Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Star Wars: knights of the Old Republic #1

Written by: John Jackson Miller
Penciled by: Brian Ching
Cover by: Travis Charest
Published by: Dark Horse

Thousands of years before the first Star Wars film, during the Mandalorian Wars; on the (eventually) doomed planet of Taris, a smuggler/thief known as Gryph is attempting to make his latest sale, but is stopped by a young Jedi Padawan named Zayne. Unfortunately for Zayne, Gryph manages to elude capture, knocking Zayne off a ladder and subsequently sending him crashing into a Jedi banquet, where we are introduced to a small group of Jedi teachers and students. Later, Zayne attempts to capture Gryph once again, and makes a horrible discovery…

I’ve never had any interest in reading a Star Wars comic book, and I only purchased this for two reasons; one, because I’m a huge fan of the Xbox game Knights of the Old Republic, and two, because Travis Charest provides the covers for the series (he had a popular run on WildC.A.T.s with Alan Moore, and Wildcats with Scott Lobdell). The story of this series is set before the first game, during the Mandalorian Wars (which had been over for a few years during the events of the first game), and follows a set of different characters. Make no mistake though; the writer of this comic makes it apparent that we’re dealing with the same universe, setting the story on Taris, and a few little references to the game.

The story for the first issue is moderately interesting; the character of Zayne is somewhat reminiscent of Anakin from Attack of the Clones, though lacking Anakin’s cynicism and anger. He’s like what Anakin would be like without all the emotional baggage. Zayne also seems to be interested in the sister of a friend/fellow student of his, which could possibly lead to some complications down the road (love is forbidden to a Jedi). The issue ends with a conspiracy cliffhanger that, while subtle seeds were planted earlier in the issue, catches the read off guard. One thing about the issue though that I can’t help but wonder, is why these Padawans are being trained on Taris, since in the first KOTOR game, the Jedi are trained on Dantooine.

The interior artwork of the issue is actually pretty good, while not realistic looking, it lacks the bombastic dynamics that a lot of mainstream comic book art seems to have, which is not surprising given the subject matter of the series. The colouring is also done rather well, it gives the panels an (almost) painted look to them, without being too artsy. Travis Charest gives us a nice cover, but I can’t help but notice that his style has changed over the years, hard to put my finger on it, but there’s a fair amount of difference.

A decent start for the series, this issue is worth picking up if you’re a Star Wars fan (particularly, of the KOTOR games), even a casual Star Wars fan might take some interest in the title as very little prior-knowledge is required.

Rating: ***1/2 out of *****


30 January, 2006 11:21, Blogger zilla said...

"He’s like what Anakin would be like without all the emotional baggage". love it. also the phrase "bombastic dynamics". whew.

this first issue wasn't all that bad... for one of the first star wars comics i've read since i've been back... but i'm not sure about it yet.


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

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