Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Leroy Douresseaux on STAR WARS: JEDI - THE DARK SIDE #2


[Visit the "Star Wars Central" review page here.]

SCRIPT: Scott Allie
ARTIST: Mahmud Asrar
COLORS: Paul Mounts
LETTERS: Michael Heisler
COVER: Stéphane Roux
32pp, Color, $2.99

Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side is a new Star Wars comic book recently launched by Dark Horse Comics. It is written by Scott Allie, who previously wrote Star Wars: Empire—Betrayal. The artist is Mahmud Asrar, who has worked on Brightest Day: The Atom Special and Avengers: The Initiative.

Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side is set during “The Rise of the Empire” era. This period takes place during the 1000 years before the Battle of Yavin (the climax of the original Star Wars film when Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star). This particular story takes place approximately 53 years before the Battle of Yavin.

The lead character of this first story arc of Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side is Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (ostensibly the lead in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace). The Jedi Council dispatches Qui-Gon, his headstrong Padawan Xanatos, the beautiful Jedi Master Tahl, and the Padawan Orykan Tamarik, whose master is deceased, to the planet Telos IV. Their assignment is to quell the unrest caused by the mysterious death and possible assassination of High Priestess Liora.

Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side #2 opens in the aftermath of the attack on their ship that occurred as the Jedi arrived on Telos IV. Matters are further complicated by the fact that this planet is Xanatos’ home world, and his father, Lord Crion, is its ruler. Father and son have a difficult relationship, made even more difficult by Crion’s pride and Xanatos’ stubborn ways. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon and Orykan make a shocking discovery – the presence of some kind of Jedi at the murder scene. Meanwhile, Tahl finds herself in the fight of her life.

Qui-Gon Jinn is my favorite character from The Phantom Menace, so I’m excited by this original comic book story featuring the Jedi Master who came to an untimely end. Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side doesn’t disappoint, but it is more than just another Star Wars comic book. It is a murder mystery with elements of palace intrigue and political conspiracy. There are themes of family discord, professional jealousy, personal dissatisfaction, and nationalism (or the planetary equivalent of it).

Writer Scott Allie presents this story as a detective tale – dropping suspects and motives all over the place. In fact, it seems as if everyone here is guilty of something, and Allie adds an air of suspense and intrigue to the story by giving every character something to hide or something with which to struggle. It makes for a great summer potboiler. Artist Mahmud Asrar brings Allie’s script to life in comics form – a gripping graphic novel read. Asrar’s clean style and dramatic chops guarantee that this will be both a good comic book and a good Star Wars tale.



No comments:

Post a Comment