Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by dp4m, Feb 6, 2003.
Synopsis:Want to know what Ben Kenobi did during the Clone Wars? Want to know where Luke's green-eyed redhead fetish comes from? Want to know who the last surviving Sith Lord is? Want to see Leia rewire a Death Star ionic cannon?
THIS IS THE SERIES FOR YOU!!!
In a 107 issue run, you have a lot of very good points, but you have a lot of very low points. It's hard to judge the entire run as a whole.
Well I actually didn't vote yet, because I only had a chance to read the first two re-printed TPBs, which include issues#1-38. But if I placed my vote based upon them, I would give the series 8. They proved to be very enjoyable, more so than I expected. But as a late comer to the 'Marvel Universe', it's really hard for me to take these stories very seriously, after reading the newer and more serious stuff from Bantam, Dark Horse and Del Rey.
I will vote when I read all the TPBs. If I can afford them, that is.
I've been reading them since 1984, and I bought several back issues. I like the artwork (I think it was Palmer...maybe I'm confusing the writer...but I do mean the artist) for issues right after ANH, the Han Solo/Magnificent Seven storyline. That was even a good story since we get Jaxxon and what her fac from the Black Hole Gang. The issues after that (On Waterworld) were awful. like the artist used a ruler to draw the characters. ick.
After issue 50, Palmer came back. The art was good. Then of course, the soldiers/officers of the Empire were a bunch of bumbling boobs. There was two issue arc about how Vader must die, with officers trying to kill Vader ('cause he kills officers for minor infractions), and the stories in general were clever. Then Duffy got on board, and the art changed (about issue 93) and was very good, but after issue 101, the art was too hurried looking. The last issue was a big surprise, but it was a good story....but Luke looked like a blond Rambo! Interresting look, to say the least! And after RotJ it seems that it was a big secret that Luke and Leia were siblings, and the Alliance kept their head quarters on Endor for more then 20 issues!
In general, the best issues, in my opinion, were between ESB and RotJ. After RotJ, the Alliance was still on Endor, and new enemies had to be concocted. Han and Leia were not married in the comics (and a character that was totally beefed up from a previous issue was presented as a potential love interrest for Leia after RotJ, so that was kind of silly).
Maybe latter I will tell you what my favorite issues are.
I read these when they were released originally- I even had a subscription! Unfortunately, they are not Star Wars. They are works INSPIRED BY Star Wars, but they step out of canon many times, they make stuff up way too often, and the ridiculousness of some of the characters overshadows any of the good stories.
Basically, it's Star Wars written as a superhero team book. Think Star Wars mixed with 80's era Justice League.
But all EU is INSPIRED by Star Wars. Are you allowed to pick and choose what you want in the cannon and what you don't? Those comic books have the same cannon credibility to me as the Thrawn Trilogy. Both are EU. Either both are cannon or neither are.
Well, this is a pretty long run of comics to place under one review but I'm going to try to break it down here. I've also included the 3 annuals as well as the RotJ mini series as they really are part of the whole Marvel run.
ANH -> before ESB (#1 to #38 and Annual #1):
The ANH adaption by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin was well done and the stories that followed were fun to read, but I was never a huge fan of the regular penciler of this part of the series, Carmine Infantino. However, overall the storyline by Archie Goodwin was a lot of fun to read.
ESB -> before RotJ (#39 to #80 and Annuals #2 to #3):
This is my favourite part of the series which is a little ironic since my favourite character (Han Solo) doesn't appear aside from a few flashback issues. The adaptaion of the ESB by Goodwin and Williamson is fantastic. The storyline which followed by David Micheline and later Jo Duffy is strong throughout despite the constraints on what they could do with the characters following the events of ESB. The illustrations by Walt Simonson (my personal favourite), Ron Frenz, and inker Tom Palmer was some of the best in comics at the time.
ROTJ -> cancellation of the series (#81 to #107 and RotJ #1 to #4):
The adaptation of RotJ by Goodwin and Williamson was well done but a little constrained as there was only four issues allotted as opposed to six issues for the previous two adaptations. The storyline following the movie by Jo Duffy never really seemed to get on track. It seemed very disjointed as they struggled to find a new conflict for our heroes after the demise of the Emperor and Darth Vader. The illustrations added to the disjointed feel of the series as they never could really settle on a regular penciller/inker for the series until near the end of the series where Cynthia Martin took over.
Overall series rating: (8/10)
I give the series an 8 as a whole. Yeah, there were some really goofy and cheesy stories, and some pretty lame characters and plots. But the good stuff was really good.
