Story: Cavan Scott
Art: Ario Anindito, Mark Morales
Colors: Franke William
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
What They Say:
THE BATTLE OF JEDHA CONTINUES! As Tey Sirrek defends the Temple of the Kyber, Vildar Mac is buried alive, with only his belief in the Force to keep him alive. But Vildar is a Jedi beset by doubts, a man scarred by a past he should’ve forgotten years ago. Who can come to his aid as the Holy City tears itself apart? The Force is with Vildar, but is he one with the Force?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The High Republic era continues to be something I’m fascinated by but hasn’t really become something that I’m just heavily into yet. I’ve dabbled in a couple of books and several comics, but it hasn’t had that gateway that’s worked for me where I’m really invested in following it. Cavan Scott’s involvement in the novel side definitely has made for some solid comics in the previous run and my hope is that as time goes on and they all get a better handle on the larger approach, things move in more interesting directions. Ario Anindito and Mark Morales are back on the book after a breather as they definitely have a good handle on the look of the property while also bringing in something that feels just a touch different in how it’s grounded and detailed.
Though this is listed as the first chapter in the next story, it’s all the same story at this point as it sprawls across events. Balance has turned to battle as the statue has fallen and chaos runs over the city. We see initially some of the panic going on and how various people are trying bring calm and help others while some are more intent on protecting their institutions more than anything else – and getting called out on. Some habits are hard to break and we see that with Tey in particular as he’s done a lot to help so far but others are continually just trying to shove him back in a cell over minor issues instead of looking at all the good he’s doing and help he’s providing. It’s not a surprise but it’s frustrating to see people that should know better falling into traps like that. It also doesn’t paint some of these disparate groups in a good light, not that the series was intending to do that from the start with how some of these groups have presented themselves.
The main focus for this tends to be on Vildar as he’s buried under the rubble and trying to protect those that were trapped with him. Matty’s doing her best to draw attention to those that need help but Vildar is crumbling under the pressure here as there’s just so much on top of them. It doesn’t help that some of those trapped with him blame him and others like him for bringing all of this here – if not accusing him outright – so that wears on him as well as he tries to save everyone. It’s a difficult group to be sure that he’s dealing with and his minor moments of pushing back are amusing. We do get a nod toward his youth as we see his first encounter with a Jedi and why he was brought on, and his connection to his master, but mostly it serves to reinforce the way Vildar will save as many people as possible no matter what obstacles are in front of him.
It’s a decent but and a good epilogue of sorts to the opening story while setting the pieces in place for what’s coming next. The book gives us a look at where everyone is after the chaos from the past couple of issues and how they can focus going forward, a coming together to deal with a larger threat. That’s mostly ignored in this issue in favor of the rescue side of things and while that may not give us a lot of action it fits with the mandate and the belief systems for most of those here so it’s welcome to see. The book continues to read decently and the artwork looks good, making for a fun experience overall while waiting for the next round of things to pick up.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 8th, 2023