Everyone’s favorite wookiee gets his own miniseries from Marvel with some fantastic art from Phil Noto! Seriously, the art is the strongest thing about this series as Noto invests a great amount of detail and style in rendering the world that Chewbacca has crash-landed on. From the mines filled with explosive larvae, to the rural and wasted countryside, and the bustling starport, everything on the page really draws you in. The artist also gets the look of familiar “Star Wars” characters and tech, like the Stormtroopers and Star Destroyers, just right while making new things like partially enviro-suited crime boss Jaum look like they belong to the same universe. Noto’s storytelling is spot-on as well. This is particularly true with the main character as Chewbacca may only grunt or roar in the dialogue bubbles, but always gets his point across through (usually very violent) action.
I want to stress that last part because it’s the only halfway decent one that writer Gerry Duggan came up with for this miniseries. While we’re used to having wookiee-speak interpreted by someone like Han Solo who is fluent in it, that’s not the case here. It’s an interesting dynamic to observe as Chewbacca is paired up with a young girl named Zarro whose family has been taken as slaves to work in Jaum’s mine. The problem is that as the two can’t properly converse with each other, Duggan has Zarro driving the conversation at every opportunity and turning her into a spunky female protagonist who Will. Not. Shut. Up. Duggan has some experience with a protagonist like that with his still-ongoing stint on “Deadpool,” but Zarro doesn’t have half the personality that the Merc With a Mouth does. There is a general irreverence to be seen in most of the dialogue here, which is nice. Regrettably, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the core story Chewbacca finds himself in — that of a warrior with a mission who finds himself sidetracked by the plight of others — is awfully generic and would’ve worked just as well with any other “Star Wars” character.
Weak as the story is, “Chewbacca” isn’t a bad read thanks to Noto’s art. Which also raises my interest for the “Poe Dameron” series he’s illustrating. It is, however, the least of Marvel’s “Star Wars” output so far.