2016 is officially here and with it Marvel has chosen to surprise launch a number of new comics on New Years Day. Of these, the comic I was most interested in was the first issue of the new Star Wars miniseries, Obi-Wan and Anakin. For the first time in the new canon, this comic will tell of Anakin Skywalker’s time as a young Padawan under the recently knighted Obi-Wan Kenobi. Does it live up to that promise? Keep reading to find out.
Title: Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin
Author: Charles Soule
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Release Date: January 1, 2016
Story (Minor plot spoilers):
After receiving a mysterious distress call, Obi-Wan and Anakin crash land on the deserted planet of Carnelion IV. But all is not as it appears, for the planet, or the duo as they begin to “question their roles in the destiny of the Force.”
In the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the master and apprentice quip about their adventures together, but since the restructuring of the Star Wars canon in 2014, we have not seen any of these tales fleshed out. This first issue provides a great jumping off point to just that, where we see the two stranded and beginning a mission together. Taking place “several years” after the event of The Phantom Menace, these characters at first seem familiar, but both are struggling in their roles as teacher of the ways of the Force, and student of the Jedi Order.
Besides the mystery of the distress signal on Carnelion IV, we are offered a flashback Anakin’s training at the temple, and even get to see a few known faces. Anakin is shown to be rash and emotional, Obi-Wan is uncertain and even Palpatine appears to lay the groundwork for the “friendship” he develops with young Skywalker.
Overall, the voices of the characters are well done, matching their big screen counter parts, and while this is the first time we’ve seen Anakin at this age, it is easy to see his transformation here from a young slave boy, to the adolescent Jedi of Episode 2. As the first part of a five part miniseries, this issue lays out an intriguing plot as well as character development for its two stars.
The art on display here is gorgeous. In a turn which I enjoy immensely, the book’s artist also provided the cover, so there is no glaring difference between what we see at face value and what we get inside (Yes, I’m looking at you, Princess Leia issue 1).
The character’s are all recognizable, which is actually a great accomplishment in itself. While not photo-realistic like in the first few issues of Star Wars ongoing, they are not caricatures or overly stylized, like in the Clone Wars. Instead, Marco Checchetto is able to capture everything in a very action orientated way. Cloaks and hair blow in the wind and fog, and nothing appears just static on the page.
Speaking of, Carnelion IV is a unknown planet, and the art does a good job of obscuring the details of this world, while providing a general idea of what it’s like. While not giving too much away, wind, fog and explosions are present on almost every page, adding to the mystery that’s being discovered.
If I had one complaint, it would be that the artist tries to hide the characters faces for the first few panels, but having two additional characters at a distance, followed by the crash of an unfamiliar ship, leads to some confusion as to what exactly is occurring at the start of the story. A careful, second read through though, cleared up the confusion.
Unlike Marvel previous Star Wars miniseries, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan and Anakin hits the ground running. Providing familiar characters in new and exciting situations is an excellent choice and setting up both protagonists as questioning their place in the galaxy is the start of some potentially fascinating character development. Also, the new planet and its mystery are intriguing and the flashbacks are a great way to gain insight on the Jedi Order and it’s members during this long time in the overall Star Wars story. I had no real issues or complaints with this comic outside of a few confusing frames at the beginning and look forward to what the series will add to the Star Wars Universe.
Disclaimer: Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 was reviewed based on the digital copy of the issue purchased from Comixology.