I agree about the issues between ESB and ROTJ being the best.
The stories involving the Tagge family were always good. But my personal favorite was the story arc involving Shira Brie, what happened to Luke because of her, and then way in the future, Lumiya.
The end of the run really seemed to run out of steam fast though. The whole thing with the Nagai and the Tofs... eh. Didn't really like the angular looks that the characters got in the last few issues. Or Luke's "Rambo" look either. Guess that foreshadowed the 1995 action figure...
i think the high points of the Marvel era are easily as good as most of the Bantam-era novels. the low points ... well, some of the low points are low points only because they're really wrong for SW - the Hiromi are really amusing, but totally wrong for SW. some of the low points, however, are really just bad.
however, i like the ESB - ROTJ era pretty much most of the way through, and a lot of aspects of the post-ROTJ era as well. i love the Nagai, Shira Brie/Lumiya, Fenn Shysa, and especially Bey - his fight with Han in #100 is just epic, though lord knows where the flashback scenes fit into continuity...
Doesn't Luke look like a professional wrestler in the ANH adaptation? I recall seeing a cover on eBay.....
This line of comics, like others have said, had its ups and downs. It really hits its stride in the post-ESB stories and is mostly good from there on out. Some great things about the Marvel Comics lines:
1) The character of Lando is featured a LOT and we get to see his cunning, humor, old enemies, and bravery much more than we did in ROTJ.
2) Great villains. The Nagai were a cool alien race invading from outside the galaxy, much better than the Yuuzhan Vong, believe me. These guys were deadly and had a cool look, to boot. Lumiya, the Dark Lady, a former pupil of Vader with some serious hate for our man Luke. Valance the Hunter, a cyborg who hates droids, a complex and interesting character. Den Siva, one of the Nagi commanders and a person who may be weary of war...
3) Wonderful supporting characters. Whether you are talking about Plif the Hoojib (a telepathic bunny rabbit-looking creature who helped Luke on diplomatic missions), the Rik Duel Gang (consisting of the bumbling and scheming Rik, the sniveling Chihdo, and the ultra-flirty Dani), Kiro (a water-breathing samurai-like character who aspired to be a Jedi), Bey (Han Solo's childhood friend and inspiration-also a conflicted half-Nagai!), Fenn Shysa (a heroic wearer of Mandalorian armor), Shira Brie (a pilot in Luke's squadron and love interest-with a surprise or two up her sleeve), or Senator Greyshade (former Republic senator, now administrator of a giant space station called the Wheel which is one big casino). Lobot, Admiral Ackbar, and Mon Mothma all get some time to shine, too.
4) Epic stories. Who can forget 'The Crimson Forever' story from #50? How about the Luke Skywalker: Pariah story from 60-64? Or the tragic "Iskalon Effect" in 74-77? Or the Tay Vanis story in #80? Or the Luke vs. Lumiya story in #95-97? Or the second Battle of Endor in #100? Or the moving "Tai" in #103 and the invasion of Zeltros in #104-106?
5) Fun stories. Pretty much any story starring Lando and Chewie was a hoot. "The Stenax Shuffle" in #70-72 was totally sweet, as was "Lahsbane!" in #73, and the Lahsbee-Ewok "Small Wars" in #90.
Overall, the series is good. Much of the stories before #50 are hit-and-miss, but there are exceptions. Check out my highlights above and you're in for some fun reading. These comics make Star Wars FUN. People seem to forget that Star Wars is supposed to be FUN and these comics deliver.
I have just completed a run of the series. It's a lot of fun to look back at the stories I read as a young child with a more seasoned eye. The stories can be very silly but being silly isn't a bad thing.
I give them 10/10
I read a few issues when I was a kid. I seem to remember a cover that had a female Vader on it.
I started reading the collected versions. I am up to volume three which starts off with the adaptation of ESB. So far, I love the series. Yes, there is some cheese, but there is a lot of fun to be had as well. Personally, I can't stand any of the modern comics. They are too stuffy and reek of fanboy wish fulfillment. These old comics are where it's at.
I'm just wondering if the whole series has continuity or do they forget certain elements as the films are released. Like for insance the yellow, humanoid Jabba or the many kisses between Luke and Leia or the characters who distinctly refer to Vader and Anakin as different people? In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter. Just a bit of fluff.
The best for me was the storyline that started it all, the adaption of "A New Hope" back in a time when Star Wars was just Star Wars. The reader had a chance to see the material that was left on the cutting room floor from the original release of the movie(even though they were in comic book form). This was a fun spin on the film that started it all. Alot better than Dark Horse's original adaption of the SE.
