Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars – Dawn of the Jedi: Force War #1
Dark Horse Comics
Ostrander, Duursema & Parsons
The latest mini-series for Dawn of the Jedi starts off with a ton of action and an excellent cliffhanger. This issue marks a very different approach to the series overall that makes the comic more digestible for a new reader but it loses some of its uniqueness in the process. It’s a good start to what looks to be a promising arc although it is a slightly above average read for this outstanding series.
There are plenty of Star Wars books out there but the Dawn of the Jedi series is different because it provides such deep character focus. The list of characters is long and the depth at which they are explored makes each read something to savior. However, this issue is absent those trademarks and it makes the book a lot like too many other Star Wars comics. The new reader may find that there are too many characters making it difficult to find one to latch on to and understand. The seasoned reader might just be happy to see so many of their familiar characters make an appearance, even if only briefly.
The book dances from war scene to war scene. The force hound-turned-Jedi faces off against his former masters. The dark Jedi is now the general of the Jedi and the rank and file Jedi is battling the horde of monsters unleashed on the planet. All of this is great stuff but it does feel a little dizzying to follow. The flip side to this is that the comic flows extremely well.
The comic provides a good balance of war strategy, action and insight into the plans of the bad guys. The comic book definitely has that feel of an epic struggle and even as the battle seems to wind down you are immediately launched into the conspiracy that will keep the fight going. The construction of this issue is done to draw you in with action and hook you because of the plot development. It’s fairly clever.
Duursema is at the top of her game. No question about it. She provides some of the best visuals I’ve ever seen in her long history of Star Wars titles. She has incredible command of so many characters and the details she provides to the smallest pieces of the backgrounds make the book stunning to look at. The interesting part of her art is that it provides an equal number of panels with clashing action as she does with slight pauses in the fight. I like this aspect of storytelling and it really keeps the reader engaged in the dialogue and action as appropriate throughout the book.
Star Wars is at its best when there are great characters and plenty of action. This book delivers all of one and some of the other. If this arc heads in the direction I think its heading then it seems the character focus will come back fairly soon. This is a good start to what looks to be a pivotal, if not the climatic, mini-series.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles