One of the fun things about doing this retrospective is that a creator just might pop his head up with some commentary. Last post, I mentioned that Days of Fear/Nights of Anger felt like one big story. Turns out that they are! Those two arcs plus the first two I’m covering in this post are just all one big story split into bite sized chunks for the retailers. (Thank you to the esteemed John Jackson Miller for this insight!) It’s a shame that the entire story couldn’t be in the same omnibus but that’s the way of comics, I suppose.
Daze of Hate
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Bong Dazo, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler
I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not— damnit. Here’s the thing: I’m fairly sure that I didn’t have any strong, ship feelings about these two when I first read this comic. I don’t know what changed now unless JJM has some magical ability to go back in time after making me fall for Hera/Kanan to make me fall for another ship? (I used to live such a happy ship-free life, kids.)
There is definitely a lot of hate going on in this arc but there’s also a decent amount of love as it’s a big reunion of Zayne’s friends and also Lucien. And Mandalore is there too, I guess. I love that everyone has to work together against Lord Adasca who is, without a doubt, a dreadful person who deserves to have his head smashed in. Of course, this reunion also brings together a lot of opposing parties, which obviously means that there’s going to be a fight. Bong Dazo definitely delivers on the art front with some of the craziest and most crowded pages I’ve seen in a while and really enhances the feel of the story especially once the fighting starts.
This arc has a ton of stand out moments including when Lucien tries to kill Zayne only to fail miserably. The absolute best is, without a doubt, the page with the bickering HK-24s because I genuinely laughed out aloud. I love the HK units so damn much.
I’d also like to give another shout out to Good Guy Carth Onasi who is the hero that this galaxy truly deserves.
Daze of Hate is definitely in the running for being one of my favorite arcs thus far!
Knights of Suffering
Script by John Jackson Miller, Pencils by Dustin Weaver, Inks by Dan Parsons, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler
See this is where the creator input is neat to hear because I definitely would not have figured that this arc was tied so closely to the previous three. In my mind, it stands on its own far more distinctly. Perhaps it’s because we leave the Arkania mess and make our return to Taris and see some familiar faces. Familiar, that is, if you’ve already played the first game. It’s been a few years since I’ve played so it took a moment for some of the names to click into place but there was one that made me smile immediately. Lil Mission Vao is so gosh darn adorable that I can’t stand it. (She’s a good kid, Brent.)
I’m also glad we saw more of Master Raana who grew increasingly more deranged as the story progressed and she got less and less sleep. (There’s a lesson in here somewhere, kids…) She was just as interesting to me as Lucien in terms of our villains. Of course, now she’s dead so that’s unfortunate.
I’d also like to thank this arc for introducing me to the term ‘snappy sobriquet’ because it is a beautiful turn of phrase that I didn’t know I needed in my life until just now. Alek’s vocabulary is most impressive. Speaking of the man who will be Malak, I liked his little bit about the different camps of thought within the Jedi Order in regards to attachment etc. It never did make sense to me that the Jedi Order essentially banned families when Jedi children probably would have been the fastest way to ensure their numbers remained steady. I could be wrong but it did feel like a little wink-wink-nod-nod from JJM about the silliness…
Related: I’m wondering how these comics would read to someone who knows absolutely nothing about the games. Would the nods towards the games just read as annoying or would they fly completely over such a reader’s head?
But seriously though. Snappy sobriquet. I think I have a new favorite word.
Script by John Jackson Miller, Pencils by Scott Hepburn, Inks by Joe Pimentel and Dan Parsons, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler
Comic crossovers are a weird creature. Sometimes they work really well, sometimes they completely fail, and sometimes they’re just okay. Others… well… your mileage may vary. Vector is… fine. It was intended to be a crossover even that went through all four eras of Dark Horse Star Wars comics back in the day with Celeste Morne as the connecting character thread. That in itself is just weird. Any sort of time travel (even via suspended animation) in the Star Wars universe is weird.
The benefit of Vector starting in the KOTOR comics is that you don’t feel like you’re coming into the story part way through. That said, it’s still completely off putting when you suddenly see Darth Vader and Cade Skywalker on the page. The Rakghoul Plague being related to a Sith artifact is a neat idea but… Yeah, Vector’s just not my thing.
(I’m sorry. I’m not actually disgruntled. Just shrugging but I really wanted an excuse to use that gif. SOMEONE GET ME SOME PIZZA STAT.)
I hate ending these sorts of posts on a down note but that’s just the way of things, I suppose. You can follow my progress on Twitter at @chaosbria or via the hashtag #HKExcursion. I’m working on actually tweeting more. I promise.