Kyle’s Review: Marvel’s Star Wars #23


This week Marvel brings comic fans their twenty-third offering in the titular Star Wars comic series.   The third entry into the “Last Flight of the Harbinger”, our dynamic trio of heroes have entered the fray.  They have stolen a Star Destroyer and are on a mission to retake a sympathetic planet under heavy blockade by the The Empire.  What could go wrong?



I’m not going to lie to you, folks…this issue is a mess.  It’s too bad, because the last couple months have been relatively dry ones for the Star Wars comic fan.  Last week we were given a glimpse at a soon-to-be-revealed title (Classified is the placeholder one), but it’s a bleak present day state of Star Wars comics.  The fact that this promising “Harbinger” series hit a big speed bump in this issue doesn’t help matters.  Whatever the case, at least we can say we have new Star Wars titles rolling out and this is not the great drought between 1983 and 1999.


marvelsw23- your father's star destroyer


When we last left our heroes they were in the middle of a pretty fantastic heist.  Make a Star Destroyer look like it’s exploding while sneaking a jump into hyperspace.  The Harbinger is something we learn the Rebellion needs to help the planet of Tureen VII.  Tureen VII is a world that has been an ally to the Rebel Alliance, and the planet is now caught behind a massive Imperial Blockade.  Sounds like a promising set-up to a good part of the story, right?  My problems with this issue are the many silly distractions that take up the pages once we learn of this dire mission.


marvelsw23- han and leia and puke


If I don’t ever see or read another flirtatious fight between Han and Leia that’s fine with me.  I think at this point it’s safe to say their romantic tension that following up to The Empire Strikes Back has been clearly established.  I don’t mind so much that Jason Aaron is trying to add to that, but each assortment of pages dedicated to that dynamic seem extremely frustrating to me.  We all know where that story is going, and sadly, where it ends.  Han Solo has his own damn comic book!  The bulk of this issue is dedicated to a silly race between Han and Leia of who can reach the Star Destroyer bridge first.  The first person there gets to call the shots.  Yeah, I know when my home planet has just been destroyed and the fate of billions hangs in the balance, the first thing I do is challenge someone to race to the driver’s seat.  It seems really out of character for Leia, and that’s something that frustrates me about Aaron’s writing is that he so often nails these characters it makes the misses seem so bad.


marvelsw1- sullen sana


If there’s one great thing about this issue, it’s that Sana stuck around.  If you blinked in issue #22 you probably missed her.  Here, she’s about as fed-up with Han and Leia as I am.  Sana and Luke get to team up for a bit here, and I like how she thinks of him as a kid.  He gives her a bit of his history and why he’s in the Rebellion.  I hope that Sana gets her own issue one of these days, because she’s been a great character who’s often overshadowed by other figures or events.  I really wasn’t sure where they were going to take her in the SW Universe, and I feel like she’s hit her stride since she showed up.  I was very grateful she was around.


Luke is downright goofy in this issue, and in my opinion, that downright sucks.  I know that there has to be a fair amount of restraint exercised by writers covering this period of time in the SW Universe.  We can’t expect Luke to be the foreboding Jedi that strolled into Jabba the Hutt’s palace, but most of Luke’s presence in this issue is…goofy.  He’s running around the Harbinger like Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.  It gets a little better once Sana whips him into shape and they get into the cockpits of two TIE Fighters.




The highlight of the issue is Sana discussing the only other time she’d flown a TIE Fighter, on Coruscant.  It makes me wonder (and hope) that she will have a role in the upcoming Han Solo-film.  There have been a few whispers that Lucasfilm is casting for a role matching her description, but only vague rumors at that.  I would love to see Sansa piloting a TIE Fighter around Coruscant.  Sana and Luke head towards a drifting Rebel ship that turns out to be the beginning of an assault on the Harbinger.




Meanwhile, Leia and Han continue their game.  Leia decided to take a short cut.  Once again, with the fate of billions on the brink, I can’t fathom why a character like Leia would participate in that kind of nonsense.  As she navigates her way around the outer hull of the Harbinger, Han pilots an Imperial Speeder through the corridors.




Our old friends of the SCAR Squad have decided to join the party.  Just when the issue is starting to get going, it ends.


I feel like this is a clear strikeout for Jason Aaron, but I don’t feel it’s misstep is indicative of the arc as a whole.  I strongly suspect issue #24 will be a great one.  Despite my displeasure and disappointment with this issue, it does a great job setting up the remaining two issues of the arc.


Here’s my last rant and then I’ll let you read this issue for yourself:  the artwork.  The contrast between the excellent cover art by David Aja and Jorge Molina’s work on the “Harbinger”-arc is way too jarring for me.  Jorge Molina’s skills seem terribly misplaced.  He does a great job with starships and environments, but I do not like his take on the appearance of the classic characters.  I’m an open-minded person, but a lot of these frames reminded me of Archie comics.  I can barely draw a stick figure, so it’s not really fair for me to judge Molina.  He’s an incredibly gifted artists, but I’m not crazy about what he is doing here.  There are glimpses of the classic characters we know, and that’s why it bugged me so much when they would morph from one frame to the next, sometimes looking as we know them, but mostly looking like cartoons.


Okay, let’s review.  You’ve got a great bit of content with Sana on board, the story arc of “Harbinger” picks up some serious momentum towards the end of the issue, and in the end, it’s still Star Wars with the characters you love.  This issue will not blow your mind, even with the cheap twist they throw in at the end (you’ll know it when you see it), but I think it’s still worth picking up sometime before issue #24 comes out.  Walk, don’t run, to your local comic shop sometime in the next month and pick up a copy.


And please, no more Han and Leia flirting.  There’s no flirting on Star Destroyers!


Find this issue at your local comic shop or purchase a digital copy through comiXology



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Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

10 thoughts on “Kyle’s Review: Marvel’s Star Wars #23

  • September 29, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    While this was not my favorite issue, & I don’t love Molina’s work as much as others – I think we should cut Aaron and company a little slack. I thought the issue was fun and enjoyable. Yeah, Luke was kind of goofy, but that’s kind of how he was in this era. And I don’t feel that Leia was really out of character here either. The fate of billions may have hung in the balance but they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They had time to kill and I don’t think it’s a stretch that Leia would have raced Han for command. It was a very Anakin Skywalker thing to do so to me it makes sense for her character to be a little rash at times. I liked the issue personally. It wasn’t epic, but I don’t think every issue has to be. Sometimes you have to step back from the war and enjoy a little rec time. 🙂

  • September 29, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    so whats up with force friday?

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm


      • October 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

        That sucks

    • September 29, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      This is it. Hasbro’s usual stellar performance. The street date was broken weeks ago, the big boxes already have all their product and have been putting it out. Hope you enjoyed it!

  • September 29, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Terrible cover art. Damn. Clearly the heads were cut out of a photo and drawn with little regard for matching the style or angle of the bodies. Weird.

    • September 29, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      What’s worse is I’m pretty sure I know what shots those were cut out of; Han is from negotiating with Ben, and Leia is from the medal ceremony. Atrocious.

  • September 30, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Thank you for the honest review! I totally agree on all counts. The last frame was the only good thing about this issue. I was dreading reading this review because normally the comic reviews are all daisies and smiles.

  • September 30, 2016 at 3:43 am

    I found this issue to be very underwhelming as well. I’m not really digging this arc so far. Hopefully the Storm Troopers will liven things up in the next issue.

  • September 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Worst Star Wars comic cover ever!

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