Review: CHEWBACCA #1



Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Phil Noto
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 14, 2015

The newest Star Wars mini-series is here and it’s focusing on everyone’s favourite walking carpet, the mighty Chewbacca.

I say “walking carpet” with the greatest fondness because, as I’ve grown older, I’ve only grown to love Chewbacca more and more. He’s as faithful a character as there has ever been in fiction, and he’s just a lot of fun. Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto have captured the character’s personality perfectly in this fantastic debut issue that I can’t help but call “cute”.

The story is cute, and I mean that in the best sense possible. There’s a kid in a real bind who needs a hand and she crosses path with the mighty Chewbacca. Their relationship is heartwarming and even though our title character doesn’t speak an intelligible word in the entire issue, you can’t help but love this pair together. After a single issue I am fully prepared to demand an ongoing of this pair, because they are as awesome as Rocket & Groot, easily.

Duggan’s pacing is excellent, his dialogue is fantastic for this new youngin’ (Zarro) and the pacing of this issue is perfect. Chewie isn’t just a side character, nor is he like any other character in Star Wars. Chewie does what Chewie’s going to do and Duggan does a great job making his personality shine. Duggan gives Phil Noto room to breathe (and we’ll get to Mr. Noto’s work soon enough) and doesn’t overwhelm the story with a ton of exposition or dialogue. His work with young characters in Marvel books is evident in Zarro’s voice, as she has a bit of Sam Alexander’s spunk. She is the perfect compliment to Chewbacca and their brand new relationship is a delight to read. This story is about the characters thus far and Duggan has me loving this pair.

Now, I said we’d get to Phil Noto’s work, so here we go. I have no words left for Phil Noto. Every time I read a comic with his name on it I think to myself “holy s***, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen Phil Noto do” and then he goes and outdoes himself. I was confused when I saw his name on the solicit for the Chewbacca mini, as his Black Widow run had me thinking Noto + spies = glory, but (all respect to Natasha) Phil Noto’s never been better than what you’ll find in Chewbacca #1. I’ve never seen an artist capture all the aspects of Chewie’s personality quite the way Noto does and I can’t think of a comic than made me smile as much as this one has in quite awhile. I smile a lot when reading comics, I like a lot of them a lot, but there’s something special and magical in the artwork of this comic. The connection between Zarro and Chewbacca is evident in every panel they appear together in, and Chewbacca is all at once fearsome, cuddly, formidable and honourable. These are not easy things to communicate and the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized Chewbacca is no easy character to render properly. He’s not a prop, he’s a force to be reckoned with that also has all the best playful qualities of an energetic puppy, and Noto nailed all these things. I saw Noto’s name and expected to be impressed. I did not expect to be floored.

Chewbacca #1 is one of my favourite debut issues in recent memory. I want an ongoing, I can tell you that right now. Duggan and Noto have given me everything I could ever want from a Chewbacca comic and I loved every single page of this fabulously fun comic.

The Verdict: 10/10


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