Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 15)

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.

 

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Knights of the Old Republic: Destroyer (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Ron Chan, et. al.

This is the eighth volume of the KotOR series of graphic novels. It contains “Masks,” “The Reaping” parts 1 and 2, and “Destroyer” parts 1 and 2. “Masks” is short and revolves around Malak, one of the Jedi Zayne and Jarael previously met in their adventures. Now he is recruiting for the war against the Mandalorians, but Zayne won’t go and he will not allow Jarael to go either. They end up discussing her past of being a Slaver and how it affects her in the present. “The Reaping” had Zayne and Jarael searching for the Crucible, a slaver group that Jarael was once a part of, if nothing more than to bring the group down from the inside. When Zayne brings eighty slaves abourd, his hidden motives are revealed to Gryph, and Jarael reveals who she once was to the rest of the group. “Destroyer” features Zayne being purposely taken in the the Crucible group so that he can get an inside glimpse. When one of Jarael’s enemies manipulates him with the Force, Zayne questions Jarael’s character and why she still have the name meaning “Destroyer,” but Jarael tells him the name has a different meaning: “Protector.” With Zayne and Jarael looking to go their separate ways, what will become of the Crucible?

The art is a bit different in this one (different artists do different issues of the comic). The story is interesting in that we get more on the mysterious Jarael, and leads the reader into wanting to find out more and to see what will be come of Jarael…and Zayne.

 

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Star Wars: Darkness (30 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Ray Kryssung, et. al.

This graphic novel consists of issues 32-35 of Star Wars. It features Quinlan Vos and his padawan Aayla Secura after having lost their memories. Quinlan had to be retrained, and when a Guardian from his home planet seeks only him for a mission, the Jedi council is wary, since Quinlan has touched the Dark side and is still very close to darkness. Meanwhile, Aayla hates Quinlan for what he has done in the past, but all Quinlan wants is to find his lost padawan and restore her. When Anzati wreak havoc, and show Quinlan some disturbing memories, he must fight his greatest fear once more, and save his padawan from the darkness!

I was very excited to come across this at a comic book store. I always check the Star Wars selections from the original Dark Horse publications, and I had actually never seen this one before. With the same writer and artists as the Clone Wars, this was a great edition to Quinlan Vos’s character, adding even more detail to an already phenomenally interesting Jedi.

 

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Star Wars: Yoda’s Secret War (0 ABY, Flashback to before the Clone Wars)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron, Kelly Thompson

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Emilio Laiso, et. al.

This is the fifth compiled volume of the Marvel Star Wars series of comics which contains issues 26-30 as well as Annual #2. “Yoda’s Secret War” begins in the present time of the series with C-3PO having been captured by a special squad of stormtroopers and Luke following R2, who refuses to leave his droid friend behind. In his travels, Luke reads from Obi-Wan’s journal and learns of a mission Yoda once went on to save a planet. Luke feels drawn to the same planet and sees the remains from what Yoda left many years earlier. It is a Force-heavy planet with great stone giants that are like mountains, and the people of the planet fighting each other over Force and terrain. “Annual #2” features a bystander, a female engineer, who ends of helping Leia from a tight spot, despite her not really liking Leia.

Overall, the art is splendid in this compilation, but the story is lacking. The “Annual #2” was an interesting addition to Leia’s adventures, but the arc with Yoda was boring and seemed like a tangent in comparison to the new Marvel Star Wars as a story, which was disappointing. I am hoping the next installment will continue with the main story, rather than a past event that was very lackluster.

 

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Poe Dameron Volume 2: The Gathering Storm (30-34 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist(s): Phil Noto, Joe Caramagna

The second installment in the Poe Dameron graphic novel series features Poe continuing his work for Leia and the Alliance, but knowing that there is a potential spy among his Black Squadron is almost too much to bear. When See-Threepio seeks Poe’s help, he finds himself bringing back a droid that may or may not have vital information on Snoke and the First Order, while being followed and tracked by ex-stormtrooper Terex. Terex has his own plans in mind when he aims to bring the entire Alliance to the First Order!

