Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 4)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

This Highlight is a bit different than my previous ones because all the comics below are a part of the new canon. Why? Because I happened to come across a full set that someone dropped at a used book store, so I took advantage of the price. Also, I may as well try to stay caught up with the new canon, since I am vastly far behind with the old…:)

 

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Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (Clone Wars Era)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer (Adaptation): Jeremy Barlow

Artist(s): Juan Frigeri, Mauro Vargas, et. al.

While this series was originally published by Dark Horse, it is approved as being part of the new canon. We learn a little bit about Maul’s origins, having been taken from Mother Talzin, who gave part of her existence to heal him after being slices in half by Kenobi. Palpatine wants to destroy Maul, but through the torturous means of despair. Palpatine’s goal is to destroy Talzin and hurt Maul’s only source of happiness. When Dooku teams up with Maul, it is all a part of the Emperor’s plan to bring Talzin and Maul down. Kenobi and fellow Jedi are dispatched to kill Maul as well, to destroy the threat of the Sith, and when Maul and Dooku have teamed up, it is Palpatine’s will that the Jedi think Dooku the Sith master and Maul the apprentice.

 

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Kanan: First Blood (Clone Wars Era)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Greg Weisman

Artist(s): Pepe Larraz

Following the events of Kanan: The Last Padawan, this graphic novel picks up right where the previous one left off. Kanan has returned to Kaller and an injury has him floating in a medtech tube, healing. Various words said by the crew of the Ghost reflect flashbacks from when Kanan was Caleb Dume. Before even becoming a Padawan, Caleb had to pass various tests amongst his Jedi brethren. When he sees a Jedi Master within the same kind of medical cylinder that Kanan is in at present, he is in awe of her. Billaba eventually takes a liking to Caleb and takes him on as her Padawan. On their first mission, injury strikes the reckless learner, but their second mission has Caleb mature both physically and emotionally, having to fight an agent of the Empire while Billaba is dealing with none other than General Grievous.

Overall, this series is even better than the first six issues and the art is absolutely amazing and engaging. The character background of a Jedi we know from Rebels makes the story even more intriguing, adding depth to a show that has already done so much for the new canon.

 

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Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist(s): John Cassaday, Laura Martin, et. al.

This is the first book in the new Star Wars string of graphic novels by Marvel. It takes place immediately after A New Hope and coincides with the events of Darth Vader. It is the current goal of the Rebels to destroy one of the Empires greatest weapons facilities, and they achieve this goal through some various hardships. The Millennium Falcon is being dismantled by natives in its hiding place in a junkyard, and silly C-3PO can do nothing to help his friends. Luke tries to save some slaves, but when Darth Vader arrives on the scene, eth ensues. Vader recognizes Luke’s lightsaber as once being his own, and he also recognizes Luke’s strength in the Force, making it his goal to find this person who caused so much trouble for the Empire. At this point, Vader is not aware that he has a living son. When Luke must part from Han and Leia, our main characters have various events that add to the characters we know from the movies. Luke goes back to Tatooine to search Kenobi’s home for anything that may tell him how to be a Jedi and is then encountered by Boba Fett, hired by Vader. Han and Leia, on the other hand, are maneuvering through the Empire when they get stranded on a strange planet where they encounter…Han’s wife?!

Thank goodness for some of the interesting things the new canon has added, and some of the things it draws from the old canon, such as Han’s wife. That was an exciting input, as well as introducing the smuggler’s moon, which was a main place in the old canon. The art is beautiful and the story is well-written and adds interesting input to what we never knew of the in-between-episodes gap that we get with the movies.

 

Image result for darth vader shadows and secrets

Darth Vader: Shadows and Secrets (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado, et. al.

This is the second graphic novel in the Darth Vader series which contains issues 7-12 under the subheading “Shadows and Secrets.” Vader and Aphra have come us with a plan to gain a bunch of Imperial credits. The reason for this is Vader is using Aphra to find out where Luke Skywalker is. This proves challenging for Vader to do on his own because he is being closely watched by others working for the Emperor. Meanwhile, the new Force users being trained to eventually fight and succeed Darth Vader, but of course, Vader does not plan to let that happen. Vader is caught between betraying the Empire for his personal gains and losing what he may just think of as his only Friend. Is he falling into a trap?

Just like the first graphic novel, this one has beautiful art and an interesting story. While I found the story in “Vader” a bit more interesting, this has good lead up into the next piece, “Vader Down,” which is a crossover from the new Star Wars Comics line by Marvel.

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