While I strongly believe that Disney’s latest Star Wars movie trilogy is a disaster, especially with their final episode, I’d like to believe that there’s still hope for solid stories to be produced. This is mostly proven by The Mandalorian with its two marvelous seasons that have been released so far. However, I have been curious as to how the comic book business around the Star Wars franchise has been handled over the past years, at least, ever since it went from publisher Dark Horse to Marvel, and here I am a bit ambivalent about it all, although still curious enough to want to continue on. Alongside Star Wars, there’s also the grandfather of science-fiction and fantasy, known as Dune, that got its official comic book adaptation, which was supposed to coincide with the movie release which unfortunately got delayed. Here’s a quick look at what I thought about these!
This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).
Click on the covers to be redirected to their Goodreads page.
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🤣
Star Wars (Vol. 1): Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron.
By far the best Star Wars comic book story yet as we get the perfect characterizations out of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2! The story is set after the destruction of the Death Star and sees the return of Darth Vader as the logical main antagonist here. Not only is the humour on point, but we also see Luke learn to become a Jedi as he tries to learn more about Obi-Wan.
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule.
This four-part story-arc explores the origin story of Kylo Ren and his venture to the dark side of the force. It not only bridges the gap between who he was and who he becomes in the infamous movie trilogy, but it also presents his relationship with Snoke and other apprentice Jedis who unfortunately helped him become who he is. I couldn’t connect with his character’s transformation but I won’t lie that a fan of Kylo Ren will surely find this story somewhat intesting.
Star Wars: Darth Vader (Vol 1): Vader by Kieron Gillen.
I dove into this one thinking I’d be blown away by a villain-centric story, especially one who is undoubtedly so loved by the Star Wars fandom. Here I am unimpressed by how much belittling is successfully done on his character. It didn’t help that he ends up in a “team” throughout this story. Have you ever even thought of Vader working with others??? It gave a comical tone to his story that I, honestly, never expected to see. It’s not a bad story but it clearly suffers from its premise, while introducing some interesting character, e.g. scavenger Aphra.
Star Wars: Darth Vader (Vol. 2): Shadows and Secrets by Kieron Gillen.
This story-arc further explores Darth Vader and Aphra’s alliance as their interests diverge and converge in unexpected ways. Each of their missions sends them in different directions until they crash and collide, forcing them to renew their pact and come to terms with a new objective. There’s a lot of things happening behind the backs of everyone but it is fascinating to watch Vader find himself in a not-so-Alpha position and having to dupe his way into getting things done the way he wants them to. It remains to be seen if the story’s direction is worth all the trouble of following this series.
Dune: The Graphic Novel (Book 1) by Brian Herbert.
The first book (out of three) of the official Dune comic book adaptation remains truly loyal to its source material with some changes but doesn’t fully take advantage of the medium to turn the classic epic science-fiction masterpiece into a just as exciting and classic comic book story as it suffers from dull narrative development and some odd character dialogues. At least the artwork is consistently decent especially once you arrive at some of the included splash pages showcasing the iconic moments from the book.