While I enjoyed the first graphic novel, this one seemed to be lacking; but it wasn’t! It was even more interesting than the first volume, with higher stakes for Poe and his Black Squadron! Phil Noto does not disappoint. As he is both the cover artist and issue artist, you can easily judge this book by the cover, because the art is phenomenal, and Marvel knows what it is doing when contracting for the new canon comics!

 

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Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 14)

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.

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Knights of the Old Republic: Dueling Ambitions (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Dean Zachary, Michael Atiyeh, et. al.

This volume of KotOR features “Prophet Motive” parts 1 and 2, “Faithful Execution,” and “Dueling Ambitions” Parts 1-3. “Prophet Motive” Gryph, Zayne, and Jarael have a long-running plan to dismantle a shady auctioning syndicate that utilizes slaves. When their plans are found out, Gryph and Jarael must disguise themselves, and their Mandalorian friend finds himself in a bind for refusing to remove his armor. In these issues, Jarael demonstrates a potential to use the Force, and Rohlan pushes her further to utilize these newfound powers. “Faithful Execution” is a short issue featuring unique art by Dean Zachary, art that makes the characters appear softer, rather than having the sharp angles. This issue involves Zayne and crew coming across a ship of suffocated people, with a lone survivor and a droid. When Zayne suspects the droid of the murders, the real murderer comes forth when Jarael is in trouble. In “Dueling Ambitions,” Zayne finds himself face-to-face with one of his childhood icons in a dueling arena, excited to race and be a part of the duels, even though they can be very deadly. When the truth is revealed, that those in the duels are slaves that are forced to fight and race, Zayne makes it his ambition to free them, but he also learns Jarael’s secret of the past!

Having the different artist in one of the issues was an interesting and pleasant twist, and this new arc of Zayne, Gryph, and Jarael’s adventures shows promise. For the first time, I am extremely eager to see what happens next in this series, especially where Jarael is concerned.

 

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Jedi Academy: Leviathan (12 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: Kevin J. Anderson

Artist(s): Dario Carrasco Jr., Mike Heike, Ray Murtaugh, et. al.

When a mining planet sends out a distress signal, Leia calls Luke to send out some of his Jedi Trainees to investigate. While Kyp and Dork 82 arrive too late, they find that the planet is inhabited by ancient monsters that seemingly collect the souls of those they devour. While the Jedi are too late, Kyp knows that he must defeat the leviathans and release the souls of the victims and rid make the planet safe for the next settlers who choose to live there.

This is a single volume following Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy (and is preferred to have read I, Jedi and the Callista trilogy as well). It features some of the main Jedi that Luke brought to his new academy on Yavin 4 including Kyp Durron, Kirana Ti, and Streen, and introduces us to Dorks 82, who hopes to have some connection with the Force as his predecessor did. The art is good and the story adds just a bit more to the training of the new Jedi.

 

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Doctor Aphra: Aphra (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Kev Walker, Marc Deering, Antonio Fabela, et. al.

Doctor Aphra is an archaeologist. After faking her death with Darth Vader, she now continues to hunt around the galaxy for rare artifacts that she can sell for a high price. Black Krrsantan still helps her out in hopes of getting what she owes him, but when her Doctorate is disabled by her father, she must comply to his wishes before she can be reinstated. Searching for hints to a lost civilization on Yavin 4 brings the Empire down on them,. but unlocks a great historical mystery.

This is one of the best installments to the new canon with a great character. Aphra is a fantastic edition to the story: her character is interestingly developed with her own unique qualities that make her stand out from other characters in the series. The art is superb, as usual, and I cannot wait for the next one!

 

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The Star Wars (No Timeline)

Publisher: Dark Horse (8 Issues)

Writer: J. W. Rinzler

Artist(s): Randy Stradley, Mike Mayhew

This is Star Wars before it was revised to become the beauty that it actually is, based on the original draft by George Lucas. The story is pretty much completely different, featuring the Jedi-Bendu who once guarded the Emperor before the rise of the Knights of Sith.  Annikin Starkiller is the hero of the story with an older Luke Skywalker as the mentor/master. Annikin and Luke must now protect the princess of Aquilae, Leia, from the Empire. In this version, Han is a Urellian, a race that hunts Wookies on their home planet of Yavin. Darth Vader exists but is off screen most of the time, commanding his Sith from afar.

