By: Brian Wood (Writer), Carlos D’Anda (Artist), Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist)

The Story: Han Solo is pursued by a well-known bounty hunter, whole Leia form a team to carry out the mission she received.

The Review: This feels like Star Wars. It’s a bold statement to start this review with, but it also very much true. In this issue, you’ve got much of everything that made this franchise great to begin with. There’s the scope, the war between good and evil, the space fight and the characters. Much of it ring true to the original trilogy, but there’s also something more to it.

What Brian Wood has succeeded in doing so far is properly extend and deepen some characters while respecting who they actually are and how they usually are presented. There’s Han Solo, still roguish and savvy like always, partnered up with his trusty Wookie friend Chewbacca. Here, he explores just how his life as a smuggler has been affected by his actions from A New Hope, which is a wise choice, as it had not been properly explored in the actual sequel to the original movie.

What is also a wise choice would be his vision and focus on Princess Leia, showing us a side of the character that had not been shown in movies as well. In this issue, we get a scene that shows just how she is still taking the fall of Alderaan from the first movie. It is a powerful scene that shows much about the character while it does help the readers properly locate themselves in the timeline this series is set on.

Another character that is surprisingly deepened here would be Wedges Antilles, a character constantly named in the original movie, more a presence than an actually developed character. I know that he has become an incredibly deep and complex character in the expanded universe, but considering that this series is targeted mostly to the movie fans, it is quite pleasant to see Wood focusing on other characters from the franchise here. It shows that we can still have some surprises as to who will receive the spotlight further along the series.

If there is something that is also a bit surprising, albeit not in a very positive way, it would be the fact that this issue is mostly setup. We get the formation of the team, the feeling of how Colonel Bircher will deal with his fleet and where Han Solo is going, but nothing truly happen here. No big action is shown, albeit many characters are further explored. It is by no mean bad setup, mind you, but it is a little bit disappointing considering how the first issue opened.

What’s not disappointing at all, though, would be the effort and care seen in Carlos D’Anda art. His faces are superb, his expressions precise and he gives a lot of respect to the whole design and machinery of the first trilogy. The Millenium Falcon, the X-Wing, the Star Destroyer, the storm troopers, everything look almost perfectly the way it was in the movies, which is something to commend. The look of the issue is also enhanced by Gabe Eltaeb, who does some great-looking explosions, thrusters and light effects. It looks very futuristic thanks to his small touches here and there and his choice of colors.

The Conclusion: This issue shows that Brian Wood has a solid hold on who these characters are and why so many fans fell in love with Star Wars to begin with, thanks to his interesting explorations of how they would act and where they would be after the first movie. In this, he is greatly helped by Carlos D’Anda and Gabe Eltaeb in making this title feels like the original movies.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière