Story: Marc Guggenheim
Art: David Messina
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
What They Say:
OH…SHYRIIWOOK! HARROO! RHOO AAHH! HRRG!!! (TRANSLATION: It’s a Chewbacca-centric special issue as Chewie fights to rescue his friend Han.) HRRARRARGH AAHHRA HUGGG! (TRANSLATION: Guest-starring the one-and-only KRRSANTAN!) RRRAHARRR RAAA HRRRA! (TRANSLATION: You don’t want to miss this one!)
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This series is one that I’m not surprised was made, nor that it has a decent sense of fun about it, but I’m still left with this feeling of I wish they didn’t do it. Again, it’s not bad at all but it just feels unnecessary – and I say that as someone that enjoyed the Solo film. Marc Guggenheim may not have cracked the code but he has loosened it up significantly where there’s a good feel to this that comes across as pre-ANH Han Solo. Here, he’s joined by David Messina on the art duties and we get a solid piece that captures the Star Wars design and aesthetic and is trying to bring in some of that youthful Solo that predates Ford’s ANH period. He was leading man material then but was over a decade older than the other two main leads. Trying to find that balance isn’t easy but I think Messina has captured it, and that really is half the battle here.
As the story progresses, we get an installment here that takes me back to things that get done once in a while where it’s basically a fast read. Now, there is plenty of value in going back and taking in David Messina’s artwork with this book because there are a lot of good details and the story works because he manages the flow of it really well so that you’re pulled along with all of the action, which is what it needs to do. But since 75% of the story is focused on Chewie talking or just doing, there isn’t a lot of dialogue in general. And that means it’s very easy to flip pages to get to where characters are speaking in something that you understand. Of course, you are “reading” the artwork as well as Chewie’s native language because it’s layered in emotion and intent.
With Han being kidnapped and taken to Graves to be interrogated by Krrsantan, the story here has Chewi following in the Falcon with Han’s pops coming along as well. Since he doesn’t speak the language, he does suss out what “Yes” means and works it so they can at least get to where Han is since Chewie put a tracker on Krrsantan’s ship. That takes us to Chewie going solo for a rescue as pops ain’t feeling great and it’s a decent bit of fun as we even get the two Wookies going at each other pretty intently. The thermal charge was a bit much in my mind but it sets things in motion for the escape and the fun of Han thanking his friend for helping him but also being the natural grump that he is with some of his complaints about it. It puts things where it needs to be by the end of the issue to ensure that you come back for more as well.
This is a fun issue overall and it kind of reminds me of that classic GI Joe issue with it done about Snake Eyes back in the 80s where there was no dialogue. Telling most of the story through just movement and action isn’t easy and it takes a good artist to do it and some room to move and explore things. Messina largely nails it here and a re-read lets you soak up more of the details and how well it flows. The story itself isn’t too much when you get down to it but it reinforces how far Chewie will go for his friend and what he won’t let stand in his way.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 20th, 2022