Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Darth Vader #9

This review of Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 contains minor spoilers.

Jocasta Nu is brains and brawn.

Oh, and guns?

Jedi have them and Jocasta uses her with the greatest of efficacy and ease.

That’s just the beginning of what writer Charles Soule and artistic team Guiseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Daniele Orlandini (inks), David Curiel (colors) and VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters) have wrought with a tale that is nonstop action even as it offers more detail about the Jedi Order and Nu’s importance to not just it, but Emperor Palpatine, his Empire and the Sith, too.

This arc, part III of “The Dying Light,” is a riveting story, focusing with precision as it does on Nu and the Grand Inquisitor, a fallen Jedi who has harbored a grudge against her over her refusal to share with him deeper Jedi knowledge and lore. Nu makes it clear it wasn’t personal. In her role she had to guard both unready Jedi — masters, knights and padawans — from learning too much and knowing too little.

It’s that knowledge that makes her so valuable to Palpatine and to Vader, but not to the Grand Inquisitor who, despite not being Sith, is consumed by Sith-like desire to punish the one — he believes — denied him the forbidden fruit of knowledge.

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Comics With Kenobi #38

It’s an extra-special special episode as we sit down with Alex Ray and Jim Mello, co-creators of the wildly popular and strikingly imaginative A Star Wars Comic to mark the completion of a year’s worth of stories and tales from a galaxy far, far away in our respective head canon.

For us, it’s been a shared road, given our love for Star Wars comics. It was in January 2017 that we spoke with them ahead of the first comic and having Jim and Alex’s effort has been exceedingly satisfying month in and month out.

They’ve taken us — and you — from one end of the Star Wars galaxy to another, introducing new characters alongside with old favorites.

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IDW Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars Adventures #3

This review of Star Wars Adventures #3 contains minor spoilers.

With the third issue, IDW Publishing has cemented Star Wars Adventures as true all-ages title.

There’s great storytelling and visuals in this issue with the main feature a kid-friendly romp focused on The Force Awaken’s Finn and his effort to curtail a purple pest from planetside that caused my kids — and myself — to laugh aloud.

For adults? Plenty of subtle nods to the relationship dynamic between Kylo Ren, Gen. Hux and Capt. Phasma, too.

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Comics With Kenobi #37

Plenty to be thankful for when it came to Marvel’s November slate of Star Wars comics, including a pair of double-dips for the Star Wars and Darth Vader series. Reading Poe Dameron gave us all kinds of feels, especially if you harbor affection for not just Leia Organa, but Padme Amidala.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Poe Dameron #21

This review of Star Wars: Poe Dameron #21 contains minor spoilers.

Just going to put it all out there: Star Wars: Poe Dameron is the finest of the current crop of Marvel’s Star Wars comics.

It seamlessly threads events from the Prequel, Original and New Trilogies, while paying far more than homage to the characters that have come before it and may yet come again.

The latest issue, Poe Dameron #21, is a splendid example of this, focusing not on just Leia Organa, but the blood ties of her family, past, present and possibly future, too.

If that’s not enough, writer Charles Soule, artist Angel Unzueta, colorist Arif Prianto and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, combine for a riveting and fast-paced story that reads like a heist caper with just enough emotional context to make it solidly satisfying.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Mace Windu #4

This review of Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu #4 contains minor spoilers.

The penultimate issue of the Mace Windu mini series has upped the stakes demonstrably through the use of flashbacks and real-world parallels to evangelism and how that can be good and bad.

What’s most striking about the issue, written by Matt Owens, is its deep dive into the pros and cons of a widely accepted way of thinking and how easy it can be to hijack it for one’s own personal gain.

As such, the series takes a needed break from the previous three issues to focus instead on the moral relativism of Jedi dogma and whether a one-size-fits-all thinking can ever work for such a disparate group of adherents.

The story is made better, too, by the use of flashbacks that shows readers a Padawan Mace Windu searching out an imposter with Jedi Master Cyslin Myr on the the world of Mathas.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars #39

This review of Star Wars #39 contains minor spoilers.

The damage on Jedha looked bad from above the moon. It’s even worse on it.

As the “Ashes of Jedha” arc continues through Marvel’s flagship monthly Star Wars title, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca have stocked #39 with a mix of powerful prose and imagery, along with some much-needed yet not over-the-top levity.

Indeed, the crux of the second part of this story arc is the admission of damage done to the moon during the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While viewers saw the roiling rock and dirt and rising spire of dust, debris and death, it’s in the pages of the comic that we see its toll on those residents left behind and Saw Gerrera’s surviving Partisans.

It’s not pretty. It’s not hopeful. It’s not optimistic.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Darth Vader #8

This review of Star Wars: Darth Vader #8 contains minor spoilers.

Never besmirch the good books amid the presence of a librarian fighting for outright survival.

To tally with such tomes with contempt and disrespect can invite nothing good. Rather it would invite troublesome toil and vexation the likes of which could dispel even the most inquisitive among us in a grand fashion.

In short? Jocasta Nu is the arguably the most lethal Jedi the order ever produced and we wonder what the galaxy would have been like had she been on the front lines of preserving peace and order in the now-fallen Republic.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Doctor Aphra #14

This review of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #14 contains minor spoilers.

After the enormity of the previous story arc, issue 14 begins the cycle anew with Si Spurrier joining Kieron Gillen on the monthly title as co-writer.

If the first chapter of “Remastered” is any indication, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

This issue is the first since Aphra’s debut where we see her truly grapple with her past decisions and how they color her future outlook.

It’s a story that sees the return of familiar faces and potential partners in the persona of Imperial now-Lt. Magna Tolva, as well as something that’s been seen only fleetingly in prior adventures: a conscience. Add to that the realization that Aphra’s seemingly thoughtless actions have had consequences on those she’s interacted with — see Tolva — and it’s a remarkable piece of character study.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars #38

This review of Star Wars #38 contains minor spoilers.

There’s more to Jedha than we thought we knew.

It’s clear that the planet featured in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is far more than just a checkmark on planets the Empire has reduced to rubble.

Writer Kieron Gillen, who takes over Marvel’s flagship monthly, marks his debut with a wildly engaging romp that bridges not just Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels, but the endpoint of the original trilogy, too.

In short, Luke, Leia, Han and Sana — but not Chewbacca — find themselves seeking out the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s partisans, whom we last saw furiously fleeing the rolling devastation of earth, concussive force and and dust of the Empire’s “statement.”

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