Star Wars #8: Reviews of Old Comics
With us being only days away from the seventh Star Wars movie, it seemed like a good time to review an old Star Wars comic. I could have gone with a Dark Horse comic, but when Marvel took back over the Star Wars license this year, a lot of people made references to forgotten character from the original Marvel series. Jaxxon the six foot tall green space rabbit is one of those characters that comes across as a joke. I thought that I should go back and read his first appearance in 1977’s Star Wars #8.
Star Wars #8
Han Solo has gotten into a brawl at a Cantina with a jealous boyfriend. It doesn’t seem to be going his way, when Chewbacca comes to aid, making short work of the alien that attacked Han. Han and Chewbacca are then hired by a moisture farmer to protect the poorer farms from outlaws led by Serji-X.
Han decides to recruit some others to assist him against Serji-X’s “cloud riders” and in holding interviews recruits He reruits Hedji, a porcupine-like alien that can throw his quills, Amaiza, a female smuggler whom he knows from her days with the Black Hole Gang, Don-Won Kihotay, a crazy old man who thinks himself to be one of the Jedi, and Jaxxon, a green human-sized rabbit that manages to take out the same alien that Han was fighting earlier in the cantina with one kick. He also recruits a young kid named Jimm the Starkiller Kid and his tractor droid Effie. Han takes them on because Jimm reminds him of Luke Skywalker.
which leads us into a scene from Yavin, where Luke, R2-D2 and C-3PO are saying goodbye to Princess Leia as they leave to find a new base for the Rebels. He reminisces to C-3PO about Obi-Wan Kenobi and how Darth Vader would have killed him if it hadn’t been for Han Solo.
Which brings us back to Han and Chewie. The next day as their new group is leaving for the moisture farms, Sergi-X and his”cloud riders” approach them. Sergi-X offers Han more money just to walk away. Han refuses. Sergi-X rides off telling Han that his decision will cost him his life.
Story-wise, this is wholly unimpressive. Han is uncharacteristically more heroic than he appeared in A New Hope. The characters that he assembles is comprised of stand-ins for the other cast members. The new one is Hedji, but everyone else has a counterpart in the original cast. The planet is a stand-in for Tatooine. The threat is hackneyed, and could be taken from any number of films.
Jaxxon is the character that everyone remembers from this story. He’s a six foot tall lime green rabbit. He is apparently vicious but uses the obvious cuteness to gain an advantage. Something is missing though, and it’s never found in subsequent appearances. His lingering notoriety over the years may only be for how is inclusion is symbolic of the silliness that crept into the original Marvel series. With the mention of “space carrots,” it appears that even Roy Thomas didn’t take him seriously.
The artwork by Howard Chaykin and Tom Palmer is admirable for what it is. The likenesses are sometimes lacking, but given that the cast is small, it works. The coloring is mediocre for the time period and inconsistent. Howard Chaykin’s art at this period in his career is excellent with storytelling, and Tom Palmer adds his own style to whatever he is doing. It makes everything more organic, and helps add atmosphere with shadows without obscuring the artwork.
This issue has been collected in a few places, and is easily available digitally through Marvel Unlimited. It’s been collected several times, most recently by Marvel. It also was collected by Dark Horse before 2015, and some stores might have it still in stock. A copy of the issue itself can be pricey, depending upon the condition it’s in. This issue is part of a four-issue storyline, so I recommend a collection or reading digitally.
FINAL RATING: 6.5 (out of a possible 10)