Friday, 1 January 2016

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #1 Review (Charles Soule, Marco Checchetto)


Thanks to a massive shipping cock-up, you can buy Marvel’s comics intended for next Weds 6 January, today on New Year’s Day! And if your local comics shop isn’t one of those who got sent their Marvel comics a week early, they’re available on Comixology and Amazon (same company, different names) right now! 

Obi-Wan & Anakin is both creators’ second Marvel Star Wars limited series after Charles Soule wrote Lando and Marco Checchetto drew Shattered Empire. This is also the first new Marvel Star Wars comic to be set within the Prequels with this story taking place between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. That detail will determine how you view this comic: if you liked the Prequels, you’ll enjoy this comic, and if not then this one’s not for you - I’m definitely in the latter! 

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker respond to a distress call on a remote planet before their ship is damaged by debris and they crash land on the surface. But the distress signal oddly used archaic Jedi phrasing and the planet is supposedly dead - or so they thought… 

Remember all those stupid lines from the Prequels - “We’re keepers of the peace, not soldiers”, “We can’t fight a war for you”, etc. (even though fighting is all the Jedi seem to do)? Soule repeats that noise here. We also hear more drivel about the Senate and see Coruscant and training at the Jedi Temple, Anakin behaving like a dick to his fellow students (because he’s gonna be Vader and we gotta foreshadow the hell out of that!), and even a Darth Maul variant briefly appears! Yuck. 

While Obi-Wan continues to push the lightsaber onto Anakin as incredibly important (even though they’re “peacekeepers”!), he does do some good without resorting to using them once some new characters are introduced, which I appreciated. It’s a small gesture but that’s what the Jedi are about: help, not warfare. 

Checchetto’s art is absolutely beautiful. The ship/space stuff looks the best, as do the splash pages with some weird zeppelins, but he’s great with characters too. He draws Anakin as a kid in his early teens rather than the young man he is in Attack of the Clones, and, as all the comics have done, he uses the likenesses of the actors. 

If the other Star Wars comics have been for fans of the original Trilogy, this one is for fans of the Prequels - I know, but there are actually more of them than you think! This first issue isn’t the worst written comic but the material is just anathema to me as someone who utterly detests the Prequels for its many failings, even if the artwork is really excellent. I thought maybe Soule would somehow improve/make sense of the nonsense but instead he embraces it wholeheartedly - bleurgh! 

And that’s the rub: if you want to see an early Obi-Wan and Anakin adventure then this is for you, but if you’re not into the Prequels on any level, steer well clear of this one!

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #1

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