Despite the original story by George Lucas being awful, they at least got some of the top artists from the Star Wars line of comics. There is some action, but the story itself is so dry compared to its multiply drafted-over counterpart. While this is an interesting piece in the creation history of Star Wars itself, it is not worth the read if you are looking for extended universe qualities about characters you are already familiar with and want to know more about.

 

 

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 11)

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.

 

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Star Wars Vector Vol 1 (3963, 19 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller, Randy Stradley

Artist(s): Joe Pimentel, Dan Parsons, et. al.

This is a unique collaborative volume that contains volume five of Knights of the Old Republic and volume three of Dark Times. Both are put together in one volume with a story woven around a Jedi introduced in the next installment of KotOR, Celeste Morne. Zayne gets mixed up on a mission with her to retrieve an ancient Sith artifact that can control the beasts of the Rakghoul Plague. On a side mission to eliminate Zayne, Celeste realizes that he is a better man than she thought. When she sacrificed herself to save the Mandalorians from the plague, she is thought dead. The Mandies now owe Zayne for warning them of the plague on their planed, but he leaves with a heavy heart.

In the next section of the volume, Darth Vader is seeking a casket found deep in the ice on a barren planet. Within the casket is Celeste and the Sith icon that Vader seeks. With her, she brings a return of the Plague. While Captain Heren’s crew and Vader’s troopers aim to avoid the plague and the death is will surly bring, Vader and Celeste battle one-on-one, Celeste opting to give in to the Sith lord controlling the ancient item, giving her the ancient one’s power.

This was an interesting collaborative piece that worked well together. I have not read the Dark Times arc yet, and I didn’t need to to know that this volume was vastly interesting. While the art for the KotOR piece is pretty bad, the shift in style to the Dart Times volume is absolutely gorgeous, and the two stories focus around Celeste and can be a stand-alone piece featuring her.

 

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Vol. 7: When They Were Brothers (20 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (7 Issues)

Writer: Haden Blackman, Miles Lane (“Brothers in Arms”)

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Nicola Scott

This volume contains “Obsession” issues 1-5 and the short “Brothers in Arms.” Obsession was an iconic piece in seeing more of Obi-wan and Anakin’s relationship. While Anakin claims to have killed Ventress on Coruscant, Obi-wan is positive she is still alive and asks Anakin to help find her. When they do, she is in a bacta tank, fully recovered by Dooku’s aid. When she fails yet again to kill Obi-wan, Dooku has one of his droids end her for her failures. Obi-wan finds that he has been able to reach a speck of light within her just before she dies, and aims to take her back to be with other fallen Jedi. “Brothers in Arms” shows the built relationship of Obi-wan and Anakin as two comrades in battle. When they storm Dooku’s palace, they find a horde of droids, but they also find that they will always have each others backs, despite Anakin’s hard-hardheadedness.

The art in “Obsession” is sharper than some of the previous Clone Wars volumes, the characters looking somewhat more realistic, especially with their facial features. The story was focused on Obi-wan’s obsession with Ventress, a correlation between two characters in the Clone Wars that has always been interesting to look upon and analyze. It is also five months before the Jedi purge, which makes me curious as to how the Clone Wars will fall into place just before that iconic event occurs.

 

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Star Wars: Han Solo  (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)

Writer: Marjorie Liu

Artist(s): Mark Brooks, Lee Bermejo

Han Solo is asked by Leia to use his ship in a dangerous race, while the race is actually a cover to pick up three rebel spies, one of which is a traitor. Many of the racers don’t respect Han as a pilot in that he is a smuggler, but despite the mission, he is determined to win the race. Many obstacles get in the way, including the Empire. When one of the rebel spies is killed aboard his ship, the other agents find themselves staking out the one who has been feeding information to the Empire.

