Friday, January 16, 2015

Marvel's Star Wars: Off to a Bad Start?

Props for the Skottie Young variant!
A post in which I am over critical of a universe, medium, and company I love:

Star Wars #1 by Marvel Comics.

This comic embodies everything I hate in a movie based comic series, and something that is especially glaring, coming from a universe we've had expansive experience with in the medium.

1. The setting. This series takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Uhg. This has been Donne to death. Yes, all of the previous material has been branded "Legends," aka non-canon, but the first comic from Marvel's newly acquired license should NOT be such an overdone time frame that the most recent Dark Horse run ALSO used! Especially if the writing is going to be WORSE!

2. The characters. This is a more serious offense. We have the characters as we left them in A New Hope and how they'll be in The Empire Strikes Back. They should not vary from those points, at least not much. This issue has the following discrepancies:

Han Solo: why does he talk like a country hick? Why are they making him a bumbling romantic, when he's usually shown as a bit aloof? Yes, there is some room to play with the romance, but stay in character, people!

Princess Leia: we witness her punch an Imperial Officer into unconsciousness, with one blow. Yes, she has every right to be mad at the Empire, but she probably didn't take up martial arts and then forget martial arts between the two movies -- she's not shown as having any physical strength in A New Hope, and she very ineffectively attempts to overcome Han Solo's embrace in The Empire Strikes Back (yes, there is obviously romantic attraction there, but she at no point shows any hint of strength or combat training). Leia is a badass, don't get me wrong, but she's not Chuck Norris. Giver her a blaster and she'll cut down folks in cold blood (he said STUN, damn it!), but she really shouldn't be handing out knuckle-sandwiches (that is unintentionally sexist, but I'm leaving it).

C-3PO: Threepio is and always shall be a pessimist. And yet, we have him being awkwardly hopeful for a high-tension mission that should normally have him telling the odds of invading a high-importance Imperial base, especially without the help of any trained professionals. And, might I add, completely reasonably.

[Millennium] Falcon PUNCH!
Vader: we have never before seen Vader using Stormtroopers as living shields. It seems to be an almost petty level of evil for a once-honorable man to do so (though it was pretty badass). Yes, he's murdered children. But that was after direct orders that served a practical purpose. Otherwise, he only seems to eliminate Imperials when they've been incompetent {again, practical). There's no reason why he couldn't use his saber to block those blasts.

And, honestly, we don't need to see Darth Vader in every freaking comic. Give him a break. And stop reducing the impact of when characters meet him in the films (if done well, this last complaint is nil).

The Empire: they've apparently removed any sense of being a functional, somewhat professional governing body. Now, they follow every given order with a threat of "obliteration." Because that's not excessive. None of the Imperials act like this in the films, but I guess they need to act like complete dicks in case we forgot they're the bad guys.

3. The plot. Why exactly are Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, Threepio, and R2 acting as a strike team? Without any Rebel support at all? If the mission is so important, they'd have backup, or be the backup of a commando group. But no, they'll do it all because they have plot armor, I guess. That's one of the worst things movie comics flail around. They throw our heroes at impossible odds because they cannot die. And, for some reason, they insist on mortally wounding them at one point (has t happened in the comic, yet), as if it will have any emotional impact for us at all.

There are a couple of good things to say, such as Chewie being a badass, Artoo using some of his prequel abilities, and the overall art, but, all in all, I really disliked this comic and will probably not be adding it to my pull list. Even if the new lightsaber motion scenes are pretty neat. Maybe I'll give it a another issue before I pass final judgement...

Some of this is partially coming from the fact that a lot of good Star Wars storylines were killed off due to the company switch. Dark Horse had a lot of good titles running, even if they'd now be considered "Legends." To trade them for this offends me (though it now makes my collection of the Legacy series 100% complete...).

And I thought there was a team to make sure ALL new Star Wars media, across all mediums, would create one coherent canon. It's already looking to me that the comics are going to suffer from "Super Hero Mag" syndrome.

And I was so hopeful, too.

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