When I first heard they were doing a Chewbacca Comic Book, I was joyfully surprised. I assumed Han would get a solo comic before Chewbacca, but with his ‘solo’ movie coming in a few years, Marvel have chosen to give his best friend Chewy a comic book all of his own.
The story is this: Chewy crash lands on the planet Andelm IV while on his way to a secret personal mission. Here he meets “Zarro”, a young girl who wants nothing more than to free herself and her father from working the mines as slaves. The two quickly become friends and Chewy puts his personal mission on hold to rescue Zarro and her father from their evil master.
What quickly becomes impressive with Zarro is how strong she is. She is definitely no pushover. Zarro maintains a strength and a mental drive long gone from her father. While he is no more comfortable with being a slave, his strength to resist is a thing of the past, his main concern now is surviving each day at a time with his daughter.
The main antagonist of this story is the slave trader/gangster “Jaum”. In a way he is just a two bit thug who happens to be in control of a group of slaves, but never does his presence encourage fear in the heart of the reader. He is just a slave trader out for one thing: money, and it might of been an intentional act by writer Gerry to just have him maintain that single mindset and goal but I can’t help wishing he was written a little bit more engaging or ominous.
It was amusing seeing how Chewy interacts with different characters in the comic, especially Zarro. Though only ever hearing from Chewy different versions of “Whhhrrrrurrraaagh”, Zarro would always just assume Chewy was agreeing with her and ready to go along with her plans. The art by Noto is appropriate here as we see what each character is thinking even when they are not saying anything at all. I loved some of the expressions Zarro would pull. Some times it was excitement, fear, determination or all of the above.
It really is the perfect story for Chewy. It’s mostly light with cuteness throughout. One of my favorite drawings within has Chewy laying back on bed of flowers. It sums up what some may see in him. On the outside he is this 7 foot hairy monster with super strength but on the inside he is all flowers of loyalty and love.
Having him team up with a young girl only exemplifies that.
The last thing I want to touch on is what we see of Chewy’s backstory. Though only hinted at, (probably because of the future film on Han Solo) we see that what ever he had been through has sadly left him with some PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and even the simple act of climbing down a hole in the ground is made difficult for him.
But it’s in these moments we see his true strength. It isn’t from his long hairy arms but from his big heart.
Though the story isn’t, I would say for young children, it’s theme is light and positive. It’s story is exactly what any fan of Chewbacca could want and even if your fairly new to Star Wars, the story here is self contained and doesn’t really rely on any prior movie knowledge.
As Chewy would say whrraaaauuurraaghh which I translate as “pick this comic up, it’s awesome!”