When it first acquired Star Wars, Marvel Comics wasn't sure how to handle the property but came to appreciate it, assigning some of its top talent to the book.
That show of appreciation continues here. Beginning with one of the finest adaptations ever (if not THE finest), "The Empire Strikes Back" by Archie Goodwin and the legendary Al Williamson does an incredible job of capturing the movie. My only complaint is the hand lettering Williamson prefers to do.
TESB ends with something of a cliffhanger (Han Solo has been frozen in carbonite and handed over to the bounty hunter Boba Fett), a fact which would give migraines to most scripters. Rescuing Han is a priority for Luke, Leia and Lando (sounds like a law firm). How do you deal with the fact that the book CAN'T let the heroes achieve this (an event reserved for the next film which won't appear for a couple of years), although they must try, without making it look like one failure after another?
The late Mr. Goodwin does an admirable job dealing with this conundrum. He realized that although a rescue was a priority for the heroes, it wasn't for the Rebel Alliance. They have other concerns, the main one being finding a base to replace Hoth, captured by the Imperials in TESB.
In this volume, Luke is captured by an Imperial probe droid that controls an entire rebel ship. Lando discovers a former hero of the alliance who has renounced violence. R2D2 and C3PO are sent to Kligson's Moon AKA Droid World, where no organic life is permitted. Princess Leia Organa plays a game of high stakes finance and diplomacy against Darth Vader on Aargau, a sort of Swiss bank of space. Luke encounters someone who may be "the Last Jedi," before succumbing to the Crimson Forever, a piece of Han Solo's past come back to haunt the rebels. The heroes join forces to defeat the Tarkin, a new superweapon without the flaw that allowed the Death Star to be destroyed, only to get caught in the crossfire of an attempted Imperial mutiny against Darth Vader. This volume closes with a tale by Chris Claremont of Leia crashlanded on Calia, which is suspiciously like Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom. Although this is only a two-part story, for some reason, the editors chose to end this volume halfway through the story.
"Resurrection of Evil" is Goodwin's swan song on this title. Carmine Infantino, who provided the majority of the art in this book, will do a few more tales next volume. Both men should be proud of their work in this book.
This volume also features the first story by team of David Michelinie and Walt Simonson, who will bring the title to even greater heights.