Review: Star Wars #38

Star Wars #38 cover
Cover by Michael Golden

Star Wars #38
Published by Marvel and © by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., August 1980

Title: “Riders in the Void!”
Synopsis: Luke and Leia find themselves in a void beyond known space and encounter an ancient, biomech spaceship.

Writer (plot): Michael Golden
Writer (script): Archie Goodwin
Penciler: Golden
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: Originally, this issue was supposed to feature the beginning of Marvel’s “Empire Strikes Back” adaptation, but a format change forced a one-issue delay. Fill-in issues were not an uncommon phenomenon during the Bronze Age, but rarely were they this good. Michael Golden and Archie Goodwin’s story is typical, thinking-person sci-fi, with shoot-’em-up action masking a philosophical meditation on society and war. If there’s a knock against this story, it’s that the same tale could have been told just as easily without “Star Wars” characters. There are simply no reservations about the art: Golden and Terry Austin’s work is sumptuous!

Grade: A

Second opinion: “(An) excellent issue.” – FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983

Cool factor: The art is freakin’ gorgeous. Michael Golden rendering is amazing, and his storytelling and coloring are strong, too. And Terry Austin’s inks give Golden’s work the perfect polish. Luke and Leia have rarely looked so good!

Character quotable: “… though it may sound just a touch provincial for a former senator and a seasoned intergalactic traveler – I don’t like it.” – Princess Leia Organa
A word from the artist: “(Archie Goodwin) wrote just this incredible dialogue, just tied the whole thing together. It ended up being a real spooky little story.” – Michael Golden, in “Modern Masters Volume Twelve,” July 2007

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Sept. 3, 2010.

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