Earlier this month, I achieved a new geek milestone: I went to a comic book store and purchased comics for the very first time!
To be fair, I’ve read a few comics/graphic novels in the past, but I wasn’t sure where to start in terms of really diving into the fandom. Should I go back and read some classic superhero comics, or should I just start with new stuff?
What finally pulled me into comics was, predictably, Star Wars. I’m currently dying for any scrap of content related to Star Wars: Episode IX, and I started seeing screenshots on social media of Marvel Comics’ new series Age of Resistance, which focuses on the sequel trilogy era.
I went to my local comic book shop and got two from the series, and I loved them so much that I quickly went back to buy more. I’ve also pre-ordered even more Star Wars comics that are coming out later this year.
I like how a comic is sort of like a cross between a movie and a book; the story is told both visually and through written dialogue. It took me a while to adjust to the format, but now I really like it. There’s some great art in these comics, and I especially loved all the covers. I might end up framing some of them later on.
Here are my thoughts on my very first comics series, ranking the issues in order of my favorites. I think Age of Resistance worked really well as a starter series for me, because they’re one-shot standalone stories about individual characters, and you don’t have to worry about catching up on previous storylines.
Also, I really enjoyed all of these comics, so even the ones at the bottom of my ranking still get a “thumbs up” from me.
I hate putting Rey at the bottom of this list, because she’s one of my top three favorite Star Wars characters. I even have two different Rey cosplays and am currently working on a third (don’t judge me). However, while this comic was a fun little adventure taking place between “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” I felt like it didn’t really reveal anything new about her character.
7. Poe Dameron
Kinda similar to the Rey comic, the Poe Dameron issue doesn’t reveal a lot of new info, but we do get to see him head off on a special mission for the New Republic and get rescued by a key player in the Resistance (no spoilers!). I’m really curious to see how Poe evolves from a hotshot pilot to a respected leader in Episode IX.
6. Captain Phasma
Although Phasma is, unfortunately, somewhat underused in the sequel trilogy, her character is awesome (there’s also a great stand-alone novel about her by Delilah S. Dawson, called “Phasma”). This is one of the more action-heavy comics in this series, and features Phasma’s character through the eyes of one of her subordinates. I enjoy Phasma even more as a character now that I’ve seen the actress who plays her, Gwendoline Christie, in Game of Thrones.
5. Rose Tico
This comic was an emotional flashback to Rose’s past, before the events of “The Last Jedi.” It shows what a close relationship Rose had to her sister Paige, who is killed in the opening scenes of “The Last Jedi.” A lot of fans have been really unkind to the actress who plays Rose, which I think is terribly unfortunate. I love that Rose is not a Jedi or a soldier; she’s a mechanic who uses her skills to help the Resistance. There’s also a really moving scene in this comic with General Leia. It makes me sad all over again that Carrie Fisher didn’t get a chance to fully play the character in one more film.
Finn is another one of my favorite Star Wars characters, and I loved this story because it demonstrates what a compassionate heart Finn has, even back when he was forced to serve the First Order. There’s also some fun little character moments in this one too.
3. Kylo Ren
I always say that Darth Vader is my favorite Star Wars character, but I feel like it might actually be Kylo Ren (depending on what happens in Episode IX, of course). This story is all about Kylo living in Vader’s shadow, trying to live up to (and surpass) who Vader was. Of course, even though outwardly Vader looks like a villain, he struggles against the pull to the light — just as Kylo himself does.
2. Supreme Leader Snoke
This comic is arguably the most important when it comes to predicting what themes Episode IX may address. In this story, Snoke trains a young Kylo Ren, and we witness just how cruel and abusive Snoke is. I already found Kylo Ren to be a sympathetic character; I feel the movies do a good job showing how conflicted he is and how Snoke has tortured him. But this comic really drives home the point that there is still good inside Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. I believe Kylo will find redemption in Episode IX.
1. General Hux
While reading the Snoke comic was a more emotionally powerful experience, I enjoyed the Hux comic the most simply because it has some wonderfully snarky dialogue from the always-petty General Hux and an entertainingly sassy Kylo Ren. In fact, the screenshot I saw of this panel on Twitter was what immediately convinced me to buy this comic: