I have enjoyed the main Star Wars series Marvel has put out, in fact, I have enjoyed all of the Star Wars books that Marvel has done that I have read (I have not caught up on Kanan, and I didn’t finish the Princess Leia miniseries). This book has been a bright spot in my reading list, because it usually has lots of fun, action, and some genuinely interesting and well written storytelling.
This issue is the second chapter of the Rebel Jail arc, which is a bit confusing for me, because it never seemed like the Rebels took prisoners, or had the resources (even post-New Hope) to construct such an imposing structure as a space prison obscured by a sun. This isn’t a conceit that I have DIFFICULT getting past, it is just one that I had to think about, and couldn’t just immediately go “oh, yeah! This makes sense…” but a lot of this issue seems to be counter-intuitive to the other portions. Like how the Rebels can fund a giant space prison, but Han has to haul livestock in order to fund some Rebel operation, because he gambled away all their money.
I don’t doubt that Han would have gambled with someone else’s money, or that smuggling livestock is an effective and benevolent way to get a product to the people oppressed under the Empire something they so desperately need- but if the livestock trade is so bountiful, and that is a way to benefit the entire human population, maybe instead of building a space prison, we figure out a way to get these starving people the basic necessities they are being denied?
Maybe I am putting too much of a current geopolitical filter on Star Wars, and getting way-too in-depth with my nitpicking, but it just stuck out to me. This issue seemed to really not have a lot of actual logic at play for the universe as a whole, which also boiled down to giving the characters a very short-sighted behavior pattern in this issue.
Leia teams up with a double-crossing agent of her father/the biggest baddie villain of the Star Wars universe, Han and Luke engage in some very hamfisted fan service to transport Nerfs (YES! THOSE NERFS! THEY ARE NERF HERDERS!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS?!?!?!) and to be stopped by the Empirial fleet, because Nerf is a restricted livestock banned by the Empire.
Beyond my nitpicking, this was a decent issue, the artwork is as great as always. One thing that actually stuck out to me- thanks to my wife- was the cover art. When I showed the issue to my wife, like I usually do when I bring home books from the LCS, she looked at Han and Luke on the cover and went “who is that?!?” and explained that it was Han and Luke, to which she replied “oh- he looks like a woman”. And now I cannot stop seeing him as some genderswapped lady Luke, and imagining what a Prince Leon (that’s what I imagine the male form of Leia to be) would look like. I kind of wish I had gotten the action figure variant with Walrus Man on it, because nobody looked at that and went “oh man- I thought that was a Walrus WOMAN!!!”.
Okay, so enough complaining- this was a decent issue, but it just didn’t floor me like I was hoping from a book that has a space prison takeover, breakout and team-up of unlikely (“unlikely” my exhaust port!”) allies, AND NERF HERDERS!!!! It just wasn’t the great thing I was hoping for, but it is still new Star Wars stories, and there is still a lot left to this book, so I wont write anything off at this point.