Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
What They Say:
THE DEVIL’S APPRENTICE! SUPREME LEADER SNOKE’S brutal training of KYLO REN begins. Will the sadistic Snoke break his tormented protégé? Or has he underestimated the son of HAN and LEIA?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While I don’t expect much out of the Age of Resistance books as they have to be carefully done so as to not contradict the films or reveal things from them, Lucasfilm has worked well with Tom Taylor to provide just enough snippets of interest in them that has me hopeful for better long form books in the future. Especially if Taylor can be involved again. Leonard Kirk’s work with Cory Hamscher has been solid on the Resistance books and has fit well with them and that’s mostly true here. There are a few scenes where Kylo looks more like a teenager than other scenes and too young but for the most part Kirk captures the right intent and layouts so that the power of the story works.
Snoke’s tale is bonded to Kylo’s here as it predates The Force Awakens as Snoke is taking his apprentice to various places for training. The first one is about trust to some degree, Kylo’s trust in Snoke, but more so for Kylo’s trust in himself as he has to save himself as Snoke won’t do it. The nod that Skywalker would save him is used to paint it as a reason why Luke’s training was holding Kylo back because he didn’t have to struggle and really work for it. There’s also Kylo calling out Snoke with how he talks of Skywalker with admiration but the reality is that Snoke knows exactly what it is that Luke is and the power he commands and there is respect there. It’s something that I do hope is explored more in the future with the connections between the two because that little tidbit is definitely intriguing.
The other interesting part is that Snoke brings him to Dagobah for more of his training by using the same place Luke went to. That Kylo can feel that Luke was there adds to his hatred in a good way as does the expected fight underneath where he kills Luke. The greater challenge is with his parents appearing and the struggle he faces there to define himself. But this is also a stage where Kylo makes it clear that he’s cutting himself from all things before he became Kylo Ren, the whole past is the past saying, and his way of dealing with the tree is pretty much done in a final way. Amusingly, Snoke talks about how he intended to bring other apprentices there but the cockiness and assuredness of Kylo deals with that in the right kind of way that you can practically hear the petulance.
While it’s easy to just write off Snoke in general I’m hopeful that we get a lot more background on him in the years to come and how he figures into everything that has come before. The franchise has always moved backwards in interesting ways to fill the gaps and expand on things which then influence the other works. Tom Taylor does what he can with the character here since you can’t make big revelations in the comics at this point and Kirk’s artwork is generally solid throughout with a couple of exceptions. I liked seeing some of the things that came from this, especially with how Snoke views Luke, and to see more of the past being put down so as to allow this generation to move forward. Definitely an interesting book overall.
Age Rating: 9+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: September 11th, 2019