Star Wars Adventures, Volume 1: Heroes of the Galaxy cover image
“Better the Devil You Know” Parts l and 2; Tales from Wild Space - “Stop, Thief!” and “The Flat Mountain of Yavin”
6” x 9” trim size
Star Wars Adventures is a new all-ages Star Wars comic book from IDW Publishing – yes, from IDW and not from current Star Wars comic book publisher, Marvel Comics. Announced at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida this past April, the series is geared toward readers ages 7 to 10 and features one and two part stories that are not steeped in Star Wars continuity. Star Wars Adventures will feature a rotating casts of characters, and the stories will range from settings that take place before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace all the way up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) and beyond.
Now, comes the first book collection of Star Wars Adventures. It is entitled Star Wars Adventures, Volume 1: Heroes of the Galaxy. It collects Star Wars Adventures #1 and #2 and the Star Wars Adventures Ashcan, which was given out at San Diego Comic-Con International 2017 ahead of the release of Star Wars Adventures #1.
The main story of Star Wars Adventures #1-2 is a two-part tale, entitled “Better the Devil You Know,” written by Cavan Scott; drawn and colored by Derek Charm; and lettered by Tom B. Long. “Better the Devil You Know” opens on the planet of Jakku and focuses on Rey, the hero of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She is a scavenger of Imperial war ships that are now wrecks on the desert planet. Rey discovers that her “junkboss,” Unkar Plutt, has been taken prisoner, and the reason is something she found. Rey realizes that dealing with Plutt, terrible as he is and can be, is better than dealing with the aliens determined to kill him.
Each issue of Star Wars Adventures has a back-up feature, “Tales from Wildspace.” This anthology-like features various Star Wars characters from different eras of the Star Wars universe and is narrated by an explorer named Emil Graf. The two “Wildspace stories here are “Stop, Thief!” (Star Wars Adventures #1) and “The Flat Mountain of Yavin” (#2).
THE LOWDOWN: I like Star Wars Adventures. I know that it is geared towards elementary school age readers, but I, who was in elementary school a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, love it. I like Derek Charm's art, which is a blend of animation-styled art and the art found in Archie Comics. Cavan Scott's storytelling in “Better the Devil You Know” is true to the spirit of Star Wars – emphasizing adventure, imagination, and, of course, wisdom and justice.
The story from the Star Wars Adventures Ashcan (written by Landry B. Walker and drawn by Charm) is narrated by C-3PO and R2-D2 and presents a rather interesting overview of Star Wars history. That overview alone, especially the Luke Skywalker parts, is worth the cost of this book.
“Tales from Wild Space” does not “Wow!” me as much as the lead feature, but it is a good back-up. Besides, I like the surprising mix of Star Wars characters that “Wildspace” offers.
I think Star Wars Adventures is closer to traditional, classic comic books – with its striking visuals and clear, effective, adventure storytelling – than many comic books available in comic book shops today. This is a comic book that reminds us of why we first came to love comic books, and I think Star Wars Adventures Volume 1: Heroes of the Galaxy is a great way to introduce young readers to comic books.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Star Wars comic books will want to try Star Wars Adventures Volume 1: Heroes of the Galaxy.
[This volume also includes a section of character designs by Derek Charm.]