Knights of the Old Republic #1
Commencement Part 1 (of 6)
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Travis Charest
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/13/2006)
Padawan Zayne Carrick is on the trail of a Snivvian dealer named Gryph. He fails to catch him once again and is reprimended by his Master when he arrives late at a banquet the Jedi are having. When Zayne spots Gryph again on the street, he runs after him and this time catches him. He brings his "prisoner" with him to the Jedi ceremony only to find that the Jedi Masters just slaughtered their own Padawans. Because he again arrived late, Zayne manages to escape the mysterious massacre. But for how long?
According to Part IX of the Chronicles on the Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords website, the Mandalorian Wars started in 3,963 B.B.Y. This issue starts one year before in 3,964 B.B.Y. and already the Wars are in effect. But this can be chalked up to bad bookkeeping on the historians part.
When I first heard about a series set between the old Tales of the Jedi comics and the Knights of the Old Republic games (which I very much enjoyed completing both a few times each) I was very much excited. Some groundwork for this period is already laid out, but it's pretty much wide open for the taking. Creative writers could have carte blanche and create a whole series of exciting adventures in an area relatively untouched.
So what do I think of this first issue? Well I'm a bit disappointed. Not because it doesn't live up to my grand expectations. Of course I know this is only the first issue, and maybe after 20 or 50 issues the series would start to take on an epic-saga feel to it. No I'm more disapointed that it starts on Taris, the Corsucant-like planet from the first game which I hated most. Disappointed because the main character doesn't seem very likeable or herois. Disapponted by the very comedic tone of this introduction to the series. And disappointed by the art (but more on that later).
I may be jaded, but the very first sequence felt to me very unrealistic and comedic. Padawan Zayne Carrick, running after some small-time crook named Marn "The Gryph" Hierogryph, starts off by breaking into the Snivvian's droid warehouse and destroying all his droids. Normally, that would make anyone angry to have your property and livelyhood destroyed like that, even if it's illegal. But the crook kind of brushes it off and then follows a comedic chase where the Snivvian kicks the Padawan off a ladder to fall hundreds of levels down into the city. So basically, this is attempted murder right there! Gryph actually tried to kill the kid. You would think that the Jedi would be mad at the guy who tried to kill him, but later when he finally catches him, they talk like old buddies. And also the way the Padawan survives the fall...well maybe he is using the Force or whatever to cushion his fall, but what are the odd in a city this big, with hundreds of levels of buildings, that the Padawan would fall through the window of the restorant where his Jedi Masters are expecting him for a banquet? If this whole sequence is supposed to be comedic, I guess I missed the whole point because I do not like when impossible coincidences like this happen in stories.
After that it becomes a bit more interesting, with Zayne arriving late again for a Jedi ceremony, only to find that his fellow Padawans have just been slaughtered by the Jedi Masters (a Human male named Lucien Draay, a Miraluka female named Q'anilia, a Togruta female, a Feeorin male and a Khil male). The only reason he survived is because he arrived late? I mean come on! Didn't the Jedi Masters know he's always late? Didn't they know he was coming to the ceremony? Why didn't they wait for all the Padawans to be there to kill them? Whatever the reason is for the betrayal, I guess details like this take me out of the story and prevent me from enjoying it as much as I should.
I was kind of ok with Brian Ching's art in the Republic and Obsession series. But here for some reason I really don't like the art. The style is too "sketchy" and there are too many pencil lines, especially in characters' faces. And he has a weird way to draw eyes. When you look at Zayne, his eyes are too far apart and he looks like he has a lazy eye. Or maybe it's done on purpose? And it took me a long time to figure out that Gryph is a Snivvian, because he looks nothing like one. Well now he does when you know it, but he looks more like a mole. Snivvians are supposed to have hair on their head like Humans, not all over their face and hands. But the other aliens are not bad, like the Besalisk restaurant manager and the alien Jedi Masters. The cover looks cool, but it has nothing to do with the story.
Disapointing but I might change my opinion by the end of the six-part story arc.
Rating: 5 / 10