There was a time, not so long ago, that Star Wars was not a joke, but a moment in popular culture that changed everything. Dark Horse’s new Star Wars ongoing, written by Brian Wood and drawn by Carlos D’Anda, brings that back a little. Perhaps not much, but just a little bit, just enough to remind you why the eight-year-old in you fell in love.
Wood’s series picks up between A New Hope and Empire. The Rebellion may have blown up the Death Star, but they’ve also had to abandon Yavin, and there’s a spy in their ranks.
One thing that stands out, immediately, about Wood’s first issue is just what a badass Leia is, something that’s evident in the movies but never really explored. She’s really the central protagonist of the book, with Luke as a sidekick and Han only there for a few pages. Wood nails how each character speaks and to be honest, he does a difficult job with aplomb. These are famous characters and he nails them with the first issue.
Also telling is the rhythm of the book; in twenty-two pages, there are chatty sections but also ones devoid of dialogue. It almost makes you wish for a John Williams score.
D’Anda’s art is quite good, heavy on the detail and the research but not letting it get in the way of the drama. If there’s a nitpick to be had, it’s that D’Anda’s inking is a bit too thick and uniform for his pencils:
But again, that’s only a nitpick. The art itself is gorgeous.
Dark Horse calling a book simply Star Wars is a bold move, but the book earns the title. It really is Star Wars, and that’s probably the highest compliment we can pay it.