Sunday, April 8, 2018

Star Wars: A New Hope - The 40th Anniversary Review - Marvel Monday

Anniversary Special

Written by: Jess Harrold
Art by: Various
Publisher: Marvel Star Wars
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy

Well. 40 years on. It certainly is an achievement that 40 years on the original Star Wars film is still as vibrant, fun and world building as it always was. The perfect film as far as this viewer is concerned. Sometimes its easy to become jaded with the sheer size of the edifice that has been stood on the shoulders of this giant of entertainment. Anyway, you better believe that Star Wars Marvel is going to capitalize on it. Let's see if this is worth the whopping $19.99 price tag.

Short answer is no (this reviewer bought a copy for 99c on Comixology). I felt like I was ripped off by paying even that token amount. This book consists of a bunch of 40th Anniversary variant covers. Three points on this. Firstly, these covers were put on other books that sometimes had no link to A New Hope other than they were a Star Wars book. I kept thinking throughout the year "why are they putting that cover on this totally unrelated book with none of these characters??". Now I know why - filthy lucre! Secondly, if you want to see these variant covers google any of them and you will get them coming up - so digitally this is a bit of a waste of time. Thirdly, variant covers are fine, but not when the interior art in your Star Wars books is so poor that they are widely ridiculed in the industry.

If, and that is a big if, you are a collector and completist, you will probably want to have this. No doubt in hard copy it will be visually and aesthetically pleasing so it would make a decent enough coffee book. It purports to tell the story of A New Hope through variant covers which it does to an extent, but anyone buying this will know the film beat for beat. There's nothing new here. The developmental art for some of the covers is very small and rudimentary and not that exciting. The text is routine and dull.

The back-slapping interview pieces at the back of the book are priceless. Kudos to the extract where Jordan D White jokes without any irony, "you heard it hear first folks, Jason Aarons calls Marvel's Star Wars comics wet garbage". Yep. I can say without irony that at times calling it wet garbage would have been polite. After that there is also a showcase of some of the other Marvel Star Wars covers and a copy of the original Marvel Star Wars issue 1 from the 1970s.

Bits and pieces

This is one for the completists only, for 99c I felt short-changed and I'm a big Star Wars fan. It will float someone's boat but not mine. There are some stunning pieces in here though, but I think I'd pick my favorites and simply order the copies of e-bay rather than own them in this volume. Pick of the covers for me goes to the wonderful Amy Reeder's amazing variant for Star Wars 35. In fact I may buy a copy of that off e-bay!


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