ROGUE ONE #1
Writer: Jody Houser
Penciler: Emilio Laiso & Oscar Bazaldua
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’S Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 04/05/17
The kickoff for the Rogue One adaptation begins here. Be ready for a galaxy far, far away and a story very, very, different than most.
The first issue of Jody Houser’s take on Rogue One covers about the first twenty minutes of the film itself. It brings the characters together in their joint mission to stop the Empire’s secret weapon – the Death Star. Most is a word for word scene by scene take of the film itself. Despite its retelling – Houser manages to make it feel fresh by mixing up the arrangement of plot points and altering just enough details so it differs from the film. However, this is not just the film as the plot includes extended and deleted scenes from the film. The comic ends with a look at Chirrut and Baze, a exciting sneak peek of what’s to come.
The Rogue One adaptation thrives where the Force Awakens adaptation failed. This is not simply a retelling of an already fantastic film but a deeper look into the tale behind these characters. By allowing room for deleted/extended scenes, this issue proves to be a good start for the adaptation series.
A great added scene is actually getting to see Galen sending Bodhi off to find Saw, something that was only mentioned in the film and assumed. Despite the briefness of this scene it really adds to the two characters and gives a glimpse into their relationship.
Another great moment that shapes a character more is the introduction of Jyn in the comics which is when she first gets incarcerated. I personally enjoy this introduction more as it shows her back-talking to a stormtrooper and gives her a snappy wit that wasn’t seen much in the film. Houser does a great job of taking the first act of the movie and making it feel nostalgic and fresh all in one.
Adaptations of already beautiful films require someone special on the art end. Thankfully, Emilio Laiso, Oscar Bazaldua and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg deliver the goods. The art feels like the film while also once again feeling like new and exciting in the new medium in which it appears. Every couple of pages features a new setting which they seamlessly weave in and make visually stunning to look at.
The contrast in the setting is also a marvel – from subtle landscapes full of brown neutral colors to beautiful rocky space which is dark to fit in with the happenings of the dialogue. This once again is a huge contrast to the Force Awakens adaptation which had art that felt very funny. A great job is done here by everyone involved!
Overall, the Rogue One Adaptation is starting off strong. The story, while familiar, feels new enough to make it worth picking up despite the $4.99 price tag. Houser has delivered in just one issue alone with the promise of new and extended material which makes it seem highly likely that it will happen in the issues to come. Same with the art team – they make it worth looking at as well and even the characters look just enough like the actors to not be weird but remain enjoyable. Even if you are just a casual fan of Star Wars or a very rabid fan, this is a great comic that will certainly be worth you while.