In Review: Star Wars: Age of Resistance-Rey #1

Hidden moments from Episode VII are accompanied by outstanding visuals.

The covers: A trio of frontpieces to find for this book before the First Order acquires them. The Regular cover is by the sensational Phil Noto. Rey stands proudly holding her lightsaber with both hands upright to her right. Her clothes are the ones she wears in The Last Jedi. She looks determined to do what needs to be done. Behind her is a shape that holds an image of the Millennium Falcon on the left and a bust shot of General Leia on the right. Rey is outlined in orange and the pair of images behind her in blue. All is atop a black background and looks absolutely awesome. The Puzzle Piece Variant by Mike McKone & Guru-eFX has Rey wielding her staff behind her on her right. Red is her background color with it being cut up by sections of blue colored, star filled space. Several X-wings are racing from the middle left to the lower left and a few Resistance bombers can be seen in the top middle making their way to go to the middle right. This is terrific. The Variant cover by Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove looks familiar. It’s dated 10-16 and I’m thinking it’s been used before on another book. This has Rey on Jakku sitting on her speeder. The reader is looking at the rear of this vehicle as it hovers over a sand dune with the title character sitting sidesaddle on it. Great illustration and colors, but I’m really feeling a sense of déjà vu with this. Overall grades: Regular A+, Puzzle Piece Variant A, and Variant A 

The story: This issue presents a story that occurred after Rey left D’Qar, yet before arriving on Ahch-To to meet Luke. Tom Taylor opens with a one page summary of Rey’s life on Jakku before joining the Resistance. The second page moves to D’Qar and Leia and Chewie hugging. She pushes him away saying, “Come on. I can’t cry on your shoulders anymore. I’m getting your fur all wet, and no one wants the smell of wet Wookiee hair in here.” She tells him to prep the Falcon for his impending flight. Rey arrives because Leia wanted to talk to her before she left to look for Luke. She wants the young woman to tell her what happened between Han and her son Ben. The dialogue that follow on Page 5 is fantastic, with Leia summing up how she survives. There is a deliriously scream worthy line from Leia to Poe on Page 7. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT ABOUT?!?! Anyhow, Rey and Chewie have to pause in their flight to Ahch-To and go to a nearby pick-a-part overseen by the creature named Ara-Nea. Since searching for the parts they need are what Rey did on Jakku, she goes out alone. Something stops her in her task, but she escapes using an iconic vehicle. How she’s able to defeat her foe on 18 is wonderful. She truly solved her problem like a Jedi. This was a fun tale. It shows Rey to be using her abilities on Jakku and her newfound Force abilities well. It does take away some of Rey’s innocence by buffing her up before she met Luke, but it does justify her abilities to wield the Force and be a future Jedi. Overall grade: B

The art: I really like the art by Ramon Rosanas, who also does a sensational job on the Rose Tico comic book. The first page shows Rey as a child being held back by Unkar Plutt, a scene that’s been mentioned online a lot lately. When the book hits the present, the hug between Leia and Chewie is golden. I love Leia’s gesticulations with the Wookiee; they seem so like Carrie Fisher’s. Page 4 is a terrific recap of an important scene from Episode VII. Framing the action between the two women’s heads is brilliant. The exterior of the Falcon on 6 is stunning — Rosanas obviously knows how to draw excellent ships. When the ship takes off it looks fantastic. The four pages that follow have some great looking panels as the heroes try to overcome trouble with the ship. What happens to Chewie is great and creates some solid laughs for fans of all ages. Ara-Nea is a new type of alien and it looks awesome. The smaller creatures that scurry about remind me of Jawas in their design, but the end of the tale has them creating a different emotion in me. The first four panels on 13 have Rey acting in her comfort zone and she shows it. The surprise arrival at the bottom of the page has her activating her lightsaber and she looks so cool! The threat that she encounters is a great design, with the creature’s mouth looking especially wicked. The ship that she employs to flee had me cheering. I know it’s most likely not that ship, but it certainly got me fired up. Plus, it has me hoping that one day Rosanas will illustrate a tale featuring that iconic character. I absolute love the contrast between the first two panels on Page 18, showing how Rey had two choices to solve her problem and she took the high road. Even without the text, a reader could understand what she’s doing. I do like the last page of this book, but I really wanted to see him. After reading this book and the Rose Tico one-shot, I’ve come to the conclusion that Rosanas needs to get a lot more on Star Wars books. Overall grade: A

The colors: Guru-eFX does a smashing job on this issue. The first page captures all the familiar colors of Jakku. Check out the strong job that’s done on Rey’s skin, looking very real with its different shades. Notice how the Resistance Base’s interiors are pretty dark, but the characters are colored brightly so they stand out. I am in love with how eFX colors the Falcon, inside and out. It looks so good! The blues are stellar when the Falcon goes to hyperspace. The roses inside the ship when there’s trouble gives everything a great tone. The dark colors of the Necropolis make it a nefarious place, but also gives it a broken down feel. The blues on 13 are wonderful, increasing the comfort level for the reader as Rey works alone. The creature’s arrival on the next page has it against a violet-pink sky, increasing the alien feel of the scene. The last page is gorgeous for its blues. Overall grade: A

The letters: VC’s Travis Lanham is responsible for the narration and dialogue (the same font), scene settings, Wookiee speech, sounds, and Artoo’s bleeps. Though the narration only appears on the first and last page, it should be in a different font than the dialogue. Yes, it’s differed with the shape and colors of the balloons and boxes that contain them, but they are two different forms of communication that should look different. The scene settings are good and should be employed in the main Star Wars title when it gets rebooted. The Wookiee speech is fine. Though I don’t like the wavering font, I do like that Lanham at least centers Chewie’s roars in their dialogue balloons. The sounds are really neat, with several being metallic sounding, and they look it. Artoo’s noises are in a big font that endears him to readers. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Hidden moments from Episode VII are accompanied by outstanding visuals. This story does add a bit to Rey’s background, but isn’t necessary information that greatly expands her character. Chewie has some great scenes in this, as does Leia, who utters a familiar line that left me screaming. The visuals are worthy of praise, with me really wanting to see more of Rosanas’s work. This is a book worth getting, but there are stronger installments in this series of one-shots. Overall grade: A-

To order a digital copy go to https://comicstore.marvel.com/Star-Wars-Age-Of-Resistance-Rey-2019-1/digital-comic/52569?r=1

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

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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