At April’s Celebration Orlando this year, IDW announced they’d be bringing all-ages Star Wars comics to the market place and now we have Star Wars Adventures! The series is as canon as Marvel’s comics are and set to contain, you guessed it, adventures across time and space of the Star Wars galaxy. Volume 1: Heroes of the Galaxy is made up of a two-part main tale about Rey during her days on Jakku and some “Tales from Wild Space” featuring Obi-Wan and Evaan Veraline, and already it’s clear SW Adventures is a product anyone can find joy in.
Through issues #1 & #2, “Better the Devil You Know” is the main tale, set pre-The Force Awakens regarding Rey saving Unkar Plutt from vile gangsters. Anything more to flesh out Rey as a character is greatly appreciated and Cavan Scott’s story not only does that, but also captures her sanguine mannerisms to the point you can hear Daisy Ridley’s voice when reading the dialogue or interior monologue. “Better the Devil You Know” is a solid, simple narrative which proves Unkar Plutt, or “Blobfish” as he’s more affectionately called by Jakkuans, isn’t as terrible as he seems, and bolsters what we already know about Rey: she’s resourceful, a skilled warrior, and above all else, compassionate. The art by Derek Charm is, well, charming to be sure, and it felt like each panel was a screenshot from a 2D animated show you might find on TV Saturday morning, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Each issue has it’s own “Tales from Wild Space,” which feature a relative of the main characters from the Adventures in Wild Space young reader series telling tales he’s heard throughout his travels. Issue #1 had “Stop, Thief!” written again by Cavan Scott, with an art team of Jon Sommariva (penciller), Sean Parsons (inker), and Charlie Kirchoff (colorist). In it, you’ll learn a little bit more about Dexter Jettster and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s friendship. Issue #2 had “The Flat Mountain of Yavin,” written by Elsa Charretier (also the artist) & Pierrick Colinet, with Sarah Stern as colorist. It actually focuses on Marvel’s Princess Leia series character Evaan Verlaine as she ensures the Rebellion’s safe evacuation from their base as the Empire reigns down on them after the Death Star’s destruction. Of the two, I both anticipated and enjoyed Evaan’s adventures more, mainly because she’s been terribly underutilized since her introduction. Better yet, that she single-handily manages to save the day, as the men squabble over what to do and ignore her, is an inspiring message to any young female readers who will pick up the issue, as well as a good lesson for any of the young male readers who do (and maybe some of the older ones, too). Obi-Wan’s “Tales” is fine and the art is more of the exaggerated take like Rey’s “Devil,” while Evaan’s “Mountain” is the one to scale, both thanks to its quick, fun writing, and the expressive art as Evaan goes through all sorts of facial expressions doing what no-one else can.
Here are a few other things:
- As great as “Mountain” is, it does raise some questions/continuity issues with canon: in the Princess Leia comic, the final issue ends with Evaan heading off for New Alderaan to be its leader, while Leia returns to the Rebellion still holed up on Yavin IV. While the initial problem was that it seemed odd as hell for them to still be on Yavin IV for as long as Leia’s adventures went on in the comic, the newer problem is that now Evaan is on Yavin but that’s not where we last left her in Marvel’s comic. Did she end up with the same reasoning as Leia for returning? Did she happen to forget a shirt at the base and came back for it? Is this all moot because it’s a tale a canon character told so the events within might not be 100% accurate? I’ll be curious to see how and if they end up explaining this one.
- I was far from being alone over excitement towards more Evaan Verlaine (who last appeared in Aftermath: Life Debt), but Natalie truly takes the cake. And the whole cake shop. And the factory. I point out her enthusiasm not only because it’s contagious, but because she is behind the Sapphic Skywalkers podcast, which is dedicated to female characters and LQBTQ representation in the saga, and organized #MynockMonday earlier this month (which I was honored to be a part of), a social media event centered around sharing free and low-cost fan activities. If someone can come up with that and just so happens to be an Evaan fan to boot, they’re alright in my book so give her and the podcast a follow!
- And I can’t forget to mention Tom B. Long, the letterer for both issues, as he keeps things easy and fun to read!
Both the main and the side-stories have solid, teachable morals hidden in their engaging Star Wars pages, making this a must for any younger readers, especially those who are Star Wars fans. That the older readers like myself can still get entertaining adventures from tuning in as well is an added bonus I won’t pass up on as IDW’s Star Wars Adventures continue!