Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
What They Say:
MAROONED! GENERAL HUX and KYLO REN crash-land on a far-off planet. With no hope of rescue, the two are forced to work together to survive. But can they survive each other?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While I enjoyed The Last Jedi overall I kind of disliked how Hux got treated, shifted to more of a comedy piece than in The Force Awakens. Tom Taylor plays it kind of between the two versions of the character that we’ve seen in the film and it works well here while also tying us back to his youth, which was touch upon in some of the novels. Leonard Kirk works with Cory Hamscher on the art duties for this installment and overall it works very well, especially with Hux who comes across really nicely in most of the scenes. Taking place before The Force Awakens, it gets to dabble in some interesting areas and nudge the relationship that exists between Ren and Hux pretty well.
With the pair on a shuttle checking out a world that they want to use as part of the First Order, some sabotage has made it so that they’re lucky that they survived the crash as the pilot is spread out everywhere. Ren has little use for Hux and basically tolerates him if only because of his subservience to Snoke who wants Hux alive. The jungle world is pretty good for a setup as they find themselves facing some dangerous big creatures pretty quickly and Ren is able to hold them off while Hux flees in a far too cowardly way for my tastes. But he is a master of using a situation to his advantage and when an old man shows up and takes Ren out, he uses it to gain the upper hand in general and with Ren specifically, finding a new way to torment the still conflicted young man.
It turns out that the old man here, Bylsma, was a former royal guard on Alderaan that was not there (obviously) when it was destroyed. He ended up crashing out on this remote world ages ago and only learns through Hux that the war ended. What’s amusing is that he shows him an uncovered Ren and paints a picture of his lineage without revealing the First Order so as to get on his good side and his use ship to contact Phasma. It’s a devilish little bit that plays well as he uses Ren’s true name when Ren wakes up, which is incredibly off-putting for him and really leaves him unsure of what’s going on. But that’s how Hux likes it. He takes advantage of situations for small jabs or bigger doses of revenge, such as going after the saboteur and those who were in charge of him. This goes back to his youth in striking some revenge for past slights as a child and that fits in well with the Hux of that time and that of how his father raised him, remembering the Phasma novel.
I expect that as time goes on and the films finish that we’ll see a bit more of a serious Hux portrayed in the comics if he’s used but more so in the novels as the gaps are filled in. With his upbringing being as brutal as it was and tied to Phasma as she came into service when he was a child, there’s a lot to explore there. Tom Taylor does a good job of delving into how he handles himself within the First Order as backbiting and intrigue rule the day for those with command level positions. Kirk’s artwork is solid here and fits the title better than a bunch of his other Star Wars works since so much of the style and tone has been set by dozens of other books and artists. I’d love to see this team explore more of Hux and his rise within the First Order.
Age Rating: 9+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 28th, 2019