In Review: Star Wars #73

This is the perfect Star Wars comic.

The covers: Three issues to find from a Galaxy far, far away…The Regular cover is by interior artist and colorist Phil Noto. Luke Skywalker looks worried as he faces the reader. Why? Warba Calip is holding his lit lightsaber before him, with her face reflected in its shiny hilt. Great cover with Luke looking fantastic and the colors brilliant, with blues dominating in the saber’s blade, Luke’s eyes, and his shirt. The¬†Action Figure Variant cover by John Tyler Christopher features the scene stealing Rancor Keeper from Return of the Jedi. I remember when this massive action figure came out from Kenner and this big guy looks the same. The image accompanying the figure is brilliant as the man begins to tear up at the passing of his monster. Funny and cool! The¬†Greatest Moments Variant cover by Rod Reis is also a great frontpiece showing my favorite scene from The Force Awakens: Rey, Finn, and BB-8 race across the desert pursued by a TIE Fighter that’s blasting at them. Finn is pointing to the left. Gee, I wonder what he’s gesturing at? Overall grades: Regular A+, Action Figure Variant A+, and Greatest Moments Variant A

The story: What a brilliant juggling job by writer Greg Pak on the three stories occurring in this issue and then brilliantly bringing them together, while keeping the tension high. The first nine pages deal with captured Han Solo being brought before crime lord Boss Carpo. Han doesn’t tell him the reason why he’s on Lanz Carpo, but gives him several fake ones. Dar Champion is continuing to try to make woo with Leia, but she’s not having any of it, worrying about leaving Han behind. There’s a conversation on Page 5 that surprised me and then it took a bigger turn on 6 and 7 with Boss Carpo making a killer deal with the threesome. Chewbacca is being shot at by stormtroopers while Threepio continues to be the translator for Vader as he tries to control the rocky inhabitants of K43. This story twists on 12, leading to a hilarious action in the first panel on 13. Luke gets contacted by the protocol droid and the issue’s antagonist makes an important decision on 14. On Sergia Luke is trying to retrieve his stolen lightsaber from Warba, but responsibility interferes. I loved Luke showing how smart he was during battle and how he was in control of the situation, even though he’s making it up as he goes, which is a line from another Lucasfilm character. The last page is a great way to pause the story, because all I can hear is triumphant John Williams’s music. This was another brilliant chapter in this story. Overall grade: A+

The art and colors: Phil Noto continues to make this a visual feast. The first page has Han getting the shocking end of the stick, trying to talk himself out of another problematic situation. I was surprised to see Boss Carpo look as he does. However, seeing one of this species in this position is fantastic. His face is unreadable, making his every gesture, such as the ones he makes with his sharp nailed gloves, important. I love how Leia visually shows she has Dar’s number in the second panel on Page 3, with Dar still trying to put on his best face for her to get a chance in rekindling their past relationship. The anger and shock in the second panel on 5 is great! I love the blues in the holograms, looking as if they were pulled from a film. I also like how Carpo is wearing a red top that matches the red armor of his troopers. Very smart. The smile on Han’s face when he contacts Chewie is perfect. Chewbacca is fantastic every time he appears. Also crushing every appearance is Darth Vader who is unquestionably powerful when he holds a fist up to manipulate someone or something. The first panel on 13 is hilarious and the last panel on the page makes me smile. The head turn in the second panel on 15 is a heart stopper. The push in the fifth panel is killer. Luke looks phenomenal in action and when trying to reason with Warba. The final three panels on 19 are an awesome action sequence. The final panel that ends the issue is brilliant. I have to thank the Maker for Phil Noto illustrating this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: This issue’s text by VC’s Clayton Cowles features scene settings, sounds, dialogue, yells, transmissions and Threepio’s dialogue (the same font), Wookiee speech, K43’s inhabitants’ speech, and an Artoo bleep. The scene settings are a titch difficult to make out due to the coloring. The sounds are exceptional, with the best ones occurring on K43 and Sergia. The dialogue still looks too frail to have any strength, especially on Vader. The transmissions and Threepio’s speech are in italics to give them a familiar mechanical sound. Chewie’s Wookiee speech is okay, but is still composed of warbly letters. I like the blocky sounds of the creatures of K43. Artoo’s sole interjection is big and bold. Overall grade: B+

The final line: Han is prisoner, Vader attacks Threepio, and Luke races to retrieve this lightsaber in this sensational issue. The story moves at the perfect pace, making every joke hilarious and action epic. The visuals are spectacular, with Vader and Luke incredible. This is the perfect Star Wars comic. Get it before it gets rebooted! Recommended. Overall grade: A+

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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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