The art was a bit different in this graphic novel, sharper and more angular than some of the other new Marvel line. The story sounded kind of bland, but it was interesting in that we get to see an extra mission between Episodes IV and V, as well as meeting someone who was once an enemy of Han and Chewbacca. It was a decent stand-alone piece and had the thrill of excitement that any intense race would have, along with high stakes.

 

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens  (33 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Chuck Wendig

Artist(s): Luke Ross, Marc Laming, et. al.

This graphic novel is an adaptation of the movie and parallels the events of the movie. Scavenger Rey and deserting Stormtrooper Finn find themselves on a mission to escort a BB-8 unit back to the Rebel Alliance. BB-8 holds the key, the final piece of the map to finding Luke Skywalker. Along the way, Rey learns of her force powers, encounters Han Solo and Chewbacca, and fights Kylo for the sake of good.

Overall the adaptation was an enjoyable read. The art is pretty sharp, and when going from motion to still, adjustments must be made to get that motion across. Some of the fight scenes or other action bits, while drawn well, do not have the same impact as seeing it on the screen. Regardless, reading and looking at an adaptation of something you know and love is always a good experience to see something from a slightly different perspective.

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 10)

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.

 

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Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 4: Daze of Hate, Knights of Suffering  (3,963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Dan Parsons, Michael Atiyeh, Colin Wilson, et. al.

“Daze of Hate” continues where volume three left off. Zayne and Jarael are still under the clutches of Adasca, a bio technician using Camper to improve the bio-weapon space slugs. Adasca wished to secure his place of power in the Republic by selling the dangerous creatures to the highest bidder. When Lucien, Zayne’s previous Jedi Master, enters the scene, enemies must work together to find an escape. When Camper regains his senses and self-control, he makes sure Adasca’s ship and experiments can no longer harm others. “Knights of Suffering” brings us back to Taris where the Padawans were murdered. Zayne has a run-in with the girl he likes whose brother he was accused of murdering. Raana Tey, one of the masters behind the murders, has the girl convinced of Zayne’s wrongdoing. Zayne tries everything to convince her that he didn’t kill anyone, but she doesn’t believe him…until Raana Tey admits to the crime. Perhaps Zayne is not the evil she had prophesied about, and Tey gives him a name to work off of as well as a noble farewell.

This volume was interesting in that the art was a bit different, sharper than previous volumes. The characters have a bit of a different appearance about them, and the drawing is somewhat inconsistent, which was both distracting and annoying. This aside, “Knights of Suffering” was an interesting segue into the next events. Rather than random story lines about Mandalorian’s or space slugs, we finally get back to the main story where Zayne will be seeking retribution and a claim of innocence. And now thanks to Tey, he has the name of someone to find and pursue in his endeavors.

 

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Star Wars The Clone Wars, Vol. 6: On the Fields of Battle  (21-20 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (7 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Dan Parsons, Brad Anderson, Jan Duursema, Tomas Giorello

This volume collects issues 65-71 of the Republic era comics. “Republic 65: Show of Force, Part 1,” and “Republic 66: Show of Force, Part 2,”deal with the Jedi finding out that someone has put  bounty on Jedi heads. When Mace Windu and his team find out that the Bounty Hunter’s Guild is behind the bounty, he demonstrates that placing a bounty on Jedi is not wise. Interestingly, Count Dooku is not pleased by this bounty wither, because it messes up the order of Sidious’s plans. In “Republic 67: Forever Young,” we find Anakin and Obi-wan on a mission to destroy an enemy facility. Master Tohno is with them. Anakin thinks he can save her, rather than have her fulfill a suicide mission, and it takes a great deal of coaxing to prevent Anakin from rushing in. “Republic 68: Armor” is told from the perspective of one of Aayla’s clone troopers. He is suspicious of Quinlan, and he should have acted on his suspicions, but his need to trust his commanding Jedi ruled.  “Republic 69: Dreadnaughts of Rendili, Part 1,” “Republic 70: Dreadnaughts of Rendili, Part 2,” and “Republic 71: Dreadnaughts of Rendili, Part 3,” involve a mission of peace gone sour. When negotiations with an enemy fleet lead tot he capture of Republic Jedi, Anakin charges in to save them. Quinlan, in Republic custody, escapes and helps out with the fight. Quinlan returns to the Jedi council to meet his fate while Anakin supposedly murders Ventress.

