Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic #39
Dark Horse Comics
Miller, Ching & Atiyeh
This issue kicks off a new arc. It’s a complete shift in gears from previous arcs in terms of setting and plot devices, but the underlying premise is the same: Gryph wants to scam some people. I liked the issue but it mostly just sets things up and provides a slow ramp up for the rest of the story in the next two issues. The one aspect of the comic I wasn’t crazy about was the jerking of Zayne’s character in a direction of we really hadn’t seen before.
The issue begins by introducing Goethar. He’s a hybrid of gladiator and pod racer. Basically he’s an entertainer with all kinds of handlers and leeches helping to suck him dry and keep him earning them money. He retires.
Zayne and Jarael show up and Zayne is smitten with Goethar. We learn that Zayne has a boyhood crush on the events that Goethar participates in and he’s a particularly huge fan of Goethar. This wasn’t a bad thing to see in Zayne’s character as he is still just a teenager. However, I felt it dragged the character down a peg based on how he’s grown in previous arcs and even the one shot from last issue. However, we’ll have to see how this arc plays out. It’s possible we are just seeing one last piece of his childhood slip away.
Gryph shows up and gets Zayne involved in a scam until Zayne finds himself buying a bike and entering the competition. Goethar has to un-retire as his son is being held captive and forced to participate in his near-vegetable state in the games. This sets up a confrontation between Zayne and Goethar that opens Zayne’s eyes a little bit about his so-called hero.
The premise is good. Pod racing, gladiator events, a father-son dynamic, some gambling and crooked scum. It’s a fun Star Wars story if you ask me.
The artwork is good but is at its best when it shows off the games. The easy thing to do would have been to use scenes from the Phantom Menace, but this comic redefines these events and puts a unique stamp on them. Also the art takes advantage of showing off some alien characters nicely.
The comic is the opener for an arc and it relies on introductions and setting the table and it does it well. I was a little disappointed that Jarael seems to be taking a backseat in this arc, but Rohlan seems to be getting a push in this arc which is cool. I’d like to see some surprises in this arc but any form of scum and villainy would be cool too.
3 out of 5 geek goggles