While I’m not saying they were bad, there were a lot of comics I read this week that had downer endings. That’s only part of the reason I enjoyed Star Wars 23 so much though. This comic is just a lot of fun, while a few elements show hints of what came in The Empire Strikes Back. This continues off from the last issue, where the rebels, including the core original trilogy characters, steal a Star Destroyer.
Written by Jason Aaron, this comic balances itself perfectly between humour and a tense situation that grows much tenser by the issue’s end. Their stolen Star Destroyer is run by a skeleton crew at best, the admiral that’s supposed to take command is missing (hasn’t shown up yet) and one of the reactors is about to blow. Meanwhile, Han and Leia are bickering just like they did in the Empire Strikes Back, and they race to the bridge to see who gets to command the thing. The teaser at the end promises an epic fight in the next issue, with the arrival of some characters we’ve seen for the first time recently. There isn’t much else to say about this comic without spoiling the fun.
The art by Jorge Molina is great. There’s a slight cartoonish look in some characters’ faces, but for the most part it’s a realistic look with a fair amount of environmental detail. The opening page showing the reactor that’s about to blow is complete with fire and sparks that almost look real, and the control panels in the room scream Star Wars. Facial expressions and body language do a great job at conveying emotions, especially when Han alternates between his smirk and his hard stares while bickering with Leia, while Leia’s animated pointing shows her frustration. Matt Milla’s colouring is also great. Everything is bright and colourful when it should be, and there’s good use of lighting effects, reflections on C-3P0’s body, and it’s still easy to see everything in the scenes that take place in the darkness of space.
I wouldn’t quite call this my favourite comic of the week, but it’s certainly the most enjoyable. Aaron hit his stride with this series a while ago and it still seems to get a bit better with each issue. If you’re a Star Wars fan who’s interested in the time period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, you should check this series out.