As some of you may know from previous review, Quinlan and Aayla continue to be more and more interesting and I have found that Quinlan is one of my favorite Jedi in the Clone Wars. We learn a great deal about his character, but we are never quite sure just what side he is on, giving him n air of mystery. This volume, overall, was pretty interesting and had a decent mix of “meh” stories with fantastic stories.

 

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Star Wars Darth Vader: End of Games  (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado

This is the 4th volume of the new Marvel Darth Vader series consisting of issues 20-25. This graphic novel has Darth Vader putting  a pause on his agenda to find Luke Skywalker. He must focus on defeating Cylo, one of the other potential Sith candidates that the Emperor has pit against Vader. After defeating Cylo (and all his clones), Vader finds that Aphra has spoken of his plans to the Emperor (with the pursuing of Luke exempt). Upon this, Vader tosses Aphra out into free space, where the droids and Krrsantan save her from space.

While the art was still phenomenal in this series, as always, this volume was not quite as good as its predecessors. I am hoping with the other Sith apprentices out of the way, that this story will pick back up with Vader’s pursuit of Luke.

 

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Star Wars Poe Dameron: Black Squadron (34 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist(s): Phil Noto, Joe Caramagna

In this series, we get to see more about what Poe Dameron was doing before the events of The Force Awakens. Poe has been hand-picked by General Leia Organa to find an explorer who knows the galaxy well, and if anyone, he might know where to find Luke Skywalker. Poe and his Black Squadron (Snap Wexley, Kare Kun, L’ulo, Jess Pava, and Oddy Muva) are some of the most skilled pilots of the New Republic. Following a lead to find the Explorer, Black Squadron finds they have been tracked by the New Order. Following yet another lead, to a prison and Grakkus the Hutt, Poe finds that Grakkus will give the whereabouts of the Explorer to Poe OR New Order Agent Terex, whoever can free Grakkus first. With Terex knowing to go to Grakkus without having been informed of the potential location of the Explorer, the thought of a spy in the Black Squadron makes Poe uneasy, because his people just wouldn’t do such a thing.

With the writer of Star Wars: Lando and the artists of Star Wars: Chewbacca,  Star Wars: Poe Dameron is a new and exciting series related to the most recent media of the universe. While it was a bit of a slow start, the race to find the Explorer and the whereabouts of Luke makes the comic an interesting prequel to The Force Awakens.

 

 

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 9)

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.

 

Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 3: Days of Fear, Nights of Anger (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Michael Atiyeh, Harvey Tolibao, Brian Ching, et. al.

This one was pretty interesting and heavily focused on Jarael and Camper. When Camper falls ill, Jarael and the crew head to his home-world, Arkania, where a cure might be found. Upon returning to this planet, Jarael finds that there is a great deal of segregation between the Arkanian’s. One of the lead scientist’s hears of Camper’s close vicinity and sends a team to capture him. It turns out Camper was once a scientist who discovered the Exogorths, creatures that can eat and eat and eat. The use of these creatures is clear: Arkania wants to be the most powerful planet in the galaxy. Now Zayne and Jarael must figure out a way to stop these crazy scientists!

 

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Star Wars: Rite of Passage (28 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Brad Anderson, Ray Kryssing, Dave McCaig

In my review of Clone Wars Vol. 4: Light and Dark, I mentioned that it was by far the most interesting of the Clone Wars graphic novels, mainly because of the featured Jedi in those issues: Aayla Secura and Quinlan Vos. When I saw Rite of Passage on the shelf t a comic book store, I was immediately interested since it features those two characters. We get to see how Quinlan met Aayla on the Twi’lek planet, Ryloth, when they were children. While Quinlan was with his master attempting to divulge a plot in the Ryloth government, Quinlan sensed that little Aayla was in trouble and went to save her. With her sensitivity to the force, Aayla was taken for Jedi training. Many years later, another mission to Ryloth presents itself, and Aayla is the perfect undercover agent. When she seeks Quinlan’s help to save their master, we find that both Aayla and Quinlan undergo their rite of passage to become Jedi Knights.

