Comic Review: Age of Resistance – Special #1

Published: July 31st, 2019
Rating: T
Writer: Tom Taylor, Chris Eliopoulos, G. Willow Wilson
Penciler: Matteo Buffagni, Elsa Charretier, Javier Pina
Cover Artist: Phil Noto

The synopsis;

A ONE-SHOT SPECIAL FEATURING YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS FROM THE NEW STAR WARS TRILOGY! Star Wars fans first met Resistance leader and confidante of Leia Organa VICE ADMIRAL AMILYN HOLDO at the end of her story in 2017’s The Last Jedi—now, witness her triumphant beginning! This July, Hugo Award-winning writer G. Willow Wilson (MS. MARVEL) explores a pivotal conflict in Holdo’s early career that will start the young woman down the path to heroic infamy for the rebellion! With her ship at the mercy of a dangerous enemy, it’s up to Holdo to outsmart their foe and win the confidence of her compatriots in the process. With art by Elsa Charretier! The infamous “pirate queen” of Takodana, MAZ KANATA, thought she’d seen everything in her thousand-plus years of running a bar and hiring smugglers. But it turns out that the criminal underworld is always full of new surprises…especially when she hires HAN SOLO and CHEWBACCA for a job! Story by Tom Taylor (AGE OF RESISTANCE)! And Poe Dameron’s loyal companion, the astromech droid BB-8, just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. His missions always seem to escalate into a full-blown adventures! And if it means a win for his friends and the heroic Resistance freedom-fighters the little droid will stop at nothing to get the job done! Story by CHRIS ELIOPOULOS!

The review;

There may only be three variant covers, but all of them are equally fantastic. The Greatest Moments variant uses a limited colour-palette to create such a dusky atmosphere that is perfectly fitting for Dagobah. Noto has captured a very realistic likeness to Laura Dern as Holdo, and her determined expression is striking. The bold colours and poses on the puzzle-piece variant make it one of the best yet, especially the technical detailing on Maz’s jetpack.

It is very hard to combine three short-stories into one comic, with limited pages available, and inevitably they are not all as good as each other. The artwork throughout is engaging and each different style offers something new for the stories. However, whilst the first and final stories are enjoyable with good doses of humour, things go a little awry in the middle.

“Maz’s Scoundrel’s” is probably the best of the bunch. Who do you need when you want a heist done against a gangster for cheap? Han and Chewie, of course. Taylor really plays around with Maz’s cheeky yet mysterious personality with some flirtatious winks towards Chewbacca. One of the best scenes from across the comic is when the pirate-queen gets a Wookie-back ride whilst aiming her blasters at everything in sight! Even with all the fast-paced action, it keeps you guessing right to the end, and even then, the ending is rather peculiar. A casket holding an Imperial Inquisitor’s helmet will certainly leave a lot of fans guessing – which is a good thing.

Unfortunately, Holdo’s story by Wilson doesn’t offer fans anything new and feels like the weakest in the comic. In fact, it’s almost identical to Amilyn’s charter-arc from The Last Jedi but set during the time of the Rebellion. She’s zany, misunderstood and a natural leader who likes blowing capital ships to pieces. All of these are things beautifully rendered in Charretier’s simplistic style, but we’ve seen everything before, and it seems like a missed opportunity to offer a different perspective on Holdo.

The final story literally finishes the comic off with a bang, and Eliopoulos is almost paying homage to “A Friend in Need” from The Clone Wars Season 4. Whilst on a dangerous mission to infiltrate a First Order base, BB-8 saves several droids from being tortured by a stormtrooper. This practically mimics how R2-D2 stopped Death Watch from using their droids as target practice in the aforementioned episode, and it is a nice reference for fans to find.

The actions of droids are pivotal throughout the Star Wars saga, so it comes as no surprise that the freshly liberated droids reduce the base to rubble; but that makes it no less satisfying to read. Another highlight of this story is the banter between Poe and BB-8 over a commlink. Between Javier Pina’s expressive artwork of the little droid, combined with Poe’s responses, it is very easy to imagine what BB-8 is saying.

Age of Resistance: Special #1 offers three vastly contrasting stories that will appeal to everyone for different reasons. After waiting three weeks for this issue, fans now have to patiently sit tight for yet another fortnight for the next issue when Poe Dameron jumps into the Age of Resistance cockpit.

Availability;

Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Special #1 was published July 31st, 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic bookstores and retails at $4.99.

Kat Rees-Jauke
It was LEGO that got Kat into Star Wars in 2015. After spontaneously buying the LEGO 10188 Death Star set, she finally decided to watch the Original Trilogy and from then on was completely absorbed into a galaxy far, far away. On a very early December morning, Kat got to see her first Star Wars film in the cinema and The Force Awakens still holds a special place in her heart. With this new era of content also came her favourite character – Kylo Ren.