This week’s only new Star Wars comic is the second issue of Dawn of the Jedi. GONK is up at the crack of Dawn to check it out…
Dawn of the Jedi #2 pushes the characters into action. In the first issue, we got the condensed history of the Tython system, with the Je’daii on one world, and various factions on others, as well as a glimpse into the Rakatan Infinite Empire as they search for Force-wielders. Now we get to meet our main heroes, as they each see Xesh, the Rakatan’s Force Hound, in the Force, and get called to a spot on Tython. Like summoning different members of a superhero team in the midst of their daily duties (Shae Koda is trying to tame and test-fly a rancor/dragon hybrid; Tasha Ryo saving her father, the crime lord, from an assassin; Sek’nos showing off his Force swagger for the Jed’aii ladies), the vision of the Shadow Man inspires each of them (and some others) to a spot… and that darkness is coming. Did I say rancor/dragon? Yup. Also, Twi’lek with a goatee.
This story has the sense of feeling pretty darn epic, because it’s issue #2 and we are still basically getting build-up: seeing the key characters in their normal lives as they experience something that will draw them into conflict with Xesh and the Rakatans. Only in the end do we see the main heroes meet up and confront the man who steps from the crash site of an alien ship. A man and his unusual weapon…
For an issue that feels mostly build-up and providing backstory to our main heroes, there’s still a good bit of action: Shae Koda runs into some trouble taming her beast, Butch, but gets help from her master (or maybe Morpheus); and an assassin attempts to kill Tasha Ryo’s father in his own lair but gets put down. We also see some other characters who sense the darkness and are called into action, but where they end up, we shall see. I especially like the look of Je’daii ranger Hawk Ryo (a relative of Tasha’s?), with his star badge on his gun belt – is this a subtle nod to Quinlan Vos’ use of the star badge logo, millennia later? And Tasha deflecting actual bullets with her hand – it’s one thing to absorb or deflect energy bolts with the Force, but Jan Duursema treats us to a Twi’lek of Steel against a Devaronian samurai. My favorite panel is one of Tasha, Sek’nos, and Shae all leaping into the foreground, with their beast mounts behind them as they avoid an explosion – ok… Je’daii and dinosaur-things. I think that’s a recipe for awesome for me.
With three doting females fawning over Sek’nos the handsome Sith, with lines like “mmm.. Sek’nos can experiment with me anytime,” and after he gets injured trying to impress them, “Can I kiss it better?”, John Ostrander reminds us that these Je’daii aren’t the attachment-eschewing monks of later generations. But how many times can the characters sense darkness – while it is key to repeat this phrase, it just feels trite in the end, like the characters are rolling d6 when using sense, and they keep getting the same result: darkness. Well, in the end, they do roll some different answers, but it’s still darkness.
Overall, good stuff. You could just pick up Dawn of the Jedi here if you want, but no, go back and get issue #1 if you haven’t already, since I’m guessing some of the shadow man’s story, unknown to our main characters here, is going to be important later.
Did you miss Issue #0 and Issue #1? Dark Horse has reprinted these issues and they were scheduled to also ship this week, so you can try to grab all three issues today, if you haven’t done so already – some retailers will get the reprints on March 28, depending on when they ordered the reprinted issues to restock the shelves!