Story: Jody Houser
Art: Cory Smith, Wilton Santos, Walden Wong, Marc Deering
Colors: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
What They Say:
A DESPERATE DIPLOMATIC MISSION FOR SENATOR AMIDALA! PADMÉ sets out in secret to try to bring a neutral world into the Republic fold. Is this a genuine offer of alliance, or another trap for the outspoken Senator? And will rejecting the help of the JEDI be a deadly mistake?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
When it comes to the prequel era of works, it’s been a touch light in exploring much of it in the comics and novels side until more recently unless it was a Darth Vader book or a small miniseries involving the Jedi themselves. Padme has a couple of things out with this and a new novel which helps to expand her story well, which is well-handled by Jody Houser here. While it’s not a story I’m looking for, hoping for more time spent on Naboo and how all of that world works, it’s a good look at the character and presented well by a solid art team that put it together. Giving us a new world to work with and something a little brighter and more colorful as the prequel era often tries to work with, it all comes together in the right way.
With the war on as big as it is, Padme’s still doing what she can to try and bring it to a close quicker and that often means trying to establish more deals with neutral worlds that could be playing both sides. She’s also keeping this secret from Anakin because of his relationship with Palpatine and the way Palpatine has a poor view of worlds that wouldn’t get in line for the Republic. So, with a lie, she and her two handmaidens Motee and Dorme head off to a different world than she told Anakin in order to make a meeting that was put into motion. It’s enjoyable to watch as Padme takes control of multiple aspects of it in order to shoulder as much of the potential blame as possible. They’re not too thrilled with that nor is Motee all that happy to see her engaged in a relationship with Anakin considering all the problems that come from it, never mind that she’s lying to him.
Of course, the neutral world they’re visiting isn’t going to be an easy mission as there’s a separatist sniper that has her targeted, which also caused a ruckus with the leader of this world already dying from a prior attack. We get some solid action after some really good tense buildup that leads to Padme doing her best to try and negotiate in a way with the second in command here, who wasn’t thrilled with meeting anyone from the Republic. It’s a decent storyline overall as we see how Padme doesn’t get what she wanted but opened up communications well with this world and also explores, lightly, why some of them stayed neutral and how they hoped to regain some favor once the war ended since they do want the Republic to win. It’s not the best tact to take but it is one that you can at least understand.
The Padme Amidala story is one that showcases her talents fairly well and her general approach to dealing with a larger plan. I do find her a fascinating character because of her similarities and contrasts to Leia and how different their situations are once they become engaged with the larger world. Houser put together a story that’s wrapped up easily but has some amusing moments to it, some solid action, and a focus on her attempts at diplomacy while facing the larger picture. I’d love to see more of her navigating the political stage and what was involved there – similar to the Leia novel with her as a junior legislator – so there’s plenty to like here as a little tease of all of that.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: March 6th, 2019