So, while the Star Wars Adventures comics are a bit of a departure in tone from the rest of the canon, which tends to be a bit darker, I’ve come to really enjoy the sort of carefree shenanigans that the lighter tone of this comic allows for, and I can think of no better example of that than this issue.
This issue has two very different stories, both of which are enjoyable in very different ways. Like previous issues, it has one story from the sequel period (ie: The Force Awakens) and one from some time in the past (ie: the original trilogy or prequels). This issue featured a special treat, in that Alan Tudyk (K2SO’s actor and well-known nerd icon) himself contributed writing to the piece about his Rogue One character.
The first story continues the trend of Phasma comics and novels of showing us more about life in the First Order, but in a much more lighthearted way. The story follows Finn as he runs around the Finalizer, repeatedly almost bumping into the most powerful players in the First Order, trying to find and control a strange creature that has gotten loose. The second is about K2SO taking care of some Wookiees on a moon that turns out to be more inhabited than he and Cassian first thought.
While I enjoyed K2’s dialogue (as always), I think I enjoyed the first story more for how unique it is (covered below in the more detailed section of the review). I found it generally funnier and I genuinely like all of the characters in the First Order (yes, even Hux, at least as of the various improvements to his character we are given by the Phasma novel). This continues to be a great comic for kids who want to get into Star Wars, and I think this one in particular makes some of the darkest aspects of the new canon (ie: Rogue One and the First Order) accessible and enjoyable for younger fans and for older fans brings to them a levity that is necessary for any characters who exist in Star Wars.
Now, onto the stuff for the really intense fans. As usual, full canon spoiler warnings, just in case. We’ll start with the first story. I really enjoyed this because so little of the lighter media ever really focuses on the villains, in spite of how well-developed they are. Even Rebels (which, arguably, isn’t that light-hearted most of the time, but its art style makes one feel like it is) only has one episode I would say is decidedly “Imperial focused” (“Through Imperial Eyes” in Season Three). And villainous female characters such as Phasma, Ventress, Pryce and Sloane have been noticeably left out of the “female focused” series of animated shorts “Forces of Destiny” (even though there are many opportunities to include them in stories with the women we do focus on as antagonists).
I really enjoyed watching Kylo Ren go to a meeting and go on about darkness with literally no prompting (and arguably even less appreciation or encouragement), then head over to Phasma’s room to tell her… I don’t know to look for something he had no description of and not even notice he wasn’t really talking to her at all. And then to see Phasma tell Finn to kill some weird animal so it could be dissected because it might have uses. Just, everything about Phasma is great. She says things in the interest of military efficiency that even Thrawn would think of and decide “that sounds strange though, I should keep it to myself.” I love it. It was great. I found the whole story genuinely hilarious and just believable enough to not seem out of character or strange.
I also loved that Tudyk himself put in work on the K2SO comic. He’s one of my favorite actors, and has been in so many things I love (from Star Wars to Firefly to Young Justice to Arrested Development), and I love seeing how devoted he is to the roles he plays. I’m honestly not a huge fan of most of the cast of Rogue One, but I really enjoyed K2SO and found this comic both entertaining and endearing, though I’d have to say the first story won out for me because of how funny I found almost everything in it.
Needless to say, this was a particularly special Star Wars comic for me, and I would suggest it to all hard-core fans (even though it’s a bit different from what we’re used to for the comics) and to anyone who wants a genuinely enjoyable supplement to the most recent film additions to the canon.
Art: 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Story/Relevance: 5 Stars
Dialogue: 5 Stars
Landry Q. Walker (Author) • Eric Jones (Artist, Cover Artist) • Alan Tudyk (Author) • Shannon Eric Denton (Author) • Arianna Florean (Artist) •Monica Kubina (Colorist) • Joe Quinones (Cover Artist)