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Republic #80

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Obsession #1 (of 5)

Story: Haden Blackman
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Sno Cone Studios
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Brian Ching, Brad Anderson
Released: 11/24/2004

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/19/2005)

SUMMARY:

Anakin believes he killed Asajj Ventress, but Obi-Wan's intuition tells him otherwise. While on a well-deserved leave from the frontlines of the Clone Wars, Anakin goes to visit his secret wife on Naboo, while Obi-Wan searches for clues of Ventress' whereabouts. He starts on trigalis where he forcibly convinces a local Black Sun member named Lord Xist. The Falleen tells Obi-Wan of an upcoming ambush near the planet Maramere, and that Ventress might or might not be the one planning it. Obi-Wan heads for Naboo first to pick up his former Padawan.


[final cover]


[preview cover]


THE STORY

Chronologically, this takes place after Republic #73. Perhaps because this series is aimed at a larger audience, people who wouldn't normally follow the ongoing Republic series, Blackman seem to feel the need to clearly explain everything. Which is nothing bad in itself, but I just thought I'd point it out. Using some almost-expository dialogue, we clearly know that Anakin is convinced he killed Ventress, that Obi-Wan is convinced she's still alive, that the Falleen lord is very dangerous, and so on. This could be a good thing, as this is the set-up for the whole series after all, and new readers might want to be clear on what's going on. Aayla Secura and Padmé are clearly used as foils so Obi-Wan and Anakin can deliver their inner thoughts as dialogue. But again, I'm not saying it's a bad thing; it's just obvious. Obi-Wan's motivation of why he is so obsessed in finding Asajj is not satisfyingly justified, but I'm sure that will come in the following issues.

Overall, this is a very entertaining issue and does a good job of making the reader want to find out what happens next.

Revenge of the Sith preview: This issue features the new Jedi Interceptor starfighter. Obi-Wan doesn't have his, so he borrows Aayla's to go meet with Anakin.


THE ART

I'm kind of on the fence when it comes to Ching's art: sometimes he is very good, some other times not so much. For instance, the opening swoop chase is very cinematic and dramatic, but other scenes when there is not so much action are not as interesting. When Obi-Wan removes his mask, I don't really like the lines in his face. Ching uses too many lines, a style that was made popular in Image and Top Cow comics. Not really my favorite style. Another downfall of this style is the disproportionate physionomies of muscular characters, such as the Falleen ganglord in this issue. His reveal shot on page 13 shows him with way too big shoulders and feet, and a way too small head. I think one of Ching's artistic strengths shows in his landscapes. The city of New Coronet on page 4, for example, and the night scenes on Naboo are all beautifully rendered.


CONCLUSIONS

A cool debut which will suit new readers as well as hardcore fans.

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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