With the final trailer for The Force Awakens getting our Midichlorians pumping, we are ravenous for anything related to Star Wars. Marvel Comics has been putting out Star Wars comics the whole year, so now is a great time to sort through them and see which are the best of the best.
Luckily, every single Star Wars comic Marvel has put out is good, if not great. So even though weâ€™re ranking them, you should feel confident picking up whichever one grabs your interest the most.
Also note that Chewbaccaâ€™s comic only has one issue out, so we decided not to include it on this list.
Warning: beware minor spoilers for the following comics!
By writer Greg Weisman & artist Pepe Larraz
First up is an ongoing series about a character that youâ€™d only be familiar with if youâ€™re watching the Star Wars Rebels animated series, Kanan Jarrus. Heâ€™s the captain of the Rebels crew, who is revealed to be a former Jedi with a mysterious past. This comic explores that past, right when his Padawan years were cut short by the infamous Order 66 that wiped out the Jedi Order.
The concept is intriguing and the character work is spot-on, doubtless because former Rebels executive producer Greg Weisman is the writer. Heâ€™s also the man behind Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, and Young Justice, so if youâ€™re a fan of those, then youâ€™ll find more to like here. Plus, Pepe Larrazâ€™s artwork is clean and smooth, like a budding Stuart Immonen.
While we enjoy reading Kanan, itâ€™s a bit more on the simple side. Rebels is aimed at children and the comic follows suit. It also features characters most people arenâ€™t familiar with, so you wonâ€™t be spending time with any of your old favorites if you pick this one up. However, it explores the fall of the Jedi from a point of view weâ€™ve never seen before, so it does get points for that.
By writer Greg Rucka & artist Marco Checchetto
Shattered Empire is by far the most tantalizing of the bunch because it acts as an epilogue to Return of the Jedi and plants a few seeds for The Force Awakens. It follows the path of ace A-Wing pilot Shara Bey as she has encounters with the original cast, encounters that often call on her combat expertise and impressive aerial skills.
Shattered Empire is a four-issue mini-series that is fully complete, so you can read the whole thing right now. Itâ€™s a fun ride through the Star Wars universe thatâ€™s sure to tug on your nostalgia, although it lacks a strong core story. Shara is a character youâ€™ll no doubt come to enjoy, but sheâ€™s more a window to watch Han, Chewie, Luke and Leia than anything else. Itâ€™s also worth noting that she is the mother of a certain character in The Force Awakens, but having not seen the movie, itâ€™s hard to say how much that will mean in the long run.
The artwork is a consistent highlight. Marco Checchetto draws numerous dogfights that capture the rush and momentum of an epic space battle. Itâ€™s like the man was born to draw Star Wars ships and heâ€™s finally able to unleash his potential on this comic.
By writer Mark Waid & artists Terry and Rachel Dodson
This comic picks up in the closing moments of A New Hope and shows why that medal ceremony might not have been a happy ending after all, at least as far as Princess Leia is concerned. This five-issue mini-series (that is now concluded) shows Leia defying those who want her to â€œact the role of the Princessâ€ as she sneaks away on a personal mission to rescue the precious few remaining citizens of Alderaan in the galaxy.
Writer Mark Waid is one of the most gifted writers alive, with more classics to his name than we can count, so know that the story is both engaging and suspenseful while also keeping a sharp sense of humor. The art isnâ€™t what youâ€™d expect for a Star Wars comic, which feels a bit strange at first, but the Dodsons know a thing or two about telling powerful stories with expressive characters, so their style will win you over in the end.
Leia is accompanied by X-Wing pilot Evaan, who has a good reason to hold a grudge against her, and itâ€™s their argumentative dynamic that makes things interesting. Thereâ€™s also plenty of political intrigue, spies, and Leia shooting Stormtroopers, which is just about everything weâ€™d want in a comic about our favorite Star Wars princess.