Writer: Jason Aaron / Artist: Jorge Molina / Marvel Comics
There’s just no way around it. Star Wars is an infinitely lovable book, one of the best things to happen to Marvel in the past few years now. You want a master class in world building? Jason Aaron mines the mythology for the purest aspect of everything we adore about it and crafts something that rests comfortably in the middle of “new” and “familiar.”
Issue #21 is solely dedicated to introducing the Alliance’s newest threat: the SCAR Troopers, specialist stormtroopers that are basically Navy Seals in space. Aaron attacks this task with a different tact, giving readers a healthy dose of internal narrative from the squad leader, Sgt. Kreel. The book is highly effective in giving us adequate insight into Kreel’s motivations, telling us exactly what kind of villain this is and what the Empire represents to him. More than that, I appreciate how the new theme with Star Wars stories (much like in Force Awakens with Electro Baton Trooper) is to undo the notion of stormtroopers all being uber killable morons that have as many kills as the Knicks have won games in the past three years.
The franchise mythos is long overdue for a deeper, less comical look into the other side and the banality of evil. These guys don’t see themselves as vicious, mustache twirling Big Bads. They’re just highly trained soldiers doing their jobs. I wish there were just a little more insight into the rest of the squad, but we can give the benefit of the doubt and assume that there will be more development to come in the near future. Jorge Molia does a wonderful job is sticking to the overall aesthetic and darker color palette laid out for this book since the beginning. His designs for the SCAR troopers are awesome and majorly distinctive to match their individual weapon styles and skill sets.
Bottom Line: Once again, Aaron has worked within the cracks and creases of this long adored universe to give us something fresh that I can imagine will be built upon for years to come.