Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1

Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1

Writer: Chuck Wendig
Artist: Luke Ross
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Esad Ribic

Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1 has a difficult niche to carve itself into. Adaptations are tricky, especially when they come out well after the release of the film their adapting. On one hand they have to boil down the essential elements of the movie into a super condensed version that will still please readers. On the other hand, they have to retell a story we’ve all seen and loved and still make it enjoyable and worth purchasing again. While Marvel’s comic adaptation does a good job at capturing the essence of the film, it really doesn’t offer much more than a condensed comic version of a story that is truthfully way better on the big screen.

First off, Chuck Wendig did a great job of capturing the bare essentials of the movie and squeezing it into 30 pages. While there’s nothing really new in any of the dialog or storytelling, there’s a lot to be said in his ability to edit it down to just enough to retain the heart of the film. There’s the humor, the drama, and most if not all of the essential story beats. It’s easy to follow along with the comic and to visualize the story in your head, plugging in the missing scenes, and to cruise along with the panels. Plus it’s not easy feat to capture the humor of the film as a lot of the lines kind of fell flat in Alan Dean Foster’s novelization. Wendig manages to pull that humor back in.

The artwork is the biggest weakness of this issue. Luke Ross has a somewhat simple style that doesn’t dwell a lot on details and sometimes skirts around likenesses. Now if this comic had come out before the movie, they could have gotten away with that. However, with a post-film release, what fans really want to see is some impressive artwork depicting our favorite scenes from the film. Ross fails miserably at that. The scene of Rey speeding across the desert in front of the downed Star Destroyer is so lacking in detail as to be completely forgettable. The only scene Ross spends any time with is the very last page which reveals the Falcon. There he shows that he can do detail, but sadly he only pulled it out for that last shot. One thing I will hand to Ross is his layouts. He does a great job with framing the shots and arranging the panels to capture the flow and feel of the film.

Star Wars fans may want to think twice before committing to The Force Awakens adaptation. There’s nothing new in the issue for fans who saw the film, and the artwork isn’t anything to dwell upon. While Wendig does a good job with the dialog and in condensing the story, I’m not sure what the benefit of having a condensed version would be. If you’re thinking about it, I highly recommend flipping through it first. As is, I don’t think this adaptation has much to offer with this first issue. I give it a three out of five metal bikinis. It’s not a terrible comic, and it’s not a great comic, but kind of smack dab in the middle.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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