 greet the reader and the former offers to share a story, boasting of all the adventures he has seen over the years. While he narrates about the possible stories he could tell, Charm draws a sequence featuring a very young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, Asajj Ventress from The Clone Wars TV show, and one-panel appearances seemingly previewing future stories. It culminates in a two-page spread showing heroes and villains from all three trilogies, TV shows Clone Wars and Rebels, and Jyn Erso from Rogue One.

That’s followed by a 30-page story, also drawn by Charm, this one scripted by Cavan Scott. Entitled “The Devil You Know,” it stars current trilogy hero Rey and is set during her pre-movie scavenging days on the desert planet Jakku. Relatively minor characters from those scenes of The Force Awakens get larger roles here, as she uses her wits and staff to save the guy who gives her bread for salvage from bad guys.

There are a pair of shorter back-ups, both presented as “Tales From Wild Space” and featuring a human telling stories to his two droids and a monkey-lizard about heroic deeds of past Star Wars stars. The first of these, by Scott and the art team of Jon Sommariva and Sean Parsons, features Obi-Wan Kenobi and is set on Coruscant during the era of the prequel trilogy. The latter, drawn and co-written by Elsa Charretier with Pierrick Colinet, concerns a brave rebel pilot from the original trilogy saving Princess Leia.

Because the main story in the first issues was a Rey one, that means the vast majority of the many, many covers that fill the book are basically just really nice drawings of Rey on Jakku, and these come from such artists as Chris Samnee, Mike Maihack, Craig Rosseau, and Charretier.

It’s a decent enough package, but to focus too much on that package would be to miss what it contains: High-quality, all-ages Star Wars comics. For a lot of young readers, and those wishing to put reading material in their hands, that’s probably all that really matters.

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J. Caleb Mozzocco About J. Caleb Mozzocco

J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.

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