Writer: Jason Aaron / Artist: Salvador Larroca / Marvel Comics
The flagship book for Marvel’s extended Star Wars universe has been nothing short of a national treasure. Jason Aaron’s epic offering to the sci-fi geek gawds has built up the SW universe in ways that feel familiar yet still attractive to younger audiences. This has been the first book in a while that felt like an extension of the space saga we all know and love instead of the forty-plus year marketing campaign Star Wars has always truly been.
Aaron’s final issue continues the SCAR Squadron’s vicious pursuit of Team Skywalker, but a lot of the narrative focuses on squad’s leader, Sergeant Kreel and his quest to become a better stormtrooper. It’s already pretty awesome that Aaron has contributed to this new era of Star Wars where all stormtroopers aren’t disposable flunkies with awful aim, but Kreel seems to represent a clear demarcation between the soldiers of the Empire and the Force sensitive. This issue in particular seems to view him as somehow changed by peering over that line. Team Skywalker’s discovery that they’re not up against the usual throw-away bad guys is compelling stuff but the SCARs are the stars of the show overall.
Visually, Salvador Larroca is about as good as we could ask for. The artwork isn’t quite as good as it was when he was drawing Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man, but it’s definitely better than it’s been during his tenure on the book. Larroca does really well with action beats which this issue has a lot of. The photorealism isn’t nearly as distracting as it was in past issues thanks to his clever usage of shadow in certain panels.
Bottom Line: What a wonderful way to see Jason Aaron end his run on this book than sticking his heroes with the cold epiphany that their new nemesis is playing for keeps. This book has excelled at adding layers to the mythology we already know without rewriting and trampling all over it. Issue #37 perfectly reminds you of why Aaron was the best to reestablish what Marvel’s Star Wars comic universe should be all about.
Reading Star Wars? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.