Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Marco Checchetto, Angel Unzueta, Emilio Laiso
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 7, 2015

The journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues as Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto and company tell the tale of the days after Return of the Jedi.

As was probably to be expected, The Empire has just wandered quietly into the far reaches of the galaxy to lick their wounds. The Empire is still striking and the work of the Rebellion is far from over. Rucka captures the weariness of of the Rebel forces as they realize this is not a conflict that is anywhere near complete. He does a great job making Poe Dameron’s mother, Shara, a very strong and likable character who steals the pages she appears on. She can hold her own with the presence of the mighty Leia, and Rucka writes both characters very well. In only 2 issues he has fleshed out a character well enough that we care what happens to her and, by extension, how it will impact Poe, a character we know nothing about at this point. He also handles the pilot banter and in-flight lingo well, making the dog fights feel authentic. There wasn’t a single aspect of this story I didn’t enjoy and the excitement of Rucka breaking new ground in the Star Wars universe is about more than I can stand at times.

The art half of the equation is a bit more of a mixed bag as Angel Unzueta and Emilio Laiso have the unenviable task of trying to keep pace with Marco Checchetto. The artwork by Unzueta and Laiso is never bad, but it doesn’t stand up to the jaw dropping pages Checchetto lays down so highlights in their work are inevitably noticeable. When you look at the amazing work Checchetto does in the issue it is very easy to see why he needed some extra hands to round out this issue as his pages are flawless. They are grand in scope and I’m still staring at one particular spread. It’s just…mind boggling. The work by Unzueta and Laiso slows down some of the fever Checchetto inflicted upon me, but their work does get the story across. The issue as a whole ranges from just fine to jaw dropping and I can’t wait to see what Marco Checchetto is going to unleash upon our eyeballs next.

Rucka and Checchetto are a top flight team tasked with handling the mammoth task of blazing a new trail toward Episode VII. They are the right pair for the job and this is just a good ol’ fashioned, fun Star Wars comic. Great characters, fun story, some impeccable art…Shattered Empire #2 is a must read for Star Wars fans.

The Verdict: 8.0/10