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TOTJ Tales of the Jedi: Redemption #1
Writer: Kevin J Anderson
Art: Chris Gossett
Colors: Dave Nestelle
Editor: David Land and Bob Cooper

Summary

Ten years after the Sith Wars, Ulic Qel-Droma tries to find a solitary place to live. Nomi Sunrider gathers the first meeting of Jedi for ten years.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 08/05/98

Story
After my first reading of this issue, I felt that it had a very familiar feel to it. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the title it resembled was Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns". That classic series takes place ten years after the last public appearance of the Batman and features a retired and solitary Bruce Wayne hiding from his past. Demons drive him to take up his Knighthood, joined by a reckless young red-haired girl. (If you enjoy comics, and you haven't read TDKR you owe it to yourself to read it... among the greatest ever written.) Redemption follows this story very closely.

For the record, I was tired of TOTJ and had no anticipation for this series at all. Somehow, this issue made me care about these characters I'd lost interest in. Maybe because 10 years has given them a fresh look? Ulic is defeated, Nomi is a leader and Vima is insolent. Tott's the same, but I'm not quite sure what he's been up to for the last ten years.

Not much happens other than introducing the characters and the situation, but that's par for the course for any issue #1 of 6. The dialog was well written and the typical Anderson references to other Anderson material is very forgivable here as setup allowing people who have lost interest in TOTJ to pick it up again.

Art
Before the story connections clicked in, I noticed the similarity in artistic style to that of 'The Dark Knight Returns'. Ulic's face and build looks like that old Bruce Wayne, and both titles share a very "sketchy" look setting a similar tone.

Color aside, it shares many of the qualities I liked about the Manga ANH adaptation. These characters are very detailed and alive. The terror at Ryloth was very real, even in the beasts of burden.

Gossett has a general rule that a character's mouth is either completely closed or open wide enough to check the back molars. I've never really cared for that, but it's less annoying in this issue than ever before.

The colors are understated and stunning. Yavin was soft, alive and haunted. Rhen Var was cold. Exis Station is as beautiful as the Special Edition Cloud City, yet different. But best of all, you could feel the heat coming off of the page at Ryloth.

Conclusions
Part of the legend of "The Dark Knight Returns" was that it breathed new life into a Batman franchise that was spiraling into irrelevance. It brought the title a new tone and a new level of writing.

Can 'Redemption' do the same for 'Tales of the Jedi'? From what we see in issue #1, it's certainly possible. Is the title worthy of such a direct comparison to Miller's masterpiece? No, but it's a step in the right direction.

7.5/10. Recommended.

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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