Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
What They Say:
A DYNASTY OF DOOM! ANAKIN SKYWALKER casts a long shadow. Can KYLO REN ever escape his infamous grandfather’s reputation? Or will he succeed where DARTH VADER failed?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The final installment of the Age of Resistance brings us a Kylo Ren story, though it’s not the first story within this batch that dealt with the character. Tom Taylor has a decent handle on who Kylo is and what we know of him but he’s able to make him feel a bit less dorkish in a way than he does in the film while still capturing that petulant attitude. It’s also an installment that works well with Leonard Kirk on the art duties. I’m always a bit iffy when it comes to Kirk because his style doesn’t work with a lot of well-established things but he’s found a number of good areas to work in within the Star Wars side that I’ve been able to warm up to his artwork more. He captures this world well where the story is told and I do like his take on the First Order uniforms as the angular nature of some of them is definitely in his wheelhouse.
Seemingly taking place prior to the events of the Force Awakens, we get Kylo and a large contingent of the First Order visiting a world where the locals, and oversized race with heavy ferocious cat features, are continuing their expansion. That’s far enough for the First Order just like it was for Vader decades ago when he came here and killed the king before cementing the limit of where they can expand. Kylo has an advisor with him here that’s an older Stormtrooper that served under Vader in the previous campaign and that gives him some background as he goes to enter negotiations about all of this. The older trooper, Captain Ruthford, is pretty nicely handled as he’s fairly forward with Kylo and talking about comparing himself to his grandfather in Vader in that it’s not a competition. But it’s just nice to have that touch of the old and connection, much like the distorted one we had with Vader revisiting old Clone Wars sites.
The negotiation aspect itself is kind of comical because Kylo is not that type of person and if Snoke sent him here it’s because he expected/desired this outcome. We’ve seen enough on how Palpatine used Vader to understand the master/apprentice dynamic well enough. The final act focuses largely on the action as the ground forces get into the fight once the King is dead and it’s a good-sized set of forces that are there and Kirk delivers the right scale for it. With it tying into the “god” of the locals that come to attack, this is where it gets big and silly in the ways that you’d expect but it’s a delight watching it unfold. We’ve seen this in past comics being done and you can imagine it being done in a film at some point simply because it is an amusing thing – which we saw in the second Guardians of the Galaxy film, no less.
Kylo Ren isn’t one of my favorites from the new trilogy, though I think there’s a lot of potential for making him a more engaging character through novels and comics with his backstory and past exploits. This issue again shows the rivalry that he’s built up between himself and his grandfather so it’s no surprise it has the edge to it that it does. But I love that Taylor ties it into a past adventure involving Vader and showing the way they both approach the issue differently and achieve similar but different results. With solid artwork from Kirk, this is a decent ending to the Age of Resistance books and has me hopeful that once the new trilogy wraps up this year that we’ll have a lot more material to explore for these characters so their larger lives can begin.
Age Rating: 9+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: September 25th, 2019