Comic Book Galaxy explores Marvel‘s Star Wars comic book releases and provides a discussion point on the culture and climate of the Star Wars comic book universe.
Welcome back to Comic Book Galaxy, where StarWars.com looks at the newest from the world of Star Wars comics. This week features Star Wars Annual #2, and we look back on Star Wars #25, as well as the end of the Han Solo miniseries with issue #5. And since we’re still in Thanksgiving season, let’s look back on what we are thankful for in Han Solo.
The Week That Was
Star Wars #25
- With the resolution of “The Last Flight of the Harbinger” comes the end of one of the more memorable arcs in Jason Aaron’s Star Wars. Han and Leia come closer and closer to their potential doom aboard the Harbinger — TIE fighters and laser fire are everywhere, but it can be said the two are more concerned with what’s happening aboard the Imperial vessel. Yes, they don’t want to get blown up, but they also run the risk of ending the denial of their true feelings. Something tells me these two crazy kids like each other.
- Luke Skywalker and Sergeant Kreel end their lightsaber duel, and while it’s a safe bet Luke will emerge victorious, just how that happens reverberates in more ways than one.
- R2-D2 truly shines in issue #25. Kreel’s squad is trying to take down the Harbinger, but what they don’t realize is that everyone’s favorite blue astromech is at the controls, and will not be outmatched! Bonus (but not so much for Threepio): C-3PO has a memorable scene, too, but it’s one he would rather forget. #kidnapped
Han Solo #5
- It’s the end of the Dragon Void race, and the conclusion of this incredible series. Han Solo has a chance to make history by winning the competition, but elects to take a different path. Just why he does serves as a nice complement to his arc in the saga. It’s a lovely metaphor for our smuggler. Take the less predictable route and save the galaxy. Nobody does it like Han.
- Who’s the traitor? We won’t say here, but it’s a surprise, and the tragic nature of the circumstances shows that yet again that the Empire has no scruples when it comes to deceit.
- Han returns to Leia, reflecting on his change of heart at the end of the race, as well as why he’s continually drawn towards the Rebellion. After all, he has a lot of “important jobs” to attend to. You can probably thank your worshipfulness for that (even though she doesn’t particularly love the implication or the moniker).
Top of the Stack: What’s Out This Week
Star Wars Annual #2
Prepare yourself for an outstanding tale of bravery, morality, and integrity in the pages of Star Wars Annual #2. Princess Leia is wounded. Badly. She’s also unconscious and in the hands of Pash Davane. Known as “Bash” to the people of Skorii-Lei, Pash is not sure that she wants to take a side in the Galactic War. Fate has other plans, of course, and she ends up sharing an adventure with Princess Leia. Bonus: she bashes stormtroopers like nobody’s business; Zeb Orrelios would be proud.
Word Balloon: Things to be thankful for in Han Solo
We have much to be thankful for in the world of Star Wars comics, especially Han Solo. Marjorie Liu and Mark Brooks captured the essence of Han Solo, and brought comic book bibliophiles action, intrigue, a murder mystery, and just the right amount of romantic tension to remind us that Han and Leia’s story is far from over. Here are a few iconic moments from this outstanding series.
1. The Punch
In the first issue of Han Solo, in order to convince General Craken and the Rebel fleet that he is, in fact, going rogue, Princess Leia and Han “stage” an argument which results in Han getting punched in the face by the Alderaanian princess. He leans in to kiss her, and WHAM, right in the kisser, as it were. The real power in this (besides her right hook) is the weight each character’s respective face reveals. Han looks genuinely hurt and disappointed, and Leia appears sad and full of regret. It’s a moment that speaks to their complicated relationship perfectly.
If you forgot that Han is a great pilot, then this series served as a reminder of his skill and wit in a cockpit. Of particular note is the dramatic two-page spread in Han Solo #3. Han, Chewie, and the rest of the crew endure a 12-hour portion of the race in which they cannot slow down, even for a moment. It takes every bit of concentration the two heroic pilots can muster. The tension is palpable, and the art is every bit as stunning as the feat itself.
3. Inspector Han Solo
The principal reason Han is supposed to be in the race is to rescue the Rebel informant before he or she is killed in the line of duty. There are a number of candidates, and each one seems as duplicitous as the next. As a result, Han has to channel his inner Sherlock in order to fulfill the mission, and keep himself alive. Dorae holds Han at gunpoint in issue #4, and in issue #5, the killer attacks him. How he gets the killer to reveal him/herself (no spoilers) is equal parts clever and humorous. Yet another reminder of what makes Han Solo so special.
There are so many other examples in Han Solo that help to show us, yet again, what a fantastic character Han Solo is, and how much he adds to the tapestry of Star Wars. What examples would you add? What stands out for you? Let us know in the comments section below.
Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and runs Coffee With Kenobi (with co-host Cory Clubb), a Star Wars podcast that analyzes the saga through critical thinking, analysis, interviews, and discussion. He is also the Rebel teacher in the Target Rogue One commercial, and is an avid comic book consumer and longtime reader of the medium.