Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: KANAN: The Last Padawan #6

KANAN: THE LAST PADAWAN No. 6
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Greg Weisman
ART: Jacopo Camagni
COLORS: David Curiel
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Pepe Larraz with David Curiel
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2015)

Rated T

Book 1, Epilogue: The Last Padawan

“Star Wars Rebels” is a 3D CGI animated television series that appears on the Disney XD cable network.  Produced by Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm Animation, “Rebel” is set 14 years after the film, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), and five years before the events depicted in the original film, Star Wars (1977).

“Star Wars Rebels” takes place during an era when the Galactic Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and features several new characters.  One of them is the former Jedi, Kanan Jarrus, who has spent years hiding his Force powers and lightsaber.  He is the star of the comic book series, Kanan: The Last Padawan.  The series is written by Greg Weisman (a former executive producer of “Star Wars Rebels”) drawn by Pepe Larraz, colored by David Curiel, and lettered by Joe Caramagna, with covers by Mark Brooks.

Kanan: The Last Padawan #6 leaves the past and opens sometime in the period in which “Star Wars Rebels” takes place.  Kanan Jarrus, the former Jedi Padawan, Caleb Dume, is now part of the motley crew of the freighter starship, “The Ghost.”  This six-person rebel cell is one of many small clusters of rebels fighting the Galactic Empire.  In addition to Kanan, there is the teenaged Ezra Bridger; the Twi'lek, Hera Syndulla; Mandalorian teen artist, Sabine Wren; Lasat honor guard, Zeb Orrelios; and astromech droid, C1-10P (aka “Chopper”).

As the story opens, Kanan returns to the planet, Kaller, where his life as a Jedi-in-training effectively ended.  The crew of the Ghost is on the planet to pick up supplies to help refugees.  However, upon arrival, Kanan and his rebel companions find the supply crates empty.  As they begin a search for these supplies, which they simply must have, Kanan fears that the ghosts of his past are beginning to catch up with his present.

Kanan: The Last Padawan #6 offers a change from the previous issues of the series, which all occurred in a time years before the events depicted in “Rebels.”  Also, Jacopo Camagni draws this issue, while series artist, Pepe Larraz, draws only this issue's cover.  Stylistically, it is not a big change, as the art in Kanan tends to stay close to the design and art direction of “Rebels.”

That is what Kanan: The Last Padawan tries to be – true to the animated series upon which it is based, and it succeeds at that.  Among Marvel's Star Wars comic book series, Kanan is almost the odd man out, as it is distinct, in a number of ways, from the other series.  However, that makes it a good tie-in comic book, giving readers two extra “Star Wars Rebels” stories per year.

I am curious to see where this series goes.  “Star Wars Rebels” has so much potential for delving into the years before the setting of the original Star Wars film trilogy, as well as offering some surprises.  Kanan: The Last Padawan reflects that, so I am in for the long haul.  It is not a great comic book, but it is a very good one.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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