General Grievous #1 (of 4)
Story: Chuck Dixon
Art: Rick Leonardi
Inking: Mark Pennington
Coloring: Lucas Marangon
Lettering: Dave Lanphear
Cover: Rick Leonardi, Mark Pennington, Lucas Marangon
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (03/19/2005)
Two years after the Battle of Geonosis, a mission to rescue Ambassador Quiyyen on Vandos turns for the worse when a group of Jedi and clone troopers are ambushed by an army of Super Battle Droids led by General Grievous. Padawan Flynn Kybo is the only one who survives the encounter, after loosing his Master T'chooka D'oon but rescuing the ambassador. Kybo stands before the Jedi Council and suggests that they should remove the threat of Grievous from the galaxy. But when the Jedi Council, and his new Master Z'meer Bothu. don't agree that assassination is the Jedi way, Kybo takes joins up with a few more Jedi that have the same goal, even if this goal means they might be thrown out of the Jedi Order.
The risk with this kind of story is that being a showcase for a major villain from an upcoming movie might overshadow the storytelling aspect. Unfortunately, I think this issue falls a bit short on the story side. Of course, this is only part one, but it looks like the story is headed towards a simple Jedi-sacrifice-everything-to-go-on-personal-vendetta situation. But the problem is, the way it's set up is weak (the group of Jedi conspire right in the presence of one of their Masters), and the characters are not interesting.
There are a lot of expository comments throughout, such as "Master B'dard Tone. You were at Geonosis"; Grievous announcing the name of every non-human species he confronts, and they're even in bold! ("The Mon Calamari are such a disgusting species"; "An Abyssin"); and the first thing Yoda says upon hearing Grievous' name is "A Kalee he once was." This type of dialogue is more suited for a reference book or a novel, but when just blurted out like that by characters, it takes me out of the story. It doesn't sound at all like something a character would say. It's more like narration.
There are some off-hand references to previous events, but with no impact to the story or apparent knowledge of the details of those events by the writer. It just seems like they're thrown out there chronologically (the first refers to Hypori, then Nadiem.)
Another thing that annoyed me was: did you notice all the names have apostrophes? And on a funny note, there's a bit of dialogue I think that sounds like a freudian slip. Flynn Kybo says: "A small force of Jedi, no more than a handful, that would infiltrate and target Grievous." Now, imagine that...
Thankfully, the issue ends in an attention-grabbing cliffhanger. I don't want to ruin it here, but it might be interesting to see how this is handled next issue.
I remember when Leornardi filled in for two issues of Star Wars on-going (#8 and #10), I praised his talent and said he should have done the whole "Outlander" story arc. Well I don't know what happened to this talent.
It's not just Leornardi, I think it's the whole artistic team. I think the inking doesn't enhance the best features of the art as it should. The lines are way too hick. The colors and the layout are way too simplistic. Although I think Grievous is represented as well as can be, the other characters look scary, especially Yoda. What's the matter with him? In some panels he looks like an evil malevolent gnome, in others he looks like a stone caricature. Even the starships are way too simplistic and out of proportions. Look at the Jedi Starfighter on page 19, and the troop transport on page 3.
On the plus side, I think this new unnamed purple-skinned Jedi on the council looks cool. And the way Master T'chooka is struck down by Grievous... you though Darth Maul's demise was spectacular, wait until you see this one.
Although I understand the appeal of a series starring an important villain, I don't think this one makes the cut story-wise. Needless to say, I was disappointed by this one. If you want to read an interesting story with Grievous in it, read Obsession.
Rating: 4.5 / 10 Not Recommended