Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Chris Sprouse
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 1, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
As I sit down to write this review, it is only hours since the passing of Peter Mayhew the actor who imbued Chewbacca with such personality through a combination of mannerisms and head tilts. This week’s issue of Age of Rebellion is timely then, an adventure starring Han Solo and Chewbacca in a comic book that neatly encapsulates the friendship between the two, a friendship which, as we have seen from Harrison Ford’s eulogy for Mayhew, was also shared in real life.
The issue opens and we find ourselves in what is probably the definitive Han Solo scenario, a situation where he is torn between the 55% of his character that is gloriously selfless and loyal, and the 45% of his character that is purely out to make a few credits. Externally he tries and fails to present himself (and Chewie in tandem) as being 100% the self serving smuggler. That tension between reality and self perception is the one that powers this book, as we see Han and Chewie try…and fail… to exit the Rebellion (post A New Hope) in order to pay off his debt to Jabba the Hutt. He has already been derailed once on the Cyrkon Mission (see Smugglers’ Run) doing Leia another one last favor, and he’s determined to finally pay his debts.
Luke has different ideas however and soon Han is talked into delivering a few crates to the Rebel surveillance outpost on Calumdarian on his way. A quick stop into Balnab Spaceport and Han’s situation gets even more complicated. As with all good Han Solo adventures Chewie acts as Han’s guilty conscience as well as roaring words of caution into his ears at just the right time. Han meets a variety of colorful characters throughout this issue and the tale gives a simple if clear feel for the intergalactic interplay between the Rebels, the Imperials and the Smugglers and variety of hangers on who make a living off the war between the two.
Along the way we get some laughs (Han has hilarious plans to restore the Falcon to its former glory with part of his takings) and an authentic portrayal of the Han and Chewie that will be easily accessible for both casual and die hard Star Wars fans alike.
The art in this issue is in top shape, the new characters are made to look fresh and interesting (one of them seems to shop in the same place as Luke for yellow jackets) and there is a nice little nod of foreshadowing early in the issue to when Han looks at the holomap of the galaxy in The Force Awakens. The Han Solo portrayed on these pages looks and feels like the Han from A New Hope, and as noted above Chewbacca’s critical knowing looks at Han and general body language is captured faithfully by the art. Also worth highlighting the brilliant cover to this issue from Terry and Rachel Dodson, which will make this very attractive as a physical copy.