Star Wars #4| Writer: Jason Aaron | Artist: John Cassaday | Colorist: Laura Martin |Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com
Star Wars #4 serves as the beginning of a new story arc dealing with the fallout of the Empire’s weapons factory on Cymoon 1 being destroyed.
The majority of the book takes place on Tatooine as Darth Vader arrogantly keeps Jabba the Hutt in check while maintaining the assurance of Imperial supplies provided by the mammoth gangster.
Jason Aaron was able to keep the dialogue between the two villains interesting. Vader was steadfast in his demands while Hutt surgically picked his spots to rub salt on the wound of recent Imperial damages. It reminded me of how one would book a match/story in professional wrestling with the idea being one person wins without the loser taking any damage to their credibility or character.
A new character is introduced with a shroud of mystery surrounding his identity.
However, their objective is clear: they want Han Solo. The reason is unknown, but the methods this new player uses to elicit information suggests that it can’t be good.
We get some time with Luke and Leia, but it came off as an exposition of what’s next instead of something in the story that has weight to it. John Cassaday’s artwork made this moment standout to full effect while conjuring up a bit of nostalgia by upping the violence factor in a scene that harkens back to a particular encounter between our favorite smuggler and a certain Rodian.
There is an awesome panel where Jabba comments to Vader, “Who knew anyone of note was born on Tatooine, Eh?” as the Dark Lord stares out at the Dune Sea with the reflection of the planet’s two suns in the eyes of his helmet. It was visual poetry that was augmented by Laura Martin’s coloring, which spoke volumes because of the emotional implications involved.
As I closed in on the final pages, I was ready to gripe about not learning what’s in the box that Obi-Wan Kenobi left in his former estate for Luke in the last issue. My fears were put to rest as the final page reveals a beloved character’s re-introduction that prompts instant anticipation of the coming adventure.
The figure was drawn and colored with gravitas that commanded attention and respect from the reader. There was a lot of story development in this issue, and Jason Aaron does a masterful job of teasing certain elements that were too far apart before and now appear to be closer to each other than ever before.
Score: 4.5 out of 5