In Review: Star Wars #35

An average outing for fans who just need a Star Wars fix.

The covers: Four different covers to track down that require no smuggling to obtain. The Regular cover is by Mike Mayhew and features a huge Hutt, one that appears to be bigger than Jabba, being led by a happy Han Solo and his friend Chewbacca, who’s roaring. The setting looks to be outside the Millennium Falcon, but the Hutt is so big it’s hard to see. The monstrous slug looks great, eyeing its captors with disdain. Han is also looking good, but some of the Wookiee is lost in its dark hair. The Star Wars 40th Anniversary cover Variant is by Amy Reeder and it is one to get. Set duruing the famous prison break scene from Episode IV, Leia is front and center with a blaster and she’s shooting at stormtroopers, while the boys watch her in awe. The expression on her face is outstanding, the layout perfect, and the colors top notch. Again, this is one to seek out. The Action Figure Variant cover features the smallest inhabitant of Cloud City — an Ugnaught. On a classic faux Kenner Action Figure card, the tiny toy is sharp looking, accompanied by a fantastic “photo” of the creature by John Tyler Christopher. I can’t recommend his covers highly enough. The final cover is a Mile High Comics Variant by Phil Noto. Han is in classic pose, looking at the reader, one hand on his weapon, the other on his belt. Chewie has his bowcaster and is letting loose with a low wail. The Falcon flies from the bottom right corner to the upper left behind them. Noto is a sensational artist and this looks great. Overall grades: Regular B, Star Wars 40th Anniversary Variant A+, Action Figure Variant A+, and Mile High Comics Variant A 

The story: The Rebellion has come into the possession of Grakkus the Hutt after liberating an Imperial prison transport. Mon Mothma tells Han, whose skills have him “uniquely suited” to the task of transporting the slug, “It’s said he has a hidden safe house somewhere in the Outer Rim, with enough weaponry and supplies to support an entire army.” Han is to spirit Grakkus to a “new holding facility in the catacombs of Akiva…past the Imperials who are scouring the galaxy for him.” This premise is quickly established in three pages and Jason Aaron has Han and Chewie taking the Hutt to his destination with the expected obstacles: 1, the Hutt verbally sparring with the heroes and 2, some ship-to-ship battle with TIE fighters. This was okay, but there’s nothing really memorable about this story. It does everything one would expect, if one is familiar with these protagonists, and the ending has no surprises. Overall grade: C

The art: The visuals by Salvador Larroca is photorealistic when it comes to Han, Chewie, and Mon Mothma, who resembles actress Genevieve O’Reilly flawlessly. In fact, if one has viewed the films with these characters enough, it’s easy to note where the reference for the illustrations were drawn; for example, I’m willing to bet that Chewbacca on the third panel on Page 7 is from Episode IV when he gives a soft growl after Threepio advises Artoo to let the Wookiee win. This is great, unless Grakkus is in the same panel as these characters: he does not look as though he belongs in the same universe. The drawings of the hutt look good, but when placed next to three characters, he stands out due to the lines and dots used to texture his skin. This is painfully evident at the bottom of Page 8: the characters do not mesh well at all. Where Grakkus is placed is very questionable: the character is so big that his upper torso blocks the entrance to the cockpit of the Falcon, requiring Han and Chewie to squeeze pass their captive to get in and out of the space. The proximity allows for easier opportunities for the characters interact, but makes no sense whatsoever as the ship has plenty of space to hold the creature. The interiors of the Falcon are fantastic, and the action sequences exciting, though, again, when they involve Grakkus they stand out negatively. This was a surprisingly mixed bag of visuals from Larroca. Overall grade: C

The colors: The work by Edgar Delgado really makes the artwork pop. The first page is incredible for the tone work done on the characters’ skin and the green maps behind them. Larroca’s art uses a lot of shadows and blacks to create tone and Delgado nicely highlights aspects of the art when dealing with darks, which can be found often with the Hutt’s eyes. These sinister slits of orange and yellow direct the reader’s focus always to the monstrous creature within arm’s length of the heroes. A different color was needed on Page 16 for either the blast or the dialogue, as both are white and blend into each other, losing the dialogue in the visual. However, this is the only misstep by Delgado. Overall grade: B

The letters: Narration and dialogue (the same font), Chewie’s dialogue, and a familiar droid’s outburst is VC’s Clayton Cowles’s contributions to this issue. A different font would have been preferable to a different shaped balloon with different colors for the narration and dialogue. None of Chewbacca’s roars and growls fit within his dialogue balloons, which was odd. It seemed it was done because there wasn’t enough space to allow for a sufficiently sized balloon for his speech. There are no sounds in this book, as is the standard in Star Wars comics, making the laser blasts and energy explosions sad. I’ve seen Cowles’s work on other books and he’s more than capable of creating strong sounds. If only he was unfettered to do so. Overall grade: C-

The final line: An average outing for fans who just need a Star Wars fix. The story is predictable once the premise is established and the art takes a hit whenever the antagonist is shown. There have been much better issues in this series. Overall grade: C

To order a digital copy go to

To see three of 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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