Sep 12, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 565: Star Wars Tales #2, December 1999

http://www.comics.org/issue/214987/

In the late 90s and early 2000s, Star Wars experienced a renaissance similar to that which it is going through now. Excitement over the prequels was high, waves and waves of toys were crashing on the shores of Toys R Us, and comics content magnified accordingly. This anthology title was the only one I was ever particularly interested in, as it took interesting and little-explored corners of the Star Wars galaxy and highlighted them. Today's tales of a nameless Jedi liberator, of Max Rebo and his band, of Han Solo, and of Darth Vader give us a lovely view of the breadth and depth of the Star Wars setting, not just the geographical and historical vastness of the fictional universe, but the generic vastness that the universe is capable of supporting. Dave Cooper's cartoon-y take on Jabba's house band is proof positive of this genre-hopping. Though grounded in a relatively serious science fiction universe, Max, Sy, and Droopy's adventure proceeds like an Adult Swim cartoon or an underground comix story. Indeed, one of the reasons I started reading and collecting, briefly, this series is that it had work by Kevin Rubio, creator of the amazing TROOPS, and of the incredible Tag and Bink are Dead comics series. These humorous tales, though often patently ridiculous, remind us that a fictional universe is, much like our own universe, capable of supporting every genre, and every type of story within that genre, with which we tell tales. I've never been able to understand why Big Hero 6 was not made an official part of the MCU, given the studio of its origin, but I get the feeling that it's because it was a cartoon, and didn't fit some strange notion of the kinds of stories that the MCU can support. Fictional universes grow through diversity, not uniformity.

Onward.

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