Star Wars Adventures: Smuggler’s Run #1 – Comic Review

There have been a lot of great issues of Star Wars Adventures this year, and as we close out 2020 IDW have given readers a special treat with this double length issue that kicks off an adaptation of one of the recent, but sometimes overlooked, Star Wars novels, Smuggler’s Run. I reviewed this book in the build up to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and am pleased to see that it’s being given another chance to shine, this time in comic form.

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The story picks up shortly after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, where the Rebel Alliance has managed to destroy the deadly Death Star. The Rebels are busy packing up their base on Yavin 4, and are getting the hell out of dodge before the Empire turns up looking for retribution. It’s here that we find Han Solo, and see that despite having come back to save the day in the film, he isn’t quite ready to sign up with the Rebellion just yet.

I love that the book is exploring Han at this point, where he’s still the scoundrel and rogue who only cares about money, and his coming back to help Luke was a moment of weakness for him, rather than a change of heart. He’s a good guy, but he’s stuck in his old ways, he’s out to make money, and he’s worrying about Jabba the Hut sending bounty hunters after him. As such, when Princess Leia asks him to help them out by going and picking up a Rebel agent being hunted by the ISB (Imperial Security Bureau). Can Han put his doubts and old ways aside and step up to be a hero once again, or will he fall back on his old ways? Well, anyone who’s seen the films will know how this ends up, but it’s still fun watching Han make this journey.

The original book was written by Greg Rucka, the famous comic writer responsible for the creation of Batwoman, and it’s surprising that he’s not been brought in to adapt the book himself. Instead, Alec Worley, who’s worked on franchises such as Judge Dredd and the Warhammer universe, lends his talents to the adaptation, something he’d previously done for the Weapon of a Jedi comic.

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Worley proves pretty early into the issue that he’s more than up to the task of adapting another writer’s work, and the comic manages to feel fresh and exciting throughout, and if you’ve read the original you can see where Worley is choosing certain action in panels to enhance the action of the story, bringing a new comic book flair to the narrative. Speaking of the artwork, Ingo Romling has done some superb work here, and it looks pretty spectacular. The characters all look bold and smooth, and straddle the line well between realistic and cartoonish. There have been some issue of Star Wars Adventures that fail at this, and end up looking too much like a cartoon, and lose a little something, but here it feels like the world of the original films, rather than something trying to recreate that magic.

Thanks to the extra length of the issue there’s a lot on offer here, and the story very quickly sucks you in, and despite being twice the normal comic length it soon comes to an end, leaving you eager for the next issue. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this adaptation next year, even though I know how the story ends already, because this version is just so damn good!

Star Wars Adventures: Smuggler’s Run #1 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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