June will hold the start of two upcoming Marvel Star Wars comics, one a Han Solo miniseries set between Ep. IV and V and the other an adaptation of The Force Awakens. Details for both projects below, including a look at the story and new alien created for the Solo miniseries.
The era between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back was already feeling a little packed, considering Lando/Princess Leia/Chewbacca/Star Wars on-going/Darth Vader on-going all take place during the period, and setting a Han Solo series (which replaces Obi-Wan & Anakin after it ends in May) there as well leans a little towards making it stuffed. But EW.com’s interview with series writer Marjorie Liu (Monstress) reveals an intriguing tale about Han juggling entering the race of his dreams and a mission from Leia to protect Alliance assets, as well as shows Liu’s understanding of the character during this period of his life.
For Han, Liu had this to say:
He has no super powers, but he’s streetwise, he’s tough, he’s brave, he’s a survivor. He’s not righteous, but he’s got his own moral code that reflects his basic decency, but he’s not the sugary type. He’s got this hard shell and can be a total jerk. What I always loved was if you earn his loyalty, his friendship, and his love, he became a total softie.”
Han and Leia won’t be much different than how we’ve seen them in the Star Wars on-going, bickering with one another as they are both exasperated with each other’s stubbornness. But she trusts him and he is loyal to her as his feelings for her grow, so she sends him on a mission to retrieve informants because she’s worried there are spies in the Rebellion (a feeling she might get due to whomever is storming the Alliance’s super-secret prison in the current Star Wars arc). Han will struggle with wanting to finish the race and upholding the mission, as, “…he’s got this internal conflict where there wasn’t one before. He’s really trying to figure out who he is.” Thankfully he’ll have Chewie by his side, as Liu feels that Chewbacca is the moral center of their relationship, meaning we’ll see plenty of the two together in the series to help keep Han on track. As entertaining as the Chewbacca series made the Wookiee to be on his own, there’s no one better to bounce him off of than Han Solo, so it’s good to know the hairy co-pilot won’t be sitting this one out.
As much as I want to see Han work out his loyalty to the Alliance and his friends a bit more, I’m more intrigued by the Dragon Void Race and the new character/species Liu and interior artist Mark Brooks (Cable & Dealpool) are bringing to life. The Dragon Void Race is the premiere piloting event, one Han has been dreaming of entering for ages, and it was put together thousands of years ago by a nomadic and slowly dying out species. One of their last remaining members, Loo Re Anno, holds a perfect record on the race but isn’t sure how much longer she’ll be doing it, until she meets a certain smuggler. As Liu puts it:
“…this is going to be perhaps her last race for good, so she’s in this thing and she’s dignified and everyone’s a bit in awe of her. She takes a special interest in Han because he’s a very different pilot from the ones she’s used dealing with. He reminds her of herself at a much different time in her life.”
She sounds intriguing and will be a unique character to see Han interact with, plus she also looks to add to the ever growing list of female roles the comics have so awesomely added since starting last year (something I hoped Marvel would continue). While there’s no art for Loo Re Anno, the EW.com interview has some previews of Mark’s art (at left) and I’m very pleased with his style. I’ve never read anything with his work in it before, though he’s been doing steady work on covers for several of the Marvel Star Wars series, including Kanan and my favorite cover for Vader Down part 6, but I audibly gasped in surprise with how much I liked the look (and kudos to the colorist!). The other piece of art also reveals Leia’s elegant and functional attire popularized in the Star Wars on-going is becoming her default outfit and I couldn’t be more pleased. While I had some misgivings about another series set in a crowded era, I’ve got my hopes rather high for Han Solo.
Early last month, ComicBookResources.com got the exclusive reveal regarding the upcoming 5-issue The Force Awakens comic adaptation. It’ll be written by Chuck Wendig, author of the fantastic, but controversial Aftermath (and it’s two upcoming sequels) with interiors by Luke Ross. There hasn’t been much announced about the project since, which is slightly surprising, but CBR did at least get some character sketches from Ross so you can get an idea of how Rey, Finn, and Poe will look in the series. While I’ve been reviewing every issue of every comic released to this point, I might end up just waiting for the trade paperback of this since it’s a story we all know by now and it’ll likely not including anything new regarding the film’s content.
Both Han Solo and Poe Dameron have my interest, especially since Poe ties into one of my hopes for 2016’s comics to include stories from the sequel trilogy era, but I’m a little disappointed there doesn’t seem to be anything Rogue One related coming out. There’s plenty of year left before the film drops in December, so maybe they’ll surprise us with such news yet, as it would be a neat idea to introduce the backstory of a new character from the film in the comics leading up to its release. But if the rumors of Star Wars Rebels having connections with RO come true, that’s probably a better place to have a crossover than the comics.
In the end though, I’m still holding out hope for a Doctor Aphra series, her upcoming possible fate notwithstanding.
Poe Dameron Headlines New On-Going Comic Series
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Movie Review: The Force Awakens
NYCC 2015: New Star Wars Novels, Short Stories, and Comics Announced! (UPDATED)
Korean Original Trilogy Webcomic Now in English
The Force Awakens Soundtrack Pre-Order, C-3PO’s Red Arm Gets Comics Backstory
CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Han Solo (mini-series)
The Force Awakens (#1-2) by Chris
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)