‘Mandalorian’ brings space Western feel to comics

For the Friday, July 15, 2022 edition of The Oklahoman


The hit TV series starring a bounty hunter and his adopted child charge is coming to comics via Marvel.  

“The Mandalorian” comic book series, the first issue of which is on sale this week, adapts the “Star Wars” adventure series to the page. 

Bounty hunter Din Djarin, known as the Mandalorian, must defend a young alien child who is being sought by powerful enemies. 

Marvel’s “The Mandalorian” will be an eight-issue, episode-by-episode adaptation of the Disney+ series’ first season, written by Rodney Barnes and illustrated by Georges Jeanty.

The series features cover artists including Adi Granov and Leinil Francis Yu. 

Jeanty will be tasked with visually adapting the screen tales into comic-book form. 

“I’ve always thought an artist’s style is a lot like writing in shorthand. It’s very subjective. What I bring to Star Wars is my detail and love for a galaxy far, far away,” Jeanty said at starwars.com. “Star Wars, especially where bounty hunters are concerned, is a messy landscape. I love drawing all the little details. My look has always been detail-oriented, and with The Mandalorian there is so much going on with the character and  in the background, and I look forward to adding visually to the already rich tapestry that makes up this universe!”

Barnes, meanwhile, said he looks forward to bringing in the various genres represented in “The Mandalorian” into comic book form. 

“The story of the Mandalorian checks so many boxes of the stuff I’m passionate about,” Barnes told StarWars.com. “I love Westerns, fantasy, science fiction, comedy, drama…it’s a dream gig for any writer. I’m just glad I was chosen for this assignment!”

Adapting Western-style stories into comics isn’t a new phenomenon – John Wayne movies like “Rio Bravo” were adapted into the Dell Four Color comic book series in the 1950s, and cowboy stars including Roy Rogers and Gene Autry starred in long-running comics titles as well.  

“Star Wars” is adapting the genre to a galaxy far, far, away. 

Writing for ScreenRant in 2019, Zach Gass writes of the similarities between the United States’ post-Civil War era and the “Star Wars” universes’ post-Empire era.  

“Several great westerns take place after or during the Civil War, a time of great tension and conflict in the United States, which made for a great culture point in many films,” Gass wrote. “The shadow of the Empire in The Mandalorian’s setting and period bears a strange resemblance to post-Civil-War America.”

A third season of “The Mandalorian” television series is set for Disney+ in 2023. 

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewlprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

“Star Wars: The Mandalorian” #1 from Marvel Comics

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