Quarg is Hell

The first long, multi issue arc in the Marvel Star Wars comics, after the movie adaptation, was the storyline set on the planet Drexel. While Han, Chewie and Leia were prisoners on board Crimson Jack’s tricked out Imperial Cruiser, Luke and the droids were stranded on the watery shithole. There they run into Governor Quarg, a fat, sleazy despot who uses jamming equipment to disable passing starships, making them crash. Quarg’s people are at war with The Dragon Lords, a bunch of Californian types who live in harmony with plesiosaur style sea serpents. Our heroes eventually find themselves caught between the two warring factions and Crimson Jack’s pirates and an almighty fuck off battle ensues.

I’ve never really looked back fondly on Carmine Infantino’s art. It’s wildly inconsistent to the point where you begin to suspect the only visual reference he had was vague memories of seeing the movie months previously. And possibly drunk. His style is so relentlessly macho that even Threepio looks musclebound. Regardless, looking back on this story arc, the art actually works really well. The characters may not look much like the actors, but they feel right and there’s an energy that makes the action scenes burst off the page.

Archie Goodwin’s script is equally good, eventually bringing together a bunch of different characters, all with clearly defined and opposing needs. The final battle is explosive, and would never have been possible on screen (at the time). It puts that Clone Wars episode set on Admiral Ackbar’s planet to shame.

So there you go. One of the highlights of the Marvel series features a fat, unshaven guy in a military helmet and a fur lined cloak chasing Princess Leia along a ship’s yardarm, possibly set to the Benny Hill music. That’s what that scene suggested to me, anyway.

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