Saturday, 7 January 2017

Star Wars: The Force Awakens #2 - Marvel Comics

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS No. 2, September 2016
Having quite literally flown through the opening of the motion picture during its premiere edition, Chuck Wendig’s script for Issue Two of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” depicts the events “in a galaxy far, far away” at a much more considered pace, and, despite the adaption adding little to J.J. Abrams “epic space opera”, additionally provides its 49,423 strong readership with an opportunity to just watch Rey and Finn’s initially prickly relationship strengthen into a far closer, more mutually respectful friendship; “Your last shot was dead on! You got him with one blast! It was perfect!” In fact, even when the ‘legitimate’ owner of the "garbage freighter” the pair have commandeered from Jakku makes a dramatic appearance towards the end of the comic, the Pennsylvania-born writer’s narrative still predominantly focuses upon the exploits of the young scavenger and former stormtrooper.

Perhaps this book’s most noticeable change in story-telling tempo from its preceding instalment comes at the twenty-page periodical’s very beginning, with its pulse-pounding depiction of the Millennium Falcon skirting sand dunes and dodging laser blasts from two First Order TIE-fighters. The vast majority of this scene genuinely relies upon the breakdowns of Luke Ross rather than the pen of the John W. Campbell Award Finalist due to neither of the protagonists having a great deal to say as they fight for their lives aboard the “stolen Corellian TY-Model freighter”. But rather than therefore simply summarise the pair’s flight from the desert world within the space of a handful of frames, the Brazilian artist is given almost half the magazine to pencil Rey’s phenomenal ‘force sensitive’ piloting skills and her companion’s 'sharpshooter' ability with a cannon “stuck in forward position!”

Indeed, the “exclusive Marvel Comics artist” actually utilises this different story-telling medium to his advantage and includes ‘footage’ which wasn’t even filmed as part of the actual movie, such as a wonderful ‘flashback’ panel depicting Han Solo riding a tauntaun, blowing up the Endor shield generator bunker and kissing Princess Leia like a scoundrel. These character-led moments really help separate Wendig’s tale from just a plain, tired cinematic tie-in, and additionally provide the comic’s audience with an opportunity to better see elements of the adventure such as the smuggler’s Baleen-class heavy freighter and the Guavian Death Gang’s spacecraft as it docks alongside The Eravana.
The variant cover art of "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS" No. 2 by Chris Samnee

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