A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #9 Micro-Review – Drawn From Life

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 9, cover, January 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #9
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS: 
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED: 
January 18, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

David Messina and Alex Sinclair make a great team on this book. I especially enjoy Messina’s renderings of Chewbacca, as he’s got a great handle on the big guy.

I was less impressed with a rendering of Han late in the issue, which is clearly drawn with reference to a still from The Empire Strikes Back. I can’t help it. Stuff like that pulls me right out of an issue.

Still, the series remains fun. It’s near the top of my stack when it comes out.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #8 Micro-Review – “Oh Bull@#$%!”

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 8, cover, December 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #8
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED: 
December 28, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This series continues to deliver on the trademark Star Wars hijinks, action, and adventure. But this issue did contain what I’ll call an “Oh bull@#$%!” moment. Han and Chewie take out about eight Imperial Death Troopers in the space of about one panel. Nice try, but no.

As the cover indicates, Grand Moff Tarkin pops up in this issue. David Messina excels at rendering Peter Cushing’s trademark sunken cheeks.

I also dig the design of the marshal we briefly see in this issue. I assume the design is Messina’s.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #7 Micro-Review – A (Quick) Prison Break!

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 7, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #7
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
Paul Fry, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: November 16, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Han Solo & Chewbacca continues to fire on all cylinders, delivering on the kind of rip-roaring adventures one pictures when they think of Han and Chewie’s pre-A New Hope antics. My biggest complaint is that the two-pronged story with Chewie in prison and Han marooned on a strange planet wraps up too quickly for my taste. But I suppose there’s something to be said for not overstaying your welcome.

Guggenheim, Fry, and this crew even manage to sell me on the inclusion of Ponda Baba and Doctor Evazan in the prison stuff. Well done, gentlemen.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #6 Micro-Review – Firing on All Cylinders

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 6, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #6
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Paul Fry, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: September 28, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This is the kind of issue I pictured when this series first came out. We’ve got Chewie getting into fights in prison, as a bunch of space pirates race to free the Millennium Falcon from the clutches of the Empire. Meanwhile, Han Solo is presumed dead. (Spoiler: He’s not.)

This book was a slow starter. But it’s firing on all cylinders now. My only complaint? That they felt the need to shoehorn Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan into this story. They were, of course, in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. Lame.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #5 Micro-Review – Consistent Quality

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

star_wars_han_solo_and_chewbacca_5_cover_2022_phil_notoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #5
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED:
August 10, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This isn’t the strongest issue to come out of this series. But five issues in, Guggenheim, Messina, and this team have sold me on their ability to produce a quality monthly title about Han and Chewie. That’s saying something, considering how underwhelmed I was at the beginning.

The friendship between Han and Chewie is the understated emotional core to this book. It’s a buddy action comedy. And that’s how it should be, really.

On the downside, we get a gratuitous appearance from a couple of familiar Mos Eisley Cantina characters. Lame.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #4 Micro-Review – Chewbacca vs. Krrsantan

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 4, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #4
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Several pages of this issue are pretty cool, as they’re just Chewbacca and Krrsantan shooting at one another and speaking wookiee. So in it’s own way its almost a silent portion of the issue. And to an extent, Chewie gets to save the day early on. I get the sense George Lucas would approve.

For obvious reasons, David Messina’s art makes me think of Krrsantan’s appearances in The Book of Boba Fett. Based on a few panels in this issue, I’ve got to think he used those episodes for reference. It’s all in the eyes, man. All in the eyes…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #3 Micro-Review – Our Hero’s Daddy Issues

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

TITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #3
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: June 29, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue ends with an appearance from a Marvel character that recently made their live action debut on The Book of Boba Fett. I’m definitely hooked for issue #4.

Han Solo & Chewbacca has rebounded nicely after what I thought was an underwhelming first issue. Guggenheim has Han nailed from a depiction perspective. They’ve even managed to get me into the question “The Crystal Run” poses about Han’s father…

Because of course Han Solo has daddy issues. Star Wars is about that as much as anything else, isn’t it?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #2 Micro-Review – Shared History

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 2, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #2
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: May 18, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue opens with a scene that might have been in the Solo movie: Han as a child, talking to his dad on the Corellian shipyards. We get the line about how father makes ships, but one day son will fly them…

For better or worse, every little nuance of the Star Wars movies is something to be explored. Case in point, in the original movie it was evident that Han and Greedo knew each other. This story dives into their shared history. Not a bad issue. Definitely an improvement from the first.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #1 Micro-Review – Mostly Missable

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 1, cover, 2022, Alex MaleevTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #1
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Alex Maleev.

RELEASED: March 9, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Naturally, there’s a lot of potential in a series about Han and Chewie. This first issue didn’t quite live up to that potential, though. It’s perfectly missable.

