In Review: Star Wars: The Storms of Crait #1

Crait's past doesn't begin in The Last Jedi, but here and there are plenty of dangers to encounter.

The covers: The Regular cover features Leia holding some macrobinoculars and pointing directly at the reades. She’s wearing a white outfit that resembles Padmé’s from Attack of the Clones. Gold gloves and a matching cape complete her clothing. Behind her is Luke wearing a black outfit and a cape that matches his sister’s. His lightsaber is on and he’s looking to the right. The background is the planet Crait, with it’s white cliffs and a red trench. The characters look good and the background looks just as it did in The Last Jedi. This cover is by Marco Checchetto. The Variant cover is by Caspar Wijngaard has Luke walking forward on a white background, his lightsaber in his hand so he may ignite it quickly. Behind him, looking on, is either Han or Wedge; it’s hard to tell which character it is. Emerging from the top right and moving diagonally to the bottom left are several Resistance ski speeders creating crimson paths in their wake. This is decent cover, but I really have no clue who that’s supposed to be behind Luke. The Movie Variant cover features a shot of the ski speeders zipping toward their destiny in a scene from The Last Jedi. If one enjoyed the movie, one would enjoy this cover. Overall grade: Regular A, Variant C+, and Movie Variant B

The story: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker’s tale opens with a bang as the Millennium Falcon and the Rebel fleet are being pursued by three times as many TIE figters. Just as it seems they’ll evade the Empire’s finest more fighters arrive. Aboard the lead ship, Mon Mothma orders them to fall back to Baraan-Fa. Leia gives the order to the fleet and they escape just in time. Once there, Mon and Leia argue over where they should set up a base: the princess gives several possible locations, but each one is shot down by Mothma. Leia suggests Crait and the leader of the Rebels agrees it has possibilities. “Take someone in whom you see potential and lead a survey of Crait.” Luke, Han, Chewie, and Wedge accompany her to the surface where they’re met by Trusk Berinato. Even if one has seen the recent Star Wars film there are plenty of surprises to be had in this sequel. Chief among them is who arrives on the planet after the Rebels. The action starts on Page 18 and goes for quite a while. Seeing the screen characters finally clash with this group was great. Luke has got the best scenes with these characters and what he says is terrific. Luke is still pretty fresh after the events of A New Hope and he’s longing for adventure, and boy does he get it! It was neat to see the interplay between Han and Leia, with them flirting and the princess getting the best of the pilot. The ending is a little quick, but the action plays out completely and the final words in the last panel are outstanding. Overall grade: A-

The art: Mike Mayhew is both the artist and the colorist of this issue. He can always be depended on to deliver amazing visuals and he does so here as well. The first page is a full-paged splash and rivals any opening I’ve seen in any of Marvel’s Star Wars comics: it is a stunner! If that page doesn’t get you excited from the get go then there’s as much life in you as there is in a kryat dragon’s skeleton. The likenesses of the characters to the actors is great, with Han and Leia looking the best; especially when Han feels he’s not getting his way or someone isn’t listening to him. Praise should also be given to Mayhew for Luke, who’s got some fantastic emotions, with the bottom of Page 16 being fantastic. The villains that first appear on 18 look awesome. The coloring they’re given on this page instantly makes them the bad guys. When the storm occurs, and that’s no spoiler since it’s in the title of this book. Mayhew does it perfectly; there is quite the downpour, but every element of the characters and the setting can be clearly seen. Pages 24 – 26 are the highlights of the book for me: the characters’ stances are outstanding, the emotion form Luke tremendous, and whom he’s fighting against looks incredible. Seriously, I would have paid cover price just to own these three pages so I could look at them again and again. I also was pleased to see the bottom of 27 because that character hasn’t gotten enough time in the comics of late and he looks like an incredible bad ass in Mayhew’s illustrations. Everything about this art and the colors is fantastic, but when isn’t Mayhew superior? Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, scene settings, sounds, a specific lifeform’s sounds, Chewie’s roars, blaster fire, and a lightsaber’s ignition are created by VC’s Clayton Cowles. I’m still not keen on the SW books’ dialogue and scene setting fonts, but I am happy to see that blaster fire gets some overdue life as sounds, though it is inconsistent, as it’s missing on Page 28. Still, I’m happy to see some of the fighting receive sounds and was ecstatic to see a lightsaber brought to life as it ignited. Overall grade: B+ 

The final line: Crait’s past doesn’t begin in The Last Jedi, but here and there are plenty of dangers to encounter. The story is fun, capturing these characters’ personalities well, as well as teasing more from the planet than shown in the film. The artwork is flat out amazing and instantly makes this a must-own comic for Star Wars fans. 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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