It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the character Captain Phasma. Not that she was dealt a particularly difficult lot in life, but the fact that she has been notoriously underserved in the larger Star Wars mythos. When she was first introduced before The Force Awakens fans were excited for a mysterious new villain anxious to learn more about her, casting Game of Thrones veteran Gwendoline Christie only amplified the fan excitement. Then The Force Awakens came out, and she was in it for 5 minutes. Then The Last Jedi came out, and she unceremoniously died. Unfortunately Star Wars: Age Of Resistance: Captain Phasma #1 continues this trend of presenting an interesting character who is essentially a blank canvas history-wise, and simply doing nothing with her.
It’s not that Tom Taylor’s script is horrible. It reinforces the ruthlessness one would expect from a high-ranking official in the evil galactic empire. Told from the perspective of nameless admiring stormtrooper KM-8713, Captain Phasma depicts how the titular villain uses her troops as bait and her “no matter the cost” methods.
KM-8713 is surprisingly well written. Her drive to be acknowledged and named feels legitimate and supports why she would admire her ruthless commander. But her genuine sympathy and empathy for her fellow trooper unsurprisingly is her demise and only widens the gap between her and Phasma. It’s disheartening that Phasma was not gifted the same attention, as she is incredibly one-note. She is more of a menacing threat than an actual character.
In some ways, one could argue that Phasma is this generation’s Boba Fett, in that they were interesting characters that looked threatening, had helmets and capes, and were unceremoniously defeated in the Star Wars films after no exposition into who they were. The difference between Fett and Phasma is that in the original extended universe Fett was a major player and was expanded upon to great success. Some of the best-extended universe stories revolved around Fett’s growth and history. Phasma has not had the same luck, and her debut comic extends the trend.
The art suffers from having too many people working on it. Leonard Kirk handles the pencils, Cory Hamscher is responsible for the inks, Guru-eFX is in charge of colors, and VC’s Travis Lanham contributes the letters. Kirk’s overall designs are fine, although there is a concerning lack of detail in some of the more complex panels, the real culprit is the colors. They look sloppy. In one instance where the image of Phasma’s back fades into the profile of a stormtrooper’s helmet, and the image comes off tacky and blurry. Panels that are meant to look impressive, underperform due to lack of layout experimentation and composite imagery.
It is hard to fault Star Wars: Age Of Resistance: Captain Phasma #1’s creative team entirely. It’s understandably almost every comic creator’s dream to work on an iconic property such as Star Wars. But Captain Plasma #1 