Review: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic War #1

Below, as it appears on EUCantina.net, is my review of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War #1. It’s been awhile since I wrote a review, but with the return of one of my favorite Star Wars characters, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War #1 (2012)
Written: John Jackson Miller
Pencils: Andrea Mutti
Inks: Pierluigi Baldassini

After taking a break to follow the adventures of Kerra Holt for a few comic miniseries and a novel, John Jackson Miller returns to the era of the Knights of the Old Republic videogames with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War. Joined by artists Andrea Mutti and Pierluigi Baldassini, War #1 sets Zayne Carrick, the protagonist of the previous Knights of the Old Republic comic series, in the center of the Mandalorian Wars.

Zayne Carrick has been drafted into the Republic Navy to fight against the Mandalorians. He is assigned to Dallan Morvis, a ruthless commander who is out for Mandalorian blood. For not believing in that ruthlessness, Zayne gets into conflicts with Dallan and begins to follow a similar story structure to his first adventures in Knights of the Old Republic.

John Jackson Miller throws us right into the battle. Readers of the previous series will immediately recognize Zayne, and new readers will gather all the key parts of Zayne’s back story as the character draws parallels between those circumstances and his current one. We’re also introduced to new characters, such as Dallan Morvis and Dorjander Kace, who will be major allies (or enemies) for Zayne Carrick in future issues as the war continues. Although a lot of information comes at readers in this issue, Miller establishes each character perfectly, setting up the “who” now and leaving the “why” for future issues, preferably getting most of those “whys” addressed in the next one.

Andrea Mutti and Pierluigi Baldassini deliver a good visual for the story that is reminiscent of the previous series. Zayne looks familiar, and the lightsaber isn’t required to point him out on any page. This is an important skill an artist needs when jumping onto a book with previously established characters, and Andrea delivers. Several panels have parts or entire characters shaded out, making some of these shadows look awkward, but at other times, the shading is right on, capturing how we’d see someone in a dark place with a light coming only from one side. The battles and their resulting explosions are done fairly well, although I always have trouble following some of the smaller details at these moments. However, for this issue, only a couple panels jumped out at me for being “too busy,” but the following panels are always clear: everything went boom.

Whether you’ve been a long time reader of Zayne Carrick, a fan of the Knights of the Old Republic games, or a new reader to Star Wars comics, you’ll be excited for more. The last page leaves us wondering “what next,” and from my experience with Zayne Carrick, it’s going to get more intense before Zayne can catch his breath.

4 out of 5

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