Comic Review: Star Wars #74

Published: November 13, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Phil Noto
Cover Artist: Phil Noto

The synopsis;

WOOKIEE VS. SITH! Our three stories converge as the rebels’ plan to destroy the Empire’s fleet come to a head! But can LUKE really trust the grifter WARBA CALIP? Can HAN, LEIA, and DAR CHAMPION survive a head-on battle with a STAR DESTROYER? And what happens when CHEWBACCA takes on LORD VADER himself in hand-to-hand combat? And the Rebellion’s search for a new home…a base

The review;

The penultimate issue of this series, it has gone far too quickly! Last issue, we saw the separate threads coming together and this issue promises more of the same…

In previous issues, I’ve reviewed each of the three parts separately, this time, it’s not possible. The three are woven into one another, presenting a far more coherent, singular story. Although for the majority of the time our characters aren’t together, they are still linked by comlink. It’s good to see the gang back together, even if it is remotely. Separating them for so many issues allows you to appreciate when they are back together and how the characters bounce off one another. We see Han and Luke talking like old times, constantly in competition with each other, trying to outdo the other. These characters are as they should be, they are the characters we have come to love from the films. We even see Luke’s humour finally coming back through.

And I suppose this is no more evident than in the fact that as soon as Luke learns his friends are in trouble, he goes to save them. Initially, I thought this is too much like The Empire Strikes Back, but then being more critical, it makes complete sense. Vader uses Threepio and Chewie to get Luke and it works. If it works once, why wouldn’t it work again? It’s the chink in Luke’s armour that he finds and exploits at the very next opportunity when it presents itself.

As has always been so far in this series, Vader is on top form. I love that we get to see once again his frustration with Admiral Ozzel. The Admiral just does not understand how to deal with Vader and keeps getting in his way. Is it no wonder Vader kills him! Yet it’s the final entrance of Vader near the end of the issue that gave me goose bumps. The mere shadow of Vader rising up to meet Luke. Talk about setting the expectation for the finale!

This allows me to link with the artwork by Noto. The Vader shadow is fantastic, but there are pockets of such beautiful art, great singular panels that strip away all the background detail so Noto can focus on a single character. And Vader with the electrical pulse, incredible! It helps bring the entire comic together.

With the correction in canon on Chewie and his life debt to Han, we see how the Wookiee has taken Luke under his protection. Although Luke has come to save him and Threepio, it is Chewie who is trying to save Luke. To leave it on such an ending, particularly when considering the cover of the issue, is very frustrating!

One word for this comic: character. This is all about inserting those character moments and reminding us that we are reading Star Wars, not just any Star Wars at that, but Original Trilogy Star Wars. These are the first characters that introduced us to a galaxy far, far away and it is the perfect time to start bringing them back together. We get to see our loved heroes acting exactly as they should, with artwork showing us these precious moments. This is all leading to the finale. With such a build-up on character this week, I’m expecting an explosion of action. I’m hoping this will be where Vader takes the spotlight and we see him and Luke duelling in a fight to rival the Bespin duel. Thankfully (or perhaps too quickly?) we do not have long to wait for the conclusion…

Availability;

Star Wars is an ongoing series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic bookstores. This issue retails at $3.99.

Mark 'Spooked Hippie' Alders
Mark’s day job is a primary school teacher, where in his classroom you will find life size cut outs of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, trying his best to educate the youth of today in the ways of the force.