Story: Jeremy Barlow
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/28/2005)
When a mission on the planet Thustra goes bad, Master Yoda decides to go there to meet King Alaric in person. The two have been friends for a long time, and Yoda hopes to hear Alaric's reasons for wanting to secede from the Republic. Alaric in turn tries to convince his old friend that he is fighting for a Republic that's gone corrupt. Despite their strong friendship, the two cannot come to an agreement, and meanwhile the Republic forces overtake the palace after Alaric's nephew betrayed the location and strategic spots. It ends in a great loss to the Republic, both the planet and its leader.
I greatly enjoyed this story, as it reveals a lot about Yoda, one of my favorite Star Wars characters. Having him star in his own comic only scratches the surface of the story potential of this 800-year old Jedi. I could not think of a character better suited to have his own series (you listening Dark Horse?)
I don't want to reveal too much, but this is a tragic story. Jeremy Barlow, who is also associate editor of the Star Wars brand of comics, seems to have a very good undertanding of Yoda and the Jedi philosophies. He created a young brash Jedi Padawan for Yoda to play against, denoting that the great wisdom of centuries of knowledge seem to be only trying to live in the past for inexeprienced youth. He even has Yoda's backward speech down pat. I noticed that Yoda never draws his lightsaber, except when his own life is in danger. Like a true Jedi, he will do anything else before using a weapon. Yoda actually quotes to Obi-Wan that "the best blades are kept in their sheaths," and even during the passing years they never dull or tarnish. And he certainly proves the point.
If you're looking for great battles of the Clone Wars, you get some of this as well. But this tale goes a lot deeper, into the heart of the wisest of characters. I have not read such a good story in a long time. Hoping Barlow gets to write more in the future.
This is the first of the Jedi one-shots that is not drawn by Jan Duursema. And nothing against Ms. Duursema's wonderful talent, but Hoon's digital art is a nice change. It is hard to make a comparison, because they both have completely different styles. I don't know if Hoon ever did any other comic book art before, but he is truly talented, doing all the art and coloring, both interior and cover. Just looking at this double issue makes me wonder how many hours the artist had to put in. Most (if not all) of the beautifully colored backgrounds seem to be rendered digitally, which must take incredible amounts of patience.
The characters seem to be done graphically then redone and colored digitally. They are very much in the style of Japanese manga, which, from looking at his art gallery seems to be the artist's preferrd style. I really wish I could find out more about Haan's methods. The coloring is just beyond words. And that cover alone is probably the best I've seen all year.
This issue is perfect. I cannot think of any flaws. Truly a must-read.
Rating: 10 / 10 Highest Recommendation