Favorite issues 80-89, Least Favorite 101,103-107
10 -- The best Star Wars out there not including the films. Yes, the series hit a low point after Jedi and excepting a few standout issues really ran out of steam but the issues set before Jedi.
The writers of this book understood that Star Wars is not a military saga. They understood that it isn't science fiction either. Most importantly they understood that Star Wars is about the people and not about the hardware.
Star Wars is a breathstaking space opera, a spectacle about heroes and villains as well as romance and adventure! It is an epic tale of good an evil and more specifically it is about a young man overcoming his darker nature to save the day.
The comics gave us that in spades! From the wonderful Aduba 7 arc that started off the original adventures to all those adventures on the Wheel and the Shira Brie ark, vintage Star Wars! Personally my favorite story was the Tarkin two parter. It was great seeing our friends and heroes infiltrating another space station that could destroy a world.
It is my favorite EU and always will be! Marvel Star Wars rules!
Judging the whole series is nearly impossible. It is so varied. Some parts were good. I liked Lumiya and the Post RotJ.
But most had me on the verge of tears.
Lines like "Grab a laser gun, Chewie."
Having Luke, Leia, Chewie and Lando on adventures between ESB and RotJ instead of chasing after Boba Fett. Not to mention the headache of fitting it around SotE.
The art. After artists like Duursema it almost hurts your eyes.
Continuity issues that have never been answered like Luke having a lightsaber when he wasn't supposed to and ones that have been poorly retconned like Janson dying on Hoth.
And what was often a complete lack of sense. Like a telepathic creature having a conversation with 3PO. If someone knows how telepathy works with circutry please tell me.
ANH-ESB: 2 out of 10. The cheesiest (not good with out noodles), ugliest, and worst of the bunch.
ESB-RotJ: 4 out of 10. A step up from the first ones but why were they on adventures when they should have been looking for Han?
Post RotJ: 6 out of 10. Without the issues of continuity or why are they doing that? of the earlier ones. But still a bit cheesey. The invading aliens were cool.
Overall a 4 out of 10.
You can't expect stuff that is 20 years old to be as good as the current Dark Horse comics art. And Jan did draw a Marvel comic.
[Prequel_Dreamer]: "The writers of this book understood that Star Wars is not a military saga. They understood that it isn't science fiction either. Most importantly they understood that Star Wars is about the people and not about the hardware.
Star Wars is a breathstaking space opera, a spectacle about heroes and villains as well as romance and adventure! It is an epic tale of good an evil and more specifically it is about a young man overcoming his darker nature to save the day."
Well said PD, I couldn't have said it better myself.
How can the Marvel Comics Star Wars series be criticized for not fitting into continuity? They came out wayyyy before Shadows of the Empire or any of the other Bantam books, or the Dark Horse comics.
If anything, Bantam and Dark Horse should be criticized for not fitting their stories into the MARVEL COMICS SERIES continuity.
Yes, it was never really explained where Luke got his post-ESB, pre-ROTJ blue lightsaber, but an easy explanation could be he found it or it was given to him, and then in ROTJ he became his "own man" and built the green saber.
And Lando and company did a lot or searching for Han Solo. But there was also a war going on, too, and they had to fight in it.
10/10 this comic series rocked. the crimson forever dream sequence, and the comic itself, baron tagges lightsabre duel with luke was sweet, also with that flying winged chick in the annual, the ben kenobi clone wars thing was alright. any chance yoda or anakin's ghost show up in any comics after RotJ?
I love how issues 10-11 had Han and Chewie on the cover, and on both covers, Han says "KEEP FIRING, CHEWIE!"
It's kind of funny imagining Chewie firing his blaster nonstop for 2 issues. Damn thing must be very hot.
I would agree with the general consensus of opinion that the best period for this series was between Empire and Jedi. Although I think it was still pretty strong for a while after Jedi too...I'm particularly fond of the 'Jawas Of Doom' story that begins the morning after the big Ewok celebration at the end of ROTJ. This story did a real decent job of showing us how hard it was for Han to deal with being back among the living after his Carbon Freezing incident. Having lost a big chunk of his life in suspended animation. Plus, you also get to see that Boba Fett survived falling into the Sarlacc...an idea that Dark Horse probably copied.
I think that this comic series is too often dismissed as worthless by SW fans. When it was good, this series was actually a lot of fun and just as good, if not better than the Dark Horse comics...and I'm a big fan of those too.
I just wish they had given us a few more appearances of Jaxxon - the 6 foot, bright green, meat-eating space rabbit! He was so cheesy, he was cool!!