This book is done by the same tem who does many of the Clone Wars comics, so the art had a Clone Wars tone to it. Getting to see the relationship between Quinlan and Aayla and the relationship they share with their master was a really interesting back story and addition to their character development that we really do not see elsewhere with these awesome Jedi.

 

Star Wars The Clone Wars, Vol. 5: The Best Blades  (21 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: Various

Artist(s): Various, Brad Anderson

This volume contains Republic issues 60, 61, 62, 64, and Jedi: Yoda. Each issue in the collection has various artists and writers. In “Republic 60: Hate and Fear,” Obi-wan and Alpha aim for a daring escape from Ventress. We also learn a little bit about Ventress’s origins and how she became so hateful. In “Republic 61: Dead Ends,” Bail Organa’s ship is attacked by pirates. It is speculated that Palpatine set it up in order to bring back a certain law. Bail is warned against opposing Palpatine, but he also knows that he, too, has great influence in the Senate, making him a great threat to Palpatine’s growing power. In “Republic 62: No Man’s Land,” after Obi-wan and Alpha’s escape from Ventress, they encounter a number of bounty hunters that Ventress has sent after hem. With the aid of the Force, Obi-wan is able to escape and be reunited with Anakin, who sensed Obi-wan vitality through the Force, knowing he was surely still alive. In “Republic 64: Bloodlines,” we meet Jedi Rhonr Kim, who aims to befriend Palpatine. Being a Jedi, Rhonar has always been distant from his family, and his father was always concerned about their bloodline living on. When It is suggested that Palpatine have his midi-chlorian count be taken as an example to find the Sith Lord, Palpatine finds this threatening and assures Rhonar’s defeat on his next mission. In “Jedi: Yoda,” Toda takes a personal mission to meet with n old friend whose planet refuses to aid the Republic. Through this meet-up, Yoda works with a young Padawan involved in the war on that planet, and they find themselves being hunted down by a relative of the king. Yoda is saddened that peace could not be made.

“Jedi: Yoda” was definitely the best of this bunch, with an interesting story to part of Yoda’s past and a unique anime-esque art style that differs from previous issues. The other stories were still good, demonstrating some of the political issues and things going on behind the scenes with Palpatine and other senate and Jedi members, but we do not see a whole lot of front lines or interesting Jedi in this volume. At least we finally found out what happened to Obi-wan!

 

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Star Wars: Princess Leia (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)

Writer: Mark Waid, Edited by Jordan D. White

Artist(s): Terry + Rachel Dodson, Joe Caramagna, Jordie Bellaire

After the destruction of Alderaan, Leia seeks out and Alderaanians that were off-planet during the time of its destruction. She wishes to keep the culture alive by ensuring that the people are safe. When one Alderaanian that Leia brings under her wing sends information to her sister, and agent of the Empire, Leia and her Alderanian kin are in danger. Not only does Leia have to continue to thwart off the Empire, but she is assisted by Evaan, a girl who believes Leia to have no real respect for her family or planet since she was a pampered princess and did not cry upon the planet’s destruction.

This was actually a really interesting piece featuring Leia. The rat wsa different (in a good way) than some of the newer Marvel Star Wars, and we got to see more about the destruction of Alderaan and how Leia really felt about it, something we did not really get to see with the movies.

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 5)

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.

 

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Knight Errant: Aflame (1032 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Multiple Contributors

This story takes place before the events of Miller’s novel, Knight Errant. It is the first story arc in the Knight Errant comic series as well, with Deluge and Escape following after the novel. Kerra Holt, along with fellow Jedi Vannar Treece, land on Chelloa with the hope of disrupting the baradium (an explosive element) mining and exports controlled by the Sith. With a dreadful onslaught, Kerra is the last Jedi on the planet and finds herself caught up in a war between Sith brothers Diman and Odion. Daiman believes he is the creator of the universe and Odion plans on taking total control of Chelloa. With the aid of former Jedi Knight, Gorlan, Kerra now has the goal of freeing the slaves under both Daiman and Odion, aiming to get them to the Republic.

