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.
No matter what kind of week you’re having, you can always count on Wednesdays to put a spring in your step. The reason: new Star Wars comics, of course! And Comic Book Galaxy is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest from Marvel’s Star Wars universe. Last week brought the latest incarnation of The Force Awakens with issue #4, and since there are no new releases this week, we will take a closer look at the issue. So pull up a chair, grab issue #4 of The Force Awakens, and let’s dive in.
The Week That Was
Highlights from Star Wars: The Force Awakens #4
- This was a spectacular issue (more on that in Word Balloon), starting with Rey’s Force vision that enthralled audiences when The Force Awakens was released. As mentioned last week, the anticipation for Chuck Wendig and Luke Ross’ take on the legendary scene was high, and it did not disappoint.
- Hux: his dramatic speech, right before the destruction of Hosnian Prime, was stunning. After Starkiller Base launches the apocalyptic weapon, there is a brief panel that spotlights half of Hux’s face. His eyes are glowing with the reflective light of the weapon, and his smile is absolutely chilling. I have a newfound appreciation for his evil. He is not a nice man.
- The arrival of Black Squadron, punctuated by Poe Dameron’s flying prowess, is just as spectacular in the adaptation as it is on the big screen. It’s one page, but contains an overlay of seven individual panels in myriad angles, replicating the aerodynamics Poe showcases. He’s one helluva pilot, any way you slice it.
Top of the Stack: What’s Out This Week
No new issues this week, so move along. Move along…to Word Balloon!
Word Balloon: A spotlight on Rey’s vision
Rey’s vision in Maz’s castle: It’s one of the most talked about scenes in The Force Awakens, and for good reason. It’s full of mystery, connections to the past, and hypnotic imagery. It’s only three pages long, but Chuck Wendig and Luke Ross’ version of this sequence in Star Wars: The Force Awakens #4 is a tour de force of comic book storytelling, more than worthy of the original scene. Here are five great moments from the issue’s retelling of Rey’s vision.
1. The three captions on the first page really take you back to the classic comics of yesteryear.
“In Maz Kanata’s castle, Rey finds a box.”
“And, in that box, this…”
The cadence of the narrator is almost like a drumroll, and creates a nice bit of excitement and tension. You can almost hear it being read as a radio drama from the 1940s. Brilliant.
2. Rey reaching for Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber feels so epic. The familiar Jedi weapon looks almost like an antique. But there’s something about Luke Ross’ art that makes it look like an old friend and a mysterious McGuffin at the same time. It really adds a layer of intrigue to the legendary blade we think we know so well.
3. The fourth panel of the first page features a lighting effect that works to great affect. Rey has a spotlight on her, as she looks distressed. This spotlight serves to illustrate that the story is squarely focused on her and her inward journey to discover her identity. It’s a lovely metaphor, and Wending and Ross’ decision to show the burgeoning angst on her face demonstrates the magnitude of what is about to happen.
4. Kylo Ren is prominently featured on page two, appearing in three different panels. Ren is always a striking — and cool — figure to behold, but in the last panel, he’s absolutely chilling. His expressionless stare penetrates the reader, and frightens Rey. He’s a bad dude, and we experience this truth alongside Rey. It’s a nice bit of pathos.
5. Four thought bubbles:
“… these are your …”
Obi-Wan’s voice echoes through the chamber, and delivers a powerful indicator of what is to come for Rey. She falls through the floor, only to land back at Maz’s castle. Yet again, this transitional moment serves to highlight Rey’s emotional and physical journey, and it’s all wrapped up with a mysterious Force bow. It doesn’t get much better than this.
It’s a poignant, powerful scene that delivers on every level, and that’s just the first three pages of issue #4 of The Force Awakens! Be sure to check out the issue, and let us know what you noticed, as well as some of your favorite moments, in the comments section below.
See you at the comic shop next week!
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.