Saturday, 24 December 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1 - Marvel Comics

Surprisingly published some six months after the $780 million profit-earning theatrical release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, this opening issue of the “Marvel Worldwide” movie adaption mini-series really does suggest Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso was in a desperate hurry to get the comic out and into the hands of its 79,626 strong audience. For whilst the thick thirty-page long periodical starts with Kylo Ren’s cold-blooded destruction of the Tuanul Village on the planet of Jakku, it portrays this event some way into the film’s actual beginning and almost irreverently ‘skips’ over both “old ally” Lor San Tekka’s role in giving Poe Dameron “a map to the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker”, and the resistance pilot’s subsequent battle with a small number of stormtroopers.

This ‘summarisation’ of events might be forgivable if it were simply utilised in order to draw the reader straight into the sinister First Order’s conflict. But unfortunately, Chuck Wendig’s narrative actually uses the action-abbreviating technique throughout the entirety of the book, and resultantly omits several arguably key events in the creation of both Rey and Finn’s character development...

The most obvious of these absences is the screenwriter's disconcerting omission of FN-2003’s bloody death during the Tuanul villager’s massacre. An emotionally defining moment during the motion picture, the entire ‘episode’ isn’t even referred to by way of a flashback and instead, almost casually just ‘crops up’ in a text box which explains why FN-2187 has some sort of dirty hand-print caked over one side of his helmet. There’s certainly no explanation given as to the fact that his friend’s death has shaken the assault trooper’s faith in the First Order’s mission, or that this is the reason behind why he later goes on to thwart their plans to destroy General Leia Organa’s “brave” Resistance.

Equally as unsatisfactorily ‘rushed’ as the writing, would appear to be the inconsistent artwork of Luke Ross. Undoubtedly able to pencil Tie-fighters, Star Destroyers and the Millennium Falcon, the former “Jonah Hex” illustrator only sporadically manages to capture a passing likeness of actors Oscar Isaac or John Boyega, and definitely struggles to acquire any of Daisy Ridley’s melancholic wistfulness at Rey being orphaned outside Niima Outpost to a dangerously harsh life of scavenging.
The variant cover art of "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS" No. 1 by Phil Noto

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