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Subtle.

Subtle.

Star Wars: Legacy #1

Written by Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman

Art by Gabriel Hardman

Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg

Letters by Michael Heisler

Review by Joey Braccino

Star Wars is just on everyone’s minds these days, huh? Between all of the news surrounding Disney’s acquisition of and future plans for the franchise, the original cast’s involvement in the upcoming Episode 7, and President Obama’s Force Meld flub, Star Wars is returning to the forefront of our geek-chic pop consciousness. This is most fortunate for Dark Horse, which has been working to revamp and revitalize its Star Wars stable of comics for the last few years. A few months ago (before all of the electrifying “Third Trilogy” news hit the rag sheets), Dark Horse announced a sequel to its wildly popular, long-running Star Wars: Legacy series (2006-2011). The original series featured the merry (mis)adventures of Cade Skywalker, descendant of our hero, Luke Skywalker. The first issue of the relaunched series dropped today, and on its glorious cover is emblazoned “SHE’S CARRYING ON HAN AND LEIA’S LEGACY—AND TAKING ON THE GALAXY… SOLO!”

With that not-so-subtle pun aside, Star Wars: Legacy #1 is an action-packed, complex comic that promises the same Romantic adventure that the Star Wars universe is known for. We open with spaceships, political intrigue, and an epic lightsaber duel. From the first sequence, writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman hit (and blend) all of those classic Star Wars genres: High Adventure, Space Opera, and, to some extent, Sci-Fi Horror/Thriller. After this sequence, we meet the Solo progeny promised on the cover and, as expected, she’s just as morally-ambiguous-though-still-heroic-and-compassionate as her namesake. And, in true Legacy fashion, Bechko and Hardman include a clever nod to the infamous Han Shot First dilemma.

Known for their work on several Planet of the Apes spin-off series from BOOM! Studios, Bechko and Hardman are perfectly suited to the Legacy relaunch. After all, this comic demands a certain respect for the source material (“Legacy”) as well as a distinctive brand of creative and engaging storytelling. Bechko and Hardman successfully toe the line between paying homage to the Star Wars mythos that will get readers to pick the book up and constructing new characters, new storylines, and new worlds that will keep those readers hooked.

Gabriel Hardman’s artwork is—to put it delicately—absolutely gorgeous. His pulp-inspired, moody aesthetic is reminiscent of Mike Deodato’s shadowy work on Thunderbolts and Patrick Zircher’s ‘70s-inspired scratchy noir on Captain America. In Hardman’s Star Wars universe, space is distressingly pitch-black, the aliens (and humans) flawed and frightening, and the conditions on the ground on Carresas (Ania Solo’s home planet) unpleasantly grungy. There is an energy to Hardman’s linework and paneling that makes for an engaging, visually fascinating read. Rachelle Rosenberg’s color palette serves the diverse landscapes (spacescapes?) well as Hardman takes us from atmo to back alley and back again. Gorgeous stuff.

Verdict

Check it! Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman put together an excellent debut issue for our heroine, Ania Solo. While she may be portraying a lot of her father’s traits in this issue—smuggling, shooting, and swearing—it’s only a matter of time before Ania’s story takes her to more regal, more operatic, and more Romantic adventures akin to her mother and uncle’s story. And Hardman works damn hard to make this book look so damn good. Damn.

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