Story: Cavan Scott
Art: Ario Anindito, Mark Morales
Colors: Annalisa Leoni
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
What They Say:
ALL-NEW SERIES CONTINUES! WHO DESTROYED ONE OF THE JEDI’S DEADLIEST ENEMIES? The NIHIL strike! A ship found adrift in space, the crew brutally slaughtered and cargo stolen. What terror awaits THE JEDI OF STARLIGHT BEACON as they explore the wreck? Newly knighted KEEVE TRENNIS must overcome her insecurity in the face of new teammates, but can she trust her closest ally?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of the High Republic had a lot of things to introduce to set up some baseline elements to it amid the whole time period that’s being established across multiple books. Cavan Scott did a solid job with it, especially as this was the first entry in this period that I’m reading, but the second issue feels like something that’s far more assured and engaging as there’s a better sense of forward motion here as opposed to the transitional elements of the first. Ario Anindito and Mark Morales again deliver a good looking book that feels in line with everything else but touching on some new areas and having some really big pages, especially that two-page splash of the dead Hutt. Combined with Annalisa Leoni’s color work that’s top-notch here with the gas in the story, it’s a strong second installment.
With Trennis now a full Jedi, she’s sent on a mission to deal with the distress call that was received from the transport ship. She’s got Sskeer along with her as well as Terec and Ceret, bonded twins that pretty much complete each other sentences and feel what the other feels. The mission is pretty solid as we see them board the ship that still has pressure and potential signs of life. The Nihil had hit it going by first appearances as their tactic of pumping it full of gas is very evident, as are all the bodies left behind because of it. While the group splits up to cover ground more quickly, I really like what we get out of Trennis and Terec as they get to the flight deck and discover a Hutt there that has died along with the others. It’s positively creepy and the surreal mystery aspect to it works well, especially for a young Jedi like Trennis to take on.
Sskeer, on the other hand, isn’t doing well as this mission gets underway. With his having lost his arm to the Nihil in the battle of Kur previously, he has first-hand experience with the tactics of the Nihil and he’s on edge. So on edge that he’s having flashbacks to when he lost his arm, and losing his balanced connection to the Force as well (which Kriss at the Starlight Beacon calls him out on later). There’s a good space mystery set up by this with what the Nihil may have been after, and even some time going up against one left for dead there. But we also get another nudge forward with Sskeer and Ceret heading to a nearby colony world that hasn’t connected with the Republic in over a decade that may be tied to what the transport was hauling with its type of barley. And world’s like this that want to be left alone tend to have dark reasons for doing so…
I’ve been excited for the High Republic era in general and while I expect that we’ll see touches of some of the bigger storylines carrying through the comics, this opening arc should be an interesting exploration of some of what motivates the Nihil or something else as yet revealed. Cavan Scott’s script feels a lot better this time around with what it’s doing in moving things forward and having to deal less with introducing a lot of things at once like the first issue had to. I like Trennis more than I did before and the introduction of Ceret and Terec has me grinning stupidly. I’m even warming up to Sskeer a lot more than I expected to. It’s a really good entry that gives me more hope for what’s to come from the team across the board.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: February 3rd, 2021