Parts of Chewie's past told by two family members. The first story is told by Chewie's wife Mallatobuck. She tells of how she tried to seduce him, and how he rescued her from Trandoshan slavers. The second story is painfully told Attichitcuk, proud of his warrior son. He tells a tale of how Chewie accepted a challenge from another Wookiee.
Chewbacca finally gets the spotlight. He's been a background character in most novels, writers not knowing what to do with him (Michael P. Kube-McDowell and A.C. Crispin excepted of course.) It's just too bad that his first series is to honor his death.
Chewbacca lived 225 years; that leaves a lot of stories and adventures to be told about his life. Darko Macan pinpointed some of the moments in Chewie's life that affected the people around him. Macan decided to start off the series with some of the people closest to him: his family. It's just too bad there was not enough space to show how Lumpawarrump is dealing. The stories in this issue are told to Threepio and Artoo, who don't actively take part in the story (Threepio has one line) but are there to "record a fitting memorial for a warrior."
I'm just amazed by the way Macan managed to write complete stories, with believable characters, in the space of 11 pages per story! I must admit I quickly became fond of the revolutionary albino Wookiee Tojjevvuk, and felt kind of bad for him when he meets his fate. But it shows that Chewie shows no mercy to other warriors. And then BAM!, Itchy hits us with a line that's going to become a classic. You'll have to read the book to see it, but it summarizes Itchy's view on Wookiee nature and how he felt about his son.
One thing I would have really liked to see would have been if Chewie's challenger was Hronk from Marvel UK's "Way of the Wookiee!" story. They have similar backgrounds and relations with Chewie. Both Hronk and Tojjevvuk were Chewie's rivals before Chewie met Han Solo. And both have family feuds with Chewie's family. Hronk is not an albino, but has a white stripe running from his forehead to the top of his head, which would have perfectly fit the needs of the story (it has to do with how Tojjevvuk meets his apparent end. White fur against black foliage makes a target for the dangerous predators of Kashyyyk.) Of course, the fact that Chewie meets Hronk later would have revealed he had survived. But sadly, a good opportunity was missed. Maybe the Mr. Macan really wanted Tojjevvuk to die to make a point. And maybe Hronk and Tojjevvuk are related...
What did I learn? I learned a bit about Wookiee courting rituals, and that Darko Macan was the perfect writer for this series.
Brent Anderson's art is appealing, especially the way he depicts the vast forests of Kashyyyk. There are some nice touches, like the young Wookiees working on some kind of spacecraft in the forest, and Malla's black flowers she wears on her head while mourning. The characters are a bit awkward (Malla looks too young in the framing story; Artoo could be improved), especially in the case of the Trandoshans.
It really looks like the artist was not given any references, or did not do any research. Which is almost inexcusable in this day and age, with easy access to the internet and tons of reference books on the market. Someone should have at least told him Bossk, who appears in The Empire Strikes Back, is a Trandoshan. Who hasn't seen the movie? The way they look here really gives the impression the artist was told "reptilian humanoids with three fingers." They don't have the huge claws, or the wide snout and big nostrils of Trandoshans.
Igor Kordey's work on the second chapter is a real beaut. The Wookiees have the right body dimensions and realistic postures. It must be hard to draw all that hair! I especially like the last panel of page 17, a close-up on Chewie. It is really what I imagined a younger Chewie would look like, with all the intensity in his eyes and the defiance in his expression.
I'm sure you know by now that this is one of my favorite comics. And if it keeps up like this, this series is sure to become a fan favorite.
10/10. Highest Recommendation.