– Spoiler Review –
Written by Matt Owens, with an art team of Denys Cowan, Roberto Poggi, and Guru-eFX, Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu #1 starts the newest miniseries about the titular Jedi with more of a question mark than anything else.
Taking place following the start of the Clone Wars, this Mace Windu-centric tale sees the Jedi Master tasked with reconnaissance of a Separatist base on the planet Hissrich. He brings along a unique team of Jedi to assist him, including the ever smiling Kit Fisto and two new ones: Prosset Dibs and Rissa Mano. Unfortunately, though I’m only saying this after having read the first issue, the story is the weakest link to this miniseries while the characters are looking to be its strength. I say the story seems to have some problems because sending Jedi Master Mace Windu on a recon mission seems far beneath his stature, as it begs the question why an elite squad of clones (like ARC troopers or something) couldn’t have been dispatched to do such an easy mission, while it only gets odder from there. This mission is supposed to be clandestine, but immediately the Jedi team attacks, unprovoked mind you, an aimless droid patrol not even minutes after landing on the planet. This comes after Mace has not only said the Jedi have been training for missions just like this, but the fact it’s a stealth mission continuously gets mentioned leaving one wondering why they didn’t let the patrol harmlessly pass. However, these silly mistakes and decisions (which are not completely unheard of for the prequel Jedi) do lead to more intriguing story possibilities, like who the locals are that surround the Jedi as the issue closes and at least the AD-W4 mercenary droid already knows they’re there so hopefully we won’t have to wait long for him to attack them.
As mentioned, the characters, though not necessarily Mace Windu at this point, look to provide content worth checking out in the series. Prosset is a Miraluka, marking their first ever canon appearance (not like they can see it though *wink*…I’ll see myself out) and he’s got quite the list of questions regarding the war and the Jedi’s place in it. In fact, those questions and doubts are the same Mace Windu is feeling currently, so watching how these two react and change their minds throughout the series should provide some intriguing exchanges. Despite those questions, he does have a lot of eye jokes considering he’s blind, so he won’t be all doom and gloom at least! My bets are already on Prosset staying behind with the locals, unwilling to call himself a Jedi if they stay in the war, while Prosset’s decisions or the actions of the AD-W4 droid will be what pushes Mace to get over his doubts and embrace being called a General. Thankfully, not every Jedi along for the trip is a little moody about the war, as fellow newcomer Rissa Mano is excited to be on a mission. Her biggest reason why makes her sound like any fangirl/boy in the real world: Windu is one of her top five Jedi of all time, while poor Fisto falls in the mid-twenties (who at least takes her rankings in stride). It curious to see a Jedi Knight enamored with a Master in such a relateable way and I’m looking forward to whatever brightness she, and big smiles himself, Kit Fisto, can bring to the miniseries. Let’s hope she doesn’t end up fridged to “help” Mace overcome his doubts, as that would be a truly disappointing waste of her character. And speaking of Mace Windu, well he doesn’t scream of Samual L. Jackson charisma quite yet.
We don’t know much about AD-W4, other than he looks like a droid version of DC’s Deadshot and believes only in the might of credits, but he’s imposing enough that I feel he could be quite the villain. Back when the series was announced, writer Matt Owens said the droid would embody the, “science vs faith debate,” which comes at the wrong time due to Mace’s current doubts. Will he live up to that description or only in looks alone?
Speaking of looks, the art here is…heavily stylized. Denys Cowan is the penciler and he brings a very gruff, angular style that doesn’t always quite work for me, especially in the beginning of the issue. His take on Yoda seriously gives me the creeps, as he looks like a Gremlin and Kermit the Frog had a baby. Once the issue finds itself on the brand new planet of Hissrich, his style isn’t as egregious considering we’re largely dealing with original content so we have nothing to compare it to, while people and machines we do know (like Mace or the battle droids) don’t look half-bad in his style. We’ll see if that holds up as the series continues. Otherwise, Roberto Poggi and Guru-eFX (which is a pseudonym) do fantastic on colors, really bringing panels vividly and brightly to life, despite Hissrich constantly being bathed in darkness.
Here are a few other things:
- Over at Tosche-Station, Bria seems to be similarly unimpressed with the issue, though she’s a little more optimistic and points out there was some okay humor within. While I’ll still be reviewing each issue of this miniseries, she’ll be taking a break until it’s over, a choice I’m curious to see unfold as some of the latest miniseries (Darth Maul, anyone?) have made it hard to say anything new about them in a review for every issue (something I’m for sure doing with adaptations going forward once Rogue One wraps up). So keep that in mind when searching out reviews!
Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu #1 isn’t a rousing start, but the potential is there, somewhere.
+ Potential fun with many of the characters (mainly the new ones)
– Story feels forced
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Aphra (#1-6) | And the Enormous Profit (#9-14) | Annual: #1
The Screaming Citadel (crossover of Doctor Aphra and Star Wars on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Out Among the Stars (#33-37) | Annual: #1 | #2
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 16) | War Stories (#17-19)
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Darth Maul (mini-series)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Rogue One (adaptation)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)