Star Wars: The Last Jedi #1

7

Good

LastJedi1-minPositively publicised by “Marvel Worldwide” as an adaption which features “never-before-seen scenes of your favourite characters”, this opening instalment to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” arguably must have delighted the vast majority of its audience, including those who had already watched “the highest-grossing film of 2017”, with its noticeably new sequences and ‘extended shots’ from an earlier version of the movie’s script. Indeed, such is his narrative’s focus upon Luke Skywalker’s desperate desire to “achieve true solitude”, that Gary Whitta’s main aim for this over-sized thirty-page periodical would actually seem to have been to provide readers with a much deeper insight into the personal demons of actor Mark Hamill’s character, and the all-powerful hermit’s surprising, long-term aim to close himself “off from the energy that binds me to all living things everywhere.”

Of course, this comic’s innovatively intimate opening insight into the Jedi Master’s heavily-troubled mind, which depicts a sullen-looking Vader’s son suddenly realising “someone… has found me” despite his self-imposed solitude, soon pales in comparison to the author additionally taking “full advantage of the comic book medium” by providing Luke a ‘genuine’ opportunity to mourn “the death of his close friend Han Solo” courtesy of a grief-sharing embrace with Chewbacca. But the entirely original introspective look at Obi-Wan Kenobi’s aging apprentice undoubtedly makes the Force-sensitive’s subsequent shocking refusal to acknowledge Rey’s presence on Ahch-To slightly more understandable; “Um… Master Skywalker? Master Skywalker? I’m from the resistance, your sister Leia sent me. We need your help. Hello?”

Fortunately however, the former “ACE” magazine games journalist doesn’t provide this extra exposition at the cost of the publication’s pulse-pounding pace, and still manages to capture plenty of the sense-shattering shenanigans seen during the Resistance’s evacuation of the planet D’Qar. In fact, Po Dameron’s questionable decision to ignore his general’s direct order and ‘sacrifice’ the lives of numerous pilots in order to bring about the destruction of a spaceship with “more firepower than a dozen destroyers” is one of this magazine’s highlights.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for Michael Walsh’s irregular-looking, amateurishly-angular artwork, which disconcertingly fails to attain a level anywhere near that of Whitta’s notable writing success. Clearly able to pencil an excellent Gial Ackbar, as well as an explosion-packed, intergalactic space battle, the Canadian’s somewhat cartoony drawing style disappointing fails to capture a lot of the plot’s tension and suspense, especially when an enraged Kylo Ren continuously smashes his infamous combat helmet into a wall or an irate Leia Organa physically slaps a certain “skilled X-wing fighter pilot” around his ‘arrogant flyboy’ face before demoting him to Captain.

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7

Good

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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