Quixotic Jedi #2

And now, more Marvel Star Wars comics stuff. Jedidiah, like Don-Wan Kihotay before him, was another crazy old dude who thought he was a Jedi. The story involves Luke and Leia rescuing some alien Prince, and then assuming the identities of his entourage, for reasons that I’m sure made perfect sense at the time. Leia gets off with the Prince, which makes Luke have a hissy fit. Luke takes an uncharacteristic dislike to the bug faced loon, until said loon takes a bullet (laser) for him, and then he’s all like “Truly he was The Last Jedi”. I’m doing this from memory, you might have guessed.

By this point, Carmine Infantino had left the title, and The Empire Strikes Back had been released. We were into an era of new creative teams, as well as new story dynamics. Walt Simonson may have made some idiosyncratic choices with his art (wheels on a Y-Wing? Call the Continuity Police!), but his fluid and dynamic work took the series into a new realm. While Carmine Infantino is to be commended for a lot of great stuff, a lot of his stuff feels slightly old fashioned. It was, perhaps, consciously aping the old sci fi comics, movies and pulp adventure books that inspired Star Wars originally, but lantern jawed hippy Luke, fifty year old Han and muscle bound Threepio never quite recalled their movie counterparts. Simonson’s characters, on the other hand, captured the essence of our heroes. The writing in the post Empire issues, was also a lot better. I guess having twice as many movies to draw on helped.

As great as Simonson’s (relatively brief) run was, the secret weapon (the goalkeeper, if you will) of the entire Marvel comics series had to be inker Tom Palmer. His work brought a consistency to the art that really gave the book a real character all of its own. I suspect that on many issues, he did most of the heavy lifting (and as such was often credited as “Finisher”). Well done Palmer, you beautiful bastard.


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