Jedi: Mace Windu
Story: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Dan Parsons
Lettering: Digital Chameleon
Coloring: Joe Wayne
Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood (03/01/2003)
Three months after the Battle of Geonosis, Jedi are dying in greater numbers leading clone troopers into battle. However, the Jedi face an even greater problem. A number of Jedi are refusing to fight in the Clone Wars and some are even siding with the Separatists. Led by Sora Bulq, the dissident Jedi have agreed to meet with Mace Windu. He is determined to either bring them back or make sure they stay out of the conflict. However, doing so may be more difficult than he feared. Count Dooku has sent his new apprentice, Commander Asajj Ventress, to disrupt the meeting and turn the wavering Jedi against Windu. Can even the great Jedi Master set things right?
I was pleasantly surprised by this story on many levels. First of all, it is the introduction of Asajj Ventress, a major new character that will be featured in the Clone Wars cartoons. Her design was based on a Sith Witch character originally created for Episode II then scrapped in pre-production. Fortunately the double lightsaber wielding dark Jedi is resurrected in this story. While her true nature isn't totally revealed, this comic showns enough to keep me interested.
Second, I find it interesting to see numerous Jedi standing against joining the Clone Wars. While Jedi are generally portrayed as following the will of the Council unquestioningly, this shows they have a bit more personality than we give them credit for. After all, people oppose war in the real world, right? Why not Jedi? And ironically, by siding with the "enemy" Separatists, they are really fighting against Palpatine, the true bad guy. It messes with your head, but it's all quite dramatic, ain't it? This story also creates a credible situation where more Jedi could turn to the Dark Side, thus creating more unique villains between Episode II and III. This sets up a lot of great story potential.
I was also pleased to see Mace Windu taken down a notch by Yoda. After all, he didn't believe the Sith could return, and he was wrong. He didn't believe Count Dooku was evil, and he was wrong. This story proves Windu wrong yet again. Yes, he may have a cool purple lightsaber, but he's not all-knowing.
Overall, Mace Windu features a good plot, good action, and a lot of fun. It's worthy of the Star Wars logo.
Jan Duursema's art is excellent as usual. As you would hope, Mace Windu looks like Samuel L. Jackson, Yoda looks like Yoda, and Dooku looks like Christopher Lee. If you have that going for you, a lot is going right. Duursema rounds out the cast with a lot of excellent designs for the other Jedi. The dissident Jedi all look very cool on their own (though I'm not sure how Master Jeisel is passed off as a Devaronian). Asajj Ventress also looks appropriately evil in her debut. Since this is her first appearance, all the following incarnations of her will use this as a go-by. That's a good thing since she's well designed. The coloring by Digital Chameleon compliments Duursema's work well. The bright lightsabers against the dark backgrounds look great. Duursema does a first rate job of depicting the lightsaber battles in art without making them seem confusing. Everything comes together in this comic to make an excellent presentation.
Jedi - Mace Windu is a good story with some nice art and great action. It also does a nice job of setting up many potential storylines to come. This should also be a landmark issue if the Clone Wars cartoon is a hit since it is Asajj Ventress' first appearance.
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended