For me, the best part of San Diego Comic Con (or, as it should really be named now, San Diego General Geek Interest Con That Just Happens To Include Comics As the Tiny Minority Interest They’ve Degenerated Into, or SDGGICTJHTICATTMITDI for short) isn’t going. In fact, it’s decidedly not going, because the building is pretty much at fire code capacity and the lines for everything are so long that you pretty much spend half the con queuing and frankly I’d rather go to a really well-run community-built mid-size con like CONvergence these days…but that isn’t to say that I don’t look forward to this weekend each year. Because this is the weekend that EVERYONE announces EVERYTHING.
There’s a lot to take in, and I’ll probably do some more dissection next week after the dust settles and we know everything (Lucy Lawless and Mockingbird in ‘Agents of SHIELD’! James Gunn signed to write and direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’! First images of Gal Godot as Wonder Woman!) But right now, I’m interested in talking about Marvel’s new ‘Star Wars’ comics.
Interestingly enough, they look like a giant leap backwards to Marvel’s old ‘Star Wars’ comics. That is to say, they’re all going to go back to the gap between ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, filling in some of the gaps now that the old continuity has been thrown out and there’s a different group of people deciding what happened in the new expanded universe (and theoretically paying more attention to keeping things consistent than Lucas did, although that’s something that’s easy to promise and hard to deliver). Unlike Marvel’s old ‘Star Wars’ comics, though, they’re writing these with an actual awareness of the destination (Hoth), and less of an episodic random science-fiction structure. (Meaning that unless they’re keeping things very much under wraps, we won’t see Jaxxon the Space Rabbit.)
One other thing that I’m intrigued by (and I should stress here, I’m defaulting to “cautious optimism” more than enthusiasm, because my tolerance for ancillary ‘Star Wars’ material has gotten lowered over the years by…well, by reading lots of it) is that they also seem to be willing to explore the actual consequences of things that were glossed over in the old continuity. Mark Waid is going to be doing an entire series about Princess Leia dealing with the destruction of Alderaan, which is something that I don’t think has ever been sufficiently explored. That’s a horrifyingly traumatic experience, and I have to imagine that Waid has a lot to say about it. Another series, by Kieron Gillen, deals with Vader’s rise to power in the aftermath of the destruction of the Death Star. Since this is something I’ve talked about on my own blog, in which I suggested that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than Tarkin “holding Vader’s leash”, I’m interested in seeing where they go with this one. (Plus, I’m always a sucker for stories about devious internal politics among the bad guys. I don’t know why.)
Oh, and there’s also a ‘Star Wars’ comic by Jason Aaron which presumably features some sort of conflict between the Rebels and an empire of some sort, possibly an evil one. I’m sure it will be competently executed, but the pitch doesn’t exactly sizzle. Still, I’m much more interested in these than I have been in any ‘Star Wars’ comic in a long time, which is definitely a good sign for Marvel. Good luck to them, I say, and watch out for the fans who can’t handle change!