Though I will say, there’s an intriguing cliffhanger for next issue. So perhaps it’s just a slow starter…

The best part of the presentation by far is the cover by Alex Maleev. It reminds me of some of the covers you used to see for Star Wars novels in the ’90s.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

An X-Men Gold, Vol. 2 Review – Old Flames Reignited

TITLE: X-Men Gold, Vol. 2: Evil Empires
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
PENCILLER: Ken Lashley, Lan Medina, Luke Ross
COLLECTS: X-Men Gold #712
FORMAT: Softcover
PUBLISHER: Marvel
PRICE: $17.99
RELEASED: November 15, 2017

***WARNING: Spoilers lay ahead.***

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

X-Men Gold is a feel-good book in a lot of ways. It’s got a warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feel to it while still having its feet planted in the modern era. That was the case in the first volume, and it continues here in the second.

Evil Empires sees our heroes face a mutant serial killer, Congress, and Russian gangsters backed up by Omega Red. That’s variety for you. All the while, romances old and new start to blossom. Rachel Grey discovers Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler’s feelings for her, as Kitty and Peter slowly move closer to resurrecting their relationship. Plus, what secrets lay in the journey that the alien Kologoth took to Earth? We saw him work with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. But where does he go from here?

Kitty and Peter are the emotional core of Evil Empires as a reunion between the two becomes more and more tempting. It’s so obvious where they’re going that the romantic scenes between the two lose some of their edge. But there’s an obvious feel-good quality to it, considering these two have grown up together. That they joined the team so young and are now in leadership roles makes the book feel like the natural continuation of the X-Men legacy.

Kitty herself is the personification of that idea. In the span of a few issues, we see her delegate tasks for her team during a crisis, go one-on-one with a mutant serial killer in the school, and testify before Congress against an act that would deport all mutants. Not half bad. It also doesn’t hurt that Ken Lashley drew a hell of a fight scene in issue #8, with a sword-wielding Pryde facing our serial killer. Great dim lighting in that scene too, which is a credit to tremendous coloring by Frank Martin and Andrew Crossley.

Our killer is a new version of the X-Cutioner. He’s more or less a S.W.A.T. guy with a LOT of extra toys. But he’s got a fairly sympathetic backstory, and we find out he’s got a pretty good reason to dislike mutants. He’s simply taken it too far. The way Guggenheim writes his confrontation with Kitty is a great snapshot of the world the X-Men live in. The stigma that mutants live with isn’t always the result of blind prejudice. That doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t justify violence. But it’s not always as simple as people being afraid of people that are different.

Full disclosure: I know next to nothing about Rachel’s relationship with Kurt prior to X-Men Gold. But there’s a shy sweetness to it that’s, dare I say, cute. They approach the idea of being together with reasonable caution, but there’s obviously a good amount of chemistry there. Rachel and Kurt hardly have the spotlight in this book, but what we get is enough to make you want more. 

So we’ve got iconic and interesting characters who have a cozy, family-like dynamic with one another. We see them on the baseball field when we open the book, and then later playing cards. Again, it’s kind of cute. The problem is once we get past issue #9, we lose a lot of intrigue. Issues #10 and #11 are about Russian gangsters trying to resurrect Omega Red, using Peter’s sister Illyana (a.k.a. Magik) as a power source. Outside of the novelty of seeing Omega Red and Illyana, for the most part there’s not much to sink your teeth into.

I remember skipping out on issue #12 when I saw it at my local comic shop. The exploration of Kologoth’s backstory and this whole alien world felt like a sharp turn, despite a brief set-up for it early on. It’s all meant to pay off in later issues (#16 and #17 specifically). But for the time being I was struggling to care, and as such the book ends on a whimper.

All that being said, the book is very well illustrated. The art actually holds the book up in the second half as its story deteriorates. Ken Lashley is our cover artist, and does the pencils and inks for issues #7-9. Lashley excels in giving his work a sense of motion, which is why his fight sequences work so well. And not just the one with the X-Cutioner. Whiplash (see Iron Man 2) crashes Kitty’s appearance in front of Congress, which causes a brief but intense fight. He also gives us a pretty cool layout with Nightcrawler in issue #7 (shown left).

We shift to Chris Medina’s more detailed style for issues #10 and #11. While I was hardly enamored with the story about Peter’s uncle, Medina did give him a very distinct face. During his scenes you feel like you’re looking at a real person. The quieter, more intimate moments between Kitty and Peter also mean a bit more with Medina at the pencil. His style offers them a little more heart.

Luke Ross gets tagged in for issue #12. I’ll say this much: He draws a hell of a reptilian alien in Kologoth. Really nice texture on the skin and teeth, plus the ominous red eyes.  So little about the issue is memorable. But Ross’ rendering of the monster itself stands out. Frank Martin goes solo on the colors here, and gets to play with a pretty expansive palette. Especially early on, when we get a look at Kologoth’s home world.

X-Men Gold, Vol. 2 underperforms in its second volume, despite delivering some solid character work and good action early on. But as a reader, it still has my attention. There’s still a lot of value in this back to basics approach, and a great stories than can still be told.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

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