Marvel released the fourth chapter in their Star Wars comic book crossover this week. It’s been a fun adventure tale teaming the main heroes up with Doctor Aphra. The only thing keeping this from being a homerun is an issue with the art. Enough with the photo realism in The Screaming Citadel.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Thirty-two issues into Star Wars and writer Jason Aaron is still churning out interesting stories. Operating within the limitations of continuity between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back makes this series all the more impressive. The Star Wars initiative for Marvel has been a major success.
The Screaming Citadel is no exception, Jason Aaron and (Doctor Aphra writer/creator) Kieron Gillen combined their efforts to deliver a very entertaining crossover story. The only problem with it is this terribly distracting art direction.
Every dramatic moment for Luke, Han, or Leia hits with less of an impact because the art is taking readers out of the moment for a second.
I’m in no way trying to say that artist Salvador Larroca isn’t talented. Personally, I’ve enjoyed his other work, especially his X-Men art. However, every time the photo realistic faces rear their ugly head, I can’t help but cringe.
Every other pencil in this book is great, especially the Wookiee with the unpronounceable name. It’s the familiar faces super imposed on new bodies that stand out so aggressively that it drags down the whole experience. Every line on these faces looks cheap. To have these beautiful environments and designs, but all you can initially see is a “copy and paste” Luke Skywalker face, wastes the potential these pages had.
The Screaming Citadel Part IV was especially bad, Han Solo probably got it the worst. These faces just don’t match anything else going on in these panels. They stick out like a sore thumb, and I don’t think we need them.
If the art was consistent, maybe it wouldn’t be such an eye sore. Had these pages been entirely photo realistic, the eery likeness wouldn’t stand out. Having it both ways is what makes it look so sloppy and uncomfortable.
I appreciate wanting our beloved characters to look like they do on screen as much as possible, but please just go about a different way. The Star Wars fans reading these comics will be able to differentiate Leia from other characters without it being a movie still.
Fortunately for this creative team, these art hiccups aren’t enough to completely ruin the crossover. The Screaming Citadel is still a very enjoyable story, I would recommend it to any Star Wars fan. I would just ask that they try not to pay much attention to the distracting character faces.
Are you enjoying The Screaming Citadel? Is the art an issue for you? Let us know in the comments below!