Back in the pre-internet days, sometimes your only way of finding out what happened in a particular movie for months after it released in the States was its novelisation or comic book adaptation. I read the comic adaptations of Batman in 1989 and Willow in 1988 months before the films came out in the UK. Sure, I spoiled the events of the films themselves – but it almost felt as if I’d been able to ‘see’ they, months before anyone else did.
Even better was being able to experience the film in book or comic form if you were too young to actually watch it. Alien 3’s novelisation, which I read way before the film came out – which I couldn’t see anyway, as it was 18 rated and I was only 15 when it released. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with its incredible Mike Mignola artwork, was another, similar example.
What I’m getting at is the fact that there was usually a good reason to get hold of an adaptation, whether that be to catch up and get ahead or simply to cheat the system and experience something you couldn’t otherwise check out.
And yet here we have The Mandalorian #1 from Marvel, which slavishly adapts the opening episode of Season One of the show, which arrives nearly three years after said episode aired.
Those aforementioned adaptations often offer a little more than the films did – they usually differed from the finished product due to the final edits being slightly different to the shooting script, sometimes quite radically in the case of something like Alien 3 – but The Mandalorian doesn’t, hewing very closely to what we saw on screen, only feeling incredibly rushed in comparison to the more measured pace of the show, having to fit everything into the slender page count of a normal length comic.
It all just feels completely pointless, seeing as anyone who’s interested in the story will already have checked out the show by now – and likely ages ago too. There’s no surprises, no new insight and even the art feels a bit subpar; there’s no Mignola-style, genuinely impressive visual reimagining of the source material here.
There’s consequently no real reason to read this and no way I can recommend it even if you haven’t seen the show. If you’re even the slightest bit interested, just watch the episode it’s based on. It’s a truly excellent slice of Star Wars fiction. This? Gorgeous cover aside, it just feels a bit lifeless and entirely pointless. Don’t waste your time.
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