Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1

Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1

This review of Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1 contains minor spoilers.

The first issue of Mace Windu was a week late.

It could have used a week more to tighten up some of the minor annoyances in the debut of Marvel’s latest five-issue mini series.

Still, that’s not to say the comic — and the four issues to come — isn’t worth your money or time spent reading it.

Written by Matt Owens, with pencils by industry veteran Denys Cowan and inks by Roberto Poggi, colors by GURU-eFX, letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna and edited by Heather Antos, Charles Beacham and Jordan D. White, the series is stylistically different than any previous Star Wars comics outing.

That’s good and bad.

The good? The pacing and dialogue from Owens is illuminating, helping us realize the immense burden the Jedi Order is assuming as it transitions from keeper of the peace to leader of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The moral implications of this shift are not lost on Windu nor his peer, Ki-Adi-Mundi and even Yoda. There’s much to take in, ruminate upon and, ultimately, parse about how the fundamental nature of the Jedi Order will be forever altered. Granted, we know what the end game is, but to dive deeper, free of the skeins of intrigue set forth in Revenge of the Sith is a learning experience.

Also good? The introduction of new Jedi, including the Star Wars’ equivalents of Marvel Comics’ Daredevil and Firefly’s Kaylee Frye in the form of Prosset Dibs and Rissa Mano.

Dibs is blind and Mano is a technologically gifted engineer. Both are rookies, but are ready.

Rounding things out is Kit Fisto, a stalwart and assuring presence and one who’s given some quality exposition. It’s this team, led by Windu, that embarks on a mission and who are our heroes.

The bad? The art and production could be better. Cowan’s work is legendary in some circles, angular and bold, with a decisive attitude aptly suited for super-hero work.

For Star Wars, there’s more contextual layering and details that some times require a softer palette. Still, Cowan’s work is bold and that’s not something I would criticize. There are, however, some odd production gaffes, notably shading on Yoda that gives him a goatee or a rather large ink blot on Windu’s face.

Still, the issue is a solid debut. A deft blend of action, pathos and, yes, gallows humor, courtesy of Owens’ sharp scripting. This will be a war book, in the vein of such DC classics as G.I. Combat or Star Spangled War Stories. That tack will set this one apart from previous outings.

Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1 is in comic shops now, selling for $3.99, and on Comixology.

(For more detail and discussion, listen to Comics With Kenobi #34, due out Sept. 5.)

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