"Princess Leia formed a secret squadron of stealth X-wings to help expose a spy within the Rebel ranks. But taking command puts her at odds with Luke Skywalker at a time they need solidarity more than ever-especially when the spy has alerted the Empire to Han Solo's latest venture!"
The fact that the first issue of Star Wars from Dark Horse sold out in less than a day speaks volumes about the popularity of the franchise, and how desperate fans were to consume the new series (the residual effect of the Disney/Lucasfilm buyout).
Into issue #3 immediately you can see they didn’t just sit back and release a Star Wars title, and then have mediocre talent work on the content. Alex Ross, Brian Woods and Carlos D’Anda have a created a masterclass of the War in the Stars.
Alex Ross’ cover artwork as always is nothing short of amazing. If you don’t know Alex Ross (why in God’s name not) he is the illustrator who has brought some of the most iconic heroes in the world of comics to life. Literally his artwork is so lifelike you can see what a real life Superman would look like hovering in the sky amidst a Metropolis skyline. From issue #1 the dynamic look of all the characters and scenes are what must first draw any reader.
Once you delve into the story, you can see that Brian Wood has filled in the gap from the Battle of Yavin. Having dealt with Vader’s disgrace, and the Emperor essentially demoting him, Wood conjures hard driving dialogue which pays off nicely in this issue as Vader takes command of his new post.
We see a more cocky and youthful Luke Skywalker, after having destroyed the Death Star. He has a new girlfriend in Prithi and disobeys Princess Leia’s orders while in training maneuvers. There is a definite spy in the ranks of the Rebellion, and as that threat transpires Luke is placed under suspension.
The main story arc deals with Han Solo and Chewie on Coruscant as they try to ascertain the identity of this traitor and find out the Empire’s plans. Without a doubt in this issue Han shoots first!
The issue ends with a new squadron of TIE Interceptors and a rallying cry from their ‘mysterious’ pilot. It’s time for battle, and time to crush the Rebel Alliance. For the Emperor.
Carlos D’Anda’s art throughout the book is amazing. He captures the looks and feel of the originalStar Wars movie, with depictions of Luke, Leia and even a semi-constructed Death Star. You recognize the characters immediately, and the story flows flawlessly.
This new series has taken even Dark Horse Publications by storm; as of the release of issue #3, they have sent Star Wars #1 for a third printing run. I think it’s safe to say that there was a desperate need for a new Star Wars series and this has filled that need in spades. I cannot wait for the next issue - by the cover alone (again painted by Ross) it looks as though a reckoning is overdue between Princess Leia and her father, Darth Vader.