This Week in MARVEL UNLIMITED

– by Tim Jousma
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Taking a known property like Star Wars and attempt to create a comic from that material can lead to some challenges. Mainly, how do you create conflict or an interesting story from a property where we pretty much know everything that is going on already? Any sort of conflict you're attempting to create is washed away if you're trying to imply that a character we all know and love could potentially die because we already know the answer. So how did Marvel fare when Star Wars came back into their fold?

   So far so good. What with Disney owning the Star Wars property, one of their first orders of business was simplifying the complicated Star Wars back story. They simply stated that any story told in the Extended Universe was now not a part of the Star Wars story. That made some fans upset because stories they've grown up and loved, like the Heir to the Empire trilogy from Timothy Zahn, were now no longer cannon. One thing some of those fans forgot was that George Lucas had been on record stating that the Extended Universe held no sway over story decisions as they related to the movies. The new owners of Star Wars wanted to start fresh and have more control over the story they wanted to tell.

   That brings us to the new Marvel Star Wars stories. The story is pretty solid. The writer did a wonderful job of adding tension to the story without setting any unrealistic expectations. A story like this should not have any overreaching effects on the main story as told in the movies or television shows. It's the garnish to the main dish if you will. I think back to some of the Star Wars Dark Horse Comic titles and one of the big things I had an issue with was how they'd have unrealistic plot developments happen, like bounty hunters hunting down Darth Vader. We know Vader survived so any tension the writer was trying to create is immediately tossed out the window.

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   The art work brings you right into that galaxy far, far away. The character models are on point and most importantly, the environments depicted feel as if they were filmed for one of the movies. While I wouldn't be against an artist trying something new, especially when it comes to telling such a well known story, it's better to play it safe unless you're talented enough to deal with the artistic risk you're looking to take.

   Overall, Marvel has done a great job with their new Star Wars titles. They feel like they're apart of the main story which is key. Some of the Extended Universe titles, whether it be the comics or the books, tended to veer off into territory that just didn't feel like Star Wars. It also didn't help that some of the creators they hired for these stories were clearly doing the job for a paycheck and not for any sort of passion of the product. There are certainly exceptions, like Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy, the only three books I felt regret over not being included in cannon, but most of the Extended Universe was filler. Pure garbage that were there to bring in a buck. These comics feel different. They're fun stories which add some good content on what our favorites were doing before they got to Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back.

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   You can find Star Wars and over 17,000 plus titles on the Marvel Unlimited app. For $9.99 a month or $69 a year, you have no end in sight to the amount of comics you can read. Good, bad, indifferent, there's something there for you to read. It's available for iOS and Android.

This Week in Marvel Unlimited:

The Amazing Spider-Man and Silk: The Spider(fly) Effect (2016) #6

Black Panther (2016) #1 (From Ta-Nehisi Coates, this is one I've been waiting for.)

Black Widow (2016) #2

Marvel Contest of Champions (2016) #7

Daredevil/The Punisher: Seventh Circle (2016) #3

Deadpool (2015) #9

Invincible Iron Man (2015) #8

Marvel Universe: Avengers Assemble (2016) #2

New Avengers (2015) #9

Old Man Logan (2016) #4

Scarlet Witch (2015) #5

Spider-Man (2016) #3

Spider-Man 2099 (2015) #9

Spider-Women Alpha (2016) #1

Star Wars: Poe Dameron (2016) #1

The Infinity Eternity (2016) #4

Uncanny Avengers (2015) #8

Uncanny X-Men (2016) #6

Vision (2015) #6

Fantastic Four (1998) #44

Avengers Annual (1999) #1

Avengers West Coast (1993) #21, 42-45, 47, 89-91, 101

Avengers West Coast Annual (1993) #1,8

Avengers Annual (1992) #9, 11-13, 15, 21

The Savage She-Hulk (1980) #1

Astonishing Tales Featuring Deathlok the Demolisher (1974) #25, 27-28, 30-36

Star Wars, Reviews, Comics, Marvel, Column Heir to the Empire, Marvel Unlimited, Dark Horse Comics, Marvel Comic, This Week in Marvel Unlimited, Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, Marvel Universe, Timothy Zahn