Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi - CAPTAIN PHASMA #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Kelly Thompson
ART: Marco Checchetto
COLORS: Andres Mossa
LETTERS: VC's Clayton Cowles
COVER: Paul Renaud
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2017)

Rated T

Captain Phasma: Book 1, Part I

Two years ago, Marvel Comics published Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire.  It was a four-issue miniseries that was set in the immediate aftermath of the events depicted in the 1983 film, Return of the Jedi (or Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi).  It introduced the parents of a pivotal character who, at the time, was to appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VII), a little over two months after the first issue of Shattered Empire.

Now, a little over two months before the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII), Marvel is publishing another Star Wars “Journey to” comic book miniseries.  This is Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma.  It written by Kelly Thompson; lettered by Clayton Cowles; and features the team of artist Marco Checchetto and colorist Andres Mossa (who drew and colored Shattered Empire).

Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #1 opens on the First Order's super-weapon, “Starkiller Base,” parallel to what is the final act of The Force Awakens.  Captain Phasma has escaped from the trash compactor into she was forced by Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the former stormtrooper FN-2187, now known as “Finn.”  Starkiller Base is under attack by Resistance Forces, and Phasma discovers that the Resistance had help inside the base.  Now, Phasma has a new mission – hunt and kill the traitor who allowed Starkiller Base to be destroyed.

From the moment Star Wars fans first spotted Phasma in an early movie trailer for The Force Awakens, they have had high expectations for this character.  Alas, her part in the film was small and her role mostly unimpressive – relative to expectations.  Phasma is supposed to have a bigger role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

In the meantime, she comes across as quite menacing in Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #1.  Writer Kelly Thompson tells the story using first person narration by Phasma and gives the readers a look at how relentless she is in service of the First Order.  This could prove to be perilous however, if Thompson characterizes Phasma as nothing more than a cog in service of the First Order.  That would make this miniseries a long and dull one.

I find the work of artist Marco Checchetto here to be what it has been in his previous Marvel Comics work:  pretty art, but sometimes cluttered graphical storytelling.  Luckily, Andres Mossa is here to add some dynamism to the storytelling.

So I hope that the storytelling in Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma gets stronger.  This first issue shows the potential of the series, but is itself a bit lukewarm.  Of course, this may be because Captain Phasma is still a character that is mostly a blank slate.

6.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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