Star Wars: Han Solo #1 Review

Star Wars: Han Solo #1
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Pencils: Mark Brooks
Colors: Sonia Oback
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel

A smuggler, a scoundrel, a rebel, a man who shoots first, everyone loves Han Solo and it’s surprising it took this long for him to get his own series since Marvel started republishing Star Wars comics.

We are reintroduced to the captain of the Millennium Falcon just after the events of the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the Death Star.  A conflicted Han isn’t just dealing with the looming threat of Jabba the Hutt but finds himself gun-shy about taking jobs in his old trade.  It’s not that he isn’t capable or has lost faith in his abilities, something internally has changed him.  After a run-in with a couple of suspicious looking folks, he finds himself back with the Rebel Alliance and they’re in need of his talents, and to his distaste his beloved starship.  Under the disguise as a participant of a high-stakes race, Solo is tasked with extracting three Rebel informants from a precarious situation.

The highlight of this book comes from Marjorie Liu’s writing.  The New York Times best-selling author, novelist, and attorney has done a superb job of capturing the scruffy-looking nerf herder.  From his inner-monologue to his unhealthy affection for the Millennium Falcon.  The way he tries to get out of sticky situations, his cocky manner, and his disgust for authority is spot on.  But the real home run hit is the relationship between Han and Leia.  When the two of them meet up again its instant chemistry and turns into wit and repartee.  The way that Leia avoids Han leaving the Rebel fleet without causing suspicion is hilarious and there are plenty of other laughs in supply.

Liu accomplishes grabbing readers investments because we completely buy that this is Han Solo and this is a story that fits in the characters history.  It’s cool to see Solo take part in all the businesses that are talked about in the movies but were unable to see.  We’re told numerous times throughout the Star Wars saga about the speed and racing capability of the Millennium Falcon but have never quite seen it come into full fruition.  The story itself is a little slow to get itself going but the premise is promising and there are numerous directions for it to go.

With writing that nails the characters, it’s also satisfying to see an art team that has captured the likeness of their movie counterparts.  Mark Wood’s pencils catch the visual style and vibe of the Star Wars universe.  Providing us with some imaginative and creative designs of alien races, as well as illustrating some familiar faces.  Unfortunately the majority of this debut chapter takes place indoors so there aren’t any grand space shots till the end. However with the premise we’re sure to get some in future issues.

Final Verdict

With the high volume of Star Wars mini-series, you’re going to have a various variety of quality.  From those that reach their potential like Lando and Shattered Empire, to those that miss the mark like Obi-Wan and Anakin and Princess Leia.  Fortunately Han Solo is off to a promising start thanks to its strong creative team.  There are some comics that just hit the right spots and this is one of them.  With on point dialogue and characterization supplemented with visually pleasing art, this is a mini-series that I highly recommend.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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