STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION: HAN SOLO #1
Han Solo isn't part of the Rebellion, sure he helped the kid out with the Death Star thing and maybe he did her worshipfulness favor but he never joined up. However, when Luke asks for a favor Han reluctantly agrees...hey the kid said it would be simple...what could go wrong...
Set shortly after the battle of Yavin we rejoin Han and Chewie as they have finally got the payment promised to them by Ben Kenobi and Han is ready to go settle up with Jabba, get a few dings in the Falcon sorted then get back to making that next big score and finally be done with this damn Rebellion nonsense.
However when Luke shows up and asks for a simple favor a series of events including Han hooking up with some smugglers from his past and the promise of some additional score leads Han and Chewie into a sequence of unfortunate and costly events as Han learns leaving the rebel life isn’t as easy as it seems…
It’s a fun read. It isn’t an action-packed space battle type story but rather Pak explores the idea of a Han Solo that is still not a rebel leader, keeps telling himself he isn’t part of the Rebellion and is still a smuggler at heart. He is a man at odds with himself and Pak writes the two sides cleverly and at the same time keeps Hans self-deception very tonally correct having him blame Luke or blame Chewie as “making” him do this stuff when the truth is he really does care. These include a bar fight where Han is the peacemaker between rebels and smugglers, there isn’t a better example of the theme being explored in the issue. The characters we meet including a new Asian character named Akko who helps talk Han into doing the additional run which takes a bad turn that includes the empire and some greedy locals, are well written and feel like characters Han would know and overall the “voice” of the characters feels natural from Pak. There are no major surprises or twists but that doesn’t make the story any less engaging.
I am a huge fan of Chris Sprouse’s line work and this issue is no exception, His pencils and Karl Story’s inks are clean and I really enjoy it when I see a character like Han or Luke look like the actor that played them in the movies. In addition, anyone that can draw the Millenium Falcon that well will always have me as a fan. The coloring style by Tamra Bonvillain’s is bright and vibrant and help with the feel of changing environments between planets, her shading on faces though is superb and a really fantastic example of how coloring can really take the flat image and turn it into something more: COLORISTS ARE ARTISTS (end rant).
Travis Lanham does a great job on lettering. The issue reads very easily and that is as much a function of well placed and spaced lettering as it is of good art and writing with some well-placed sound effects thrown in and I haven’t mentioned it before but whoever’s idea it was to have the continuity boxes themed in the blue with the Rebel Logo in it is to be complimented because it adds some nice atmosphere to reading these comics.
The cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson is excellent with a white background which really makes the image of Han and the Falcon stand out.
It's a solid issue. It won't be for people looking for action-packed battles but it's well written by Pak and does exactly what this series of anthology one-shots promise to do. It tells a story in Han's journey from smuggler to a reluctant rebel leader in a compact, well thought out and ultimately feel good vignette which doesn't provide any major surprises but is still well executed by a highly talented art team that fits perfectly into the canon. In short, the force is with this issue...
STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION: HAN SOLO #1: I Ain’t in It for Your Revolution… (Sure)
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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