Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Mace Windu #5

Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Mace Windu #5

This review of Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #5 contains minor spoilers.

After five issues of the Mace Windu mini series, readers are left with a bevy of questions, chief among them: What was the purpose?

It’s a difficult answer, but it’s there, in plain sight. Yet the answer is different to each and ever individual reader. For some, it may be, nothing, there was no purpose. For others, it was an exercise in futility. For me? It was a matter of practicing patience, holding out for something deeper.

It was a long wait, yes, and the story that Matt Owens penned is a profound one, though it’s overlooked, at times, because of vexing hue and cry over the art that envelopes the story. (That said, the watercolor cover by Rod Reis is a thing of beauty.)

There was a great hope for this series when it was announced. Mace Windu as the protagonist, adventure at the start of The Clone Wars era and a chance to see some familiar faces from the Prequel Trilogy films, too.

On those tasks, the series delivered, but the pacing was slow and the plot wasn’t groundbreaking: A small team investigating Separatist malfeasance with a sardonic droid antagonist that was little more than an overbearing bucket of bolts with delusions of grandeur.

The series started slowly, but Owens reached a comfortable footing in issue three when Jedi Prosset Dibs questioned the very nature of the Jedi Order in a heated discussion with Mace Windu that quickly went from a war of words to combat. That built into issue four, with the snappy dialogue overcoming the less-than-believable art by penciller Denys Cowan and inker Roberto Poggi.

The conclusion did come, at long last, in issue five, but the impact of it, the tenaciousness of Dibs’ revelatory observations were muddled by the art which, frankly, seemed rushed in some panels and, in others, simply not up to par with a Big Two title, much less a Star Wars comic.

Still, when it’s all said and done, the Mace Windu series, while not a crowd favorite, is very much a philosophical work and a paean to the notion of a tabula rasa.

Despite the Sentinel-inspired villain, the lackluster colors and the sometimes off-kilter pacing, the story was a measured examination of how to define duty and personal sacrifice and how loyalty to a cause or ideal can quickly become infected, morphing into outright fanaticism.

Mace Windu #5 is in comic shops now, selling for $3.99, and on Comixology.

(For more detail and discussion, tune into the next episode of Comics With Kenobi.)

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