Star Wars: Han Solo #1 Review

Written by: Marjorie Lu

Art by: Mark Brooks

Publisher: Marvel

Marvel’s line of Star Wars books are, for my money, some of the strongest in their line right now. So far I’ve yet to read a truly bad one and at their best they can be utterly magnificent. Han Solo follows on the tradition of strong titles, though the debut issue falls more towards the lower end of the spectrum due to being bogged down too much in set-up.

This issue takes place a little after A New Hope, which offers some interesting character points for Han not seen so much in the movies. He’s still quite roguish and lovably impulsive, but you can begin to see the embers of good in him and a move towards responsibility.  This definitely carries the early portion of the issue for more, which unfortunately moves quite slowly.

The plot revolves around a rebel secret mission that to, cut a long story short and avoid any spoilers, involves Han entering a grand space race. While the space race portion is very cool and involves quite a lot of cool interactions that spotlight Han’s qualities, the front half of this issue is rather slow and feels unnecessarily padded out. There’s a lot of back and forth which adds very little to the comic except for some fun scenes between Han and Leia, and for a character that’s meant to feel fun and roguish, there’s a lot of dull set-up and going through official channels until we get to the space race.  The next issues are likely going to be much more fun and enjoyable, but the extended introductions was disappointing here.

When it comes to the art however, Mark Brooks doesn’t miss a beat. The opening bar scenes feel like exactly the place Han would hang out, with lots of cool creature designs and a seedy feel. The characters themselves look very accurate to their movie counterparts without veering into the uncanny valley effect that can often happen with these books. Much like the rest of the book, the art truly shines when it moves into space with a huge sense of scale to it. It generates a lot of excitement and, again, is likely to make future issues stand out. it’s a very high quality book in terms of art like the rest of the Star Wars line, ensuring even the slow scenes have a nice visual flair to them.

Overall, Han Solo #1 is a little disappointing in that it’s slower than I expected, but delivers a solid foundation to build a fun series on. While it’s hard to gauge the quality right now, given how well the books have done so far as well as how much potential is in here, Han Solo is a safe bet for another solid entry into the new expanded canon. Let’s just hope the next issue manages to be a bit more thrilling.