Review: Shattered Empire #1

Shattered Empire Review banner

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colors: Andres Mossa
Cover: Phil Noto
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

We have officially entered the sequel trilogy era with the release of Chuck Wendig’s novel Aftermath and now Marvel’s Shattered Empire #1.  The Journey to The Force Awakens has begun.

Shattered Empire 1

Shattered Empire #1

The issue opens during the Battle of Endor.  The Rebel fleet is in disarray as the Death Star’s shields are still up and they are engaged in point blank battles with the Imperial armada.  After a few flashes of the battle to let us know where we are in the fight, we center in on Green 4, an A-wing pilot named Lieutenant Shara Bey.  Green group is fighting their way through the thick of the battle, cutting in and out of the familiar points from the film.  The battle is mostly a prologue to the story, so we move pretty quickly through it.  It’s a different look at the scenes we are already familiar with.

The story truly begins after the destruction of the Death Star as the victorious Rebels celebrate their triumph and mourn those they lost.  Shara wants to get down to Endor as her husband was a part of Han Solo’s strike team and she has yet to receive word about him.  Again Shara works her way in and out of those familiar scenes from the film during the Ewok celebration.  The creators did a good job of balancing the old and the new.  We get just enough of the familiar to know where we are before we are introduced to new characters and new conflicts.

Once we get into the second half of the book we are in all new territory, even potentially spoilers for The Force Awakens, albeit very minor.  Shara’s husband is Sergeant Kes Dameron.  So it looks like we know who Poe Dameron’s parents are, and it’s possible we know his birthday now too.

The fighting continues past the destruction of the Death Star.  As Han says, “Seems no one told them they lost.”  Shara volunteers to fly the strike team in to attack a second Imperial base while also discussing post-war plans with her husband.  They learn that the Empire is not going to go down quietly just because the Emperor is gone.

Greg Rucka’s writing balances a lot of different emotions and moods.  The opening battle is presented in a way that maintains tension even though we know exactly what is going to happen.  The story shifts gears halfway through but it doesn’t feel jarring.  Even though we have just met these new characters we already feel a connection to them, including them in the classic scenes helps to build that emotional connection quickly.  Marco Checchetto’s art matches the frenetic pacing of the first chapter.  The layouts during the battle can be a bit hard to follow because of how quickly they are moving through time, but it’s not necessarily a negative as the real meat of the story is after the battle.  Andres Mossa’s colors make us feel like we are right there on Endor.

Shattered Empire is action packed and emotional.  It’s a brand new story sprinkled with just enough classic flavors so that we can instantly recognize and connect.

4.5/5 Kath Hounds

4.5/5 Kath Hounds

About the Author

Paul joined the EUCantina staff in 2012, combining his love of Star Wars and his obsession with comic books. He has been a Star Wars fan since the early 80's and is always finding a way to tie Star Wars into every facet of his life. Paul lives in Virginia. He loves movies, plays guitar and is TK-5990, a proud member of the 501st Legion.