In Review: Star Wars Adventures #1

Perfect reading for your little troopers or Padawans.

The covers: Fifteen different covers for this premiere issue geared to the small fry. I can’t express my thanks enough to IDW for printing all the variants on the inside back cover of this book. The A cover is by Derek Charm and features Rey front and center, with her helmet on and staff held before her. Behind her are silhouettes of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker as they cross sabers in The Empire Strikes Back. Surrounding this pair on either side are busts of Obi-Wan, Leia, Little Anakin, Yoda, Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Han, BB-8, Threepio, and Artoo. A good showcase of all the characters. The B is by Elsa Charretier with colors by Tamra Bonvillain. This is the cover I purchased and chose to accompany this review. Rey is running happily under a blue Jakku sky. The wreckage that she would later fly though in The Force Awakens is behind her. She looks great. In the bottom right corner is an image of Obi-Wan Kenobi highlighting Tales From Wild Space. I love Rey and Iove this cover. The Retailer Incentive-A cover is by Eric Jones and it features, going from top to bottom, the Falcon, Rey, some TIE fighters, Vader, Kylo Ren, Maul, Luke, Finn, Han, Leia, Ben, Yoda, R2, 3PO, and a pair of X-wing fighters. There’s a white border around this image that makes it look very snazzy. The Retailer Incentive-B cover is by Jon Sommariva and features Rey scavenging a large ship, possible the Star Destroyer, for something that could earn her a few credits. She looks over her shoulder at the possibility of unwelcome visitors. Nicely done. The Retailer Incentive-C cover is by Chris Samnee with colors by Matt Wilson. This is a little too loose for my liking. It features Vader, spirit Yoda, Maul, Obi-Wan, Finn, Han, Chewie, Leia, Luke, Ren, BB-8, Rey, and silhouettes of R2 and 3PO on a desert surface. The Death Star and fighters, including the Falcon, are in the sky. The IDW Convention cover is the same as the B cover, but the background has changed: it’s white with images of Obi-Wan and Emil from within this issue. Cool change. The Local Comic Book Shop Day cover is the same as the RI-C, but the background has gone white, the droids taken out, and scenes from within in this issue are done in gray lines. Also a cool change. The Retailer Appreciation cover is the same as the RI-A cover, but the black background has been changed to white and the image has been pulled closer to the reader. Nice. The Fried Pie Comics Variant is by Samnee and Wilson featuring a distant shot of Rey has she lowers herself into that Star Destroyer. This time the focus is put on the surroundings rather than the character, but it’s still too sketchy for me. The Jetpack Comics Variant is by the same art team, with Rey outside the Star Destroyer, looking at it, with her back to the reader. Again, just too sketchy. The Heroes & Fantasies Variant is by Tim Lim. Rey is enjoying a meal outside her home. She’s got on her X-wing helmet, her plant is next to her, and her doll is beside her. This is youngest looking and most glamorous version of Rey of all the covers. The Hall of Comics Variant is by Chris Uminga, showing a Li’l Rey having fun sledding on a piece of metal down a sand dune, away from the carcass of the Star Destroyer. Cute. The Double Midnight cover is by Craig Rousseau and looks to be sold only at the Granite State Comicon. This features Rey again sledding, but she looks much older and she’s standing upright. She’s got a bundle slung over her shoulder as she makes her way. This I like! The Comics Dungeon Variant by Mike Maihack is also a winner, this time with Rey outside her fallen Walker home, looking wistfully skyward. I would love to have a copy of this. The final cover (WHEW!) is the Fan Expo Convention Exclusive by Tim Levins and features Obi-Wan, Vader, Yoda, the Emperor, Leia, Luke, Finn, Rey, Ren, Han, Chewie, Maul, and the Falcon being chased by some TIEs. At the top looms the Death Star. Very nice. Overall grades: A A-, B A, RI-A A-, RI-B A, RI-C B-, IDW Convention A, Local Comic Book Shop C, Retailer Appreciation C, Fired Pie Comics C, Jetpack Comics C, Heroes & Fantasies B-, Hall of Comics A-, Double Midnight A, Comics Dungeon A, and Fan Expo Convention Exclusive A-

The stories: The first part to “Better the Devil You Know” is a fifteen page tale written by Cavan Scott. It begins with Rey within a broken ship on Jakku, battling a pair of baddies. She thinks of it as just another day. The story then flashes back to earlier with Rey speeding toward the derelict, filling the reader into her backstory and her relationship with junkboss Unkar Plutt. Soon the story catches up to the present, the fight occurs, and Rey is back to Niima Outpost where something has happened to Unkar. New antagonist Zool Zendiat has the boss and Rey decides she should rescue him. This was a fun tale with several familiar and new characters populating it. The cliffhanger is good just to see that individual squirm. This issue’s installment of Tales From Wild Space “Stop, Thief!” is also by Scott and has Emil recounting a tale of Obi-Wan Kenobi falling victim to a thief while dining at Dexter Jettster’s. There’s a good surprise at the end of this and Emil and his crew are interesting enough to warrant future visits. Plenty of action and adventure in this premiere issue that won’t scar little ones while they read. Overall grade: A

The art: Derek Charm is the artist of the first tale and he’s got a terrific design for every character. He’s captured the look of Daisy Ridley while making her cartoonish. However, she’s still a tough and determined woman. There’s some big explosions that look great and the aliens, of which there are many, look fantastic. Most of these creatures are encountered at Niima Outpost. The final page made me smile, as I’m sure it will children, with that character under duress. The Wild Space tale is pencilled by Jon Sommariva and inked by Sean Parsons. The artwork for this tale has a fine line and more details than Charm’s, but is just a different look and is also incredibly enjoyable to look at. Noni looks great in this tale, and Obi-Wan has the warmest smiles. Tri Tellon is a terrific looking character, full of joy as she scampers away. Dexter also looks exceptional. I loved both artists’ takes on these characters and would welcome their returning to future issues. Overall grade: A

The colors: There’s no letterer listed for the first tale, so I’m assuming it’s Charm. The colors on this are good, with Jakku definitely being a warm, bright environment. The interiors of the ship are nice and dark, but not so much so that the art is overwhelmed by it. The greens on Zool make him an icky person from the get-go. The off-violets used to create night are an excellent way to show the reader it’s night, but not make things too dark. The second tale is colored by Charlie Kirchoff and has some brighter coloring in it, due to the environment, and there’s some excellent shading on the characters, such as brooding Obi-Wan who’s not having things go his way. The colors on this book are excellent. Overall grade: A 

The letters: Tom B. Long is the letterer on both stories, with him creating story titles, credits, narration and dialogue (the same font), scene settings, sounds, screams, and yells. I was particularly impressed with the scene settings, done in a bold, zippy font that screams excitement. The sounds are big and powerful, making me nostalgic, as modern day comics just can’t seem to go this big for their noises. A strong job by Long. Overall grade: A

The pin-up: After the first tale, the B cover is inserted as a pin-up and it looks great. After the second tale the RI-B cover is inserted as a pin-up. This, too, looks great, and I’m glad that the editors chose to include them in this way. They’re both superior looking and if one can’t track down the variant covers, this is a great way to have them. Overall grades: A

The final line: Perfect reading for your little troopers or Padawans. The stories are quick, full of action, and look terrific. They’re also sure to please veteran fans to feed their hunger for more tales set in a galaxy far, far away. IDW, you’re keeping the Force alive. Overall grade: A

To purchase a print copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/star-wars-adventures-1/

To purchase a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-Adventures-1/digital-comic/511905?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see all the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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