Story: Cavan Scott
Art: Ario Anindito, Mark Morales
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
What They Say:
THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION! From Hero of Hetzal to…murderer? Can Keeve Trennis stop Marshal Avar Kriss from making a fatal mistake? Death and danger await the Starlight Jedi as they finally close in on their enemy. Tying directly into Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: The Fallen Star, phase one of Star Wars: The High Republic enters its cataclysmic final wave of stories. Everything is about to change.=
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With so much work to do to establish this time period if the comic is your first experience with it, it took some time but I’m definitely enjoying what Cavan Scott did to get things in order and moving – though it’s not without its faults. With the book now in its second arc and expanding on everything, we’re definitely getting to things off the beaten path of what we saw in the prior films. Ario Anindito and Mark Morales step in for this installment as part of the rotation on this series and they’re working well with colorist Carlos Lopez, who has done a lot of work on the Star Wars properties in general to help keep to that familiar style and tone. I like the detail we get with all of the creatures with the Nihil and the layouts are pretty solid all-around so that it has a good flow to it that makes it engaging to read.
Serving as the penultimate installment of this phase of the series, the High Republic moves through a lot of material here as it aligns with other projects that are going on. Initially, it deals well with how the Jedi on board the Nihil ship are able to handle things as the Nihil are attacking their own. The Nihil are surprised to see the Jedi saving them and simply taking them prisoner when they’d be killed if it was going the other way. Lourna does try her best to deal with Avar, who is struggling with her emotions in this fight, as Keeve is the catalyst for a lot of things. It works well enough in that Keeve is able to get through to Avar and still provide for some moments of tension. It’s a familiar enough piece with the newly leveled up padawan to Jedi is able to remind the elder of why they do what they do. It’s not exactly Keeve being wise but more that she’s not filled with the complications of life and reality.
Knowing what’s going on with the Nihil and having the Eye in their hands, their arrival back at the Starlight Beacon doesn’t go over well from the start. First, Maru has been replaced and now Avar is being told she’s being disciplined for going after the Nihil, even though it was the right thing to do with what they’ve learned. But this is also when the Starlight Beacon is sabotaged and an explosion is putting it into critical failure mode, drifting toward the local planet. Something bad has made its way onto the station to cause a lot of problems in general and that’s leading to a significant panic. One that’s made worse by Avar being unable to gain control of the situation through leadership as those on board are really frightened and she can’t seem to calm them. It’s putting everything into a place where there’s a tough mission ahead but an old foe is now resurfacing to make it even worse.
There’s a lot going on in this issue and it has some of that end-of-arc aspect to it where it feels rushed, trying to get a lot accomplished in a short time to match up with other events. There is still room to breathe, such as Sskeer dealing with Keeve about his own future and the time between Keeve and Avar that comes across authentically enough. But it is mostly just pushing forward quickly in order to get everyone back to the station to match up with the end of phase one events. It’s big and interesting, and as I catch up in the novels it might have more impact, but it works well enough here.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 2nd, 2022