Story by Ethan Sacks
Art by Will Sliney
Colours by Dono Sanchez-Almara with Protobunker
Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 24, 2019
Review by: Andrew McAvoy
This issue is the first in a Marvel Star Wars mini-series structured as a tie in to the new Star Wars Disney theme park Galaxy’s Edge. Yes that premise may seem like an unlikely basis for creative inspiration but stranger things have presumably led to great artistic endeavours. In any event Han Solo has been placed on the front cover to reel us old timers in. Let’s see what this issue is about.
This opening instalment is a strange structure of a story within a story. The issue is set in the Black Spire Outpost, which we are told is a haven for smugglers, merchants and travellers looking to make the score of a lifetime. We are introduced very briefly to the characters of Remex, Kendoh and Wooro, and build up to their negotiations with the bohemian and somewhat sinister antiquities dealer Dok-Ondar. The plot development between these new characters is essentially utilised in the issue to frame the actual story for this issue which involves Han Solo and Chewie going on a smuggling mission to the Outer Rim to seize a baby Sarlac; procured for Dok-Ondar in return for considerable payment. The rest of the secondary framing story is then spun out from Dok-Ondar’s relaying of this tale of how the creature came to be in his possession.
The Russian Doll structure means that we get one very short main story encompassed by the secondary story. That secondary story is told using new characters that the average reader won’t be familiar with without recourse to Wookiepedia. The result is that we don’t get a firm grounding in the new characters. Another point worth making is that it is very difficult to place the Han and Chewie story chronologically. The art and the story indicate that this is a smuggling mission pre-A New Hope. There is however an outside possibility that the tale could be depicting events just prior to The Force Awakens (after all the duo were engaged in smuggling Rathtars in that film). This is a vaguetiming uncertainty that could have been addressed by simply dating the scene, even if this was done in a very general way.
Sliney’s art in this book is where the strength of the work lies, and the visual appeal of Batuu as the setting for the theme park works well. Unfortunately this is probably of little interest to readers like me who have no intention of, and no interest in, visiting Galaxy’s Edge. The art renders the characters well and there is a visual appeal to the colours used in the book, with the new character and location designs looking well.
On balance this is an average first issue without a terribly interesting primary or secondary story. The new characters do look appealing however, and hopefully in the remainder of the series we see much more of them in order to fully flesh out the content of future issues.