I enjoyed the art in this series and it was a nice visual for those who wish to read the novel. It is also a pretty good lead-in to the novel where the reader is tossed into the middle of the clash between Daiman and Odion. It is a unique piece going back to the time of the Old Republic, before the Rule of Two was reestablished. With so few books out there relating to events prior to The Phantom menace, this is a great read to get some of the history of the Star Wars Universe.

 

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Darth Maul (32 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: Ron Marz

Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Rick Magyar, et. al.

This is the first of the Darth Maul string of comics. It features Darth Maul and his apprenticeship to Darth Sidious. In order to prove himself a worthy apprentice, Darth Maul must slaughter the Black Sun crime syndicate because they are a road block for Sidious’s plans. Once Black Sun is eliminated, the two Sith can move into their plans to eradicate the Jedi. When slaying the members of Black Sun, Maul encounters a with of Dathomir, Maul’s home planet. She proves to be a strong enemy, but not strong enough.

This series also comes available as the 30th anniversary edition of the Star Wars special releases (volume 3). While the art is beautiful and the fight scenes have elegant flow, the story itself is not as interesting as some of the other stories in the Darth Maul series. It is worth the read for an introduction to the character and a small glimpse of what he has done for his master, but fighting a crime syndicate for the entire four issues was a bit dry.

 

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Star Wars: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist(s): Stuart Immonen,Simone Bianchi, et. al.

This is the second volume of the new Star Wars canon of comics and graphic novels. It features part of Obi-Wan’s journal to Luke about how he protects Luke and his family from Raiders and other misfortunes. Following the events of Skywalker Strikes, Han and Leia re split off from Luke. While Luke seeks old Jedi secrets, Han and Leia are dealing with Han’s “wife,” Sana, who we learn isn’t really his wife, but the marriage they had was a very well-done fake in a smuggling venture. Meanwhile, Luke finds himself on good old Nar Shaddaa, the smuggler’s moon (which some of us may remember from the old EU). Luke doesn’t mind flaunting his lightsaber around, and others have interest in Jedi artifacts, such as Grakkus the Hutt, who collects Jedi artifacts. Taking Luke captive to utilize his abilities with the Force, Luke finds himself wishing his friends were around.

Once again, I love the art in these new canon graphic novels. They have a fantastic team for this project. The story is very engaging and leads right into Vader Down. I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this, and hopefully the new graphic novels will keep on giving.

 

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Star Wars: Vader Down (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Mike Deodato, Salvador Larroca, et. al.

Vader Down is an incredibly unique graphic novel in that it is a crossover that continues both Star Wars and Darth Vader. It contains Vader Down, Star Wars #13-14, and Darth Vader #13-15. The team does a great job of making sure the story flows smoothly, and it is by far one of the most interesting parts to the new canon. Vader is seeking his son, given Luke’s whereabouts by his assistant, Aphra. When Vader flies into an entire squadron of X-wings, he thinks Aphra has led him into  a trap. Landing on Vrogas Vas where a rebel base lies, Vader seeks Luke, only to encounter (and slaughter) many rebels. Standing against him is not only Leia, but his enemy apprentice, Karbin. Aphra finds Luke, and with the help of her droids, she seeks to redeem herself from the accidental trap that Vader was led into. Vader also happens to  still have a bounty hunter on Luke’s trail, which  Han and Chewie end up dealing with. In the end, Karbin’s assault on Vader steals his valuable time to find Luke, and Aphra is taken by Leia in the process.

This crossover is amazing, but the lead in to the following story arcs is somewhat disappointing. While all the first graphic novels were great, the story lines that follow Vader Down are not as interesting, which is disappointing after the buildup and success.

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.

 

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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.