At the Jedi gathering, Sylar speaks against Ulic Qel-Droma. Isolated Ulic tries to find a reason
for living. A neglected Vima Sunrider decides to seek out Ulic to train her as a Jedi.
After a very promising first issue, I was anticipating a TOTJ comic for the
first time in six or seven years. I'm not sure if it was my high expectations,
or perhaps it's problems intrinsic to a second issue -- but I think the
momentum built has slowed, if only slightly.
Despite previous young characters, I think this is the first Star Wars comic
to display identifiable teen angst. Vima is the talented, but neglected child
of a single parent. Her mother is devoted to career to the point of ignoring
her, and she longs for a male role model in her life. This may sound cheesy,
but I do a lot of work with youth and I've known many teen girls just like
her. Most of them decide to (or at least want to) act out in the way the most
opposite of their parent's wishes while still holding onto a core desire to
gain the parent's approval. What better way than to become one of her mother's
precious Jedi under the tutelage of her mother's outlawed ex-boyfriend?
My reading of this issue was colored by Chris Gossett's interview with
theForce.net where he spoke about the mythology of Star Wars and how Slyvar's
life metaphor will be revealed. I had visions of a subtle theme rising, but
this lady is simply irrational vengeance and aggression. I hope she's here for
some kind of counterpoint showing what Ulic used to be as opposed to what
he'll become. She's anything but subtle here.
Ulic's soul-searching scenes were inevitable, but quite enjoyable. Anderson
avoided the trap of using too much wallowing and self-pity. There remained a
tone of legitimate desire for purpose mixed with physical helplessness. I
liked the use of a 'Ghost Arca', a movie plot device rarely used in Star Wars
fiction (probably due to a lack of dead Jedi). I do think that this issue
would have been improved by leaving Ulic in the ground, and have the Arca
encounter next issue breaking his head out to see a frost-bitten Vima in the
next issue. This seems dramatically better than the awkward "but for what"
page. I guess we'll have to see how this plays out...
I felt cheated out of some story with two pages wasted on the opening text
crawl and the "next issue" teaser page.
The art maintained the nice sketchy quality of the first issue. This character
focuses title relies on Gossett to portray a lot of emotion and thought from
the characters which is much harder to achieve in a comic than action. Vima,
in particular, had a nice range of expression.
Ulic's introspective martial arts on the mountain top was nicely effective in
carrying his character preventing the need for a lot of words on the page in
the silent moments.
I appreciate an artist who draws a number of members of a non-human species,
and they all look different. Each Twi'lek on Ryloth looks like they have their
own story to tell.
The best artistic device was possibly the effective use of non-rectangular
panels. Check out the uprising cries on Ryloth and the shattered panel around
the eye of Ulic's broken spirit.
The weakest part of the art was the inconsistent rendering of Slyvar. She
looked different and awkward in many panels. Sometimes she was down right un-
This is a reasonably good book, but it doesn't quite carry the momentum of the
first issue. I'm cutting it some slack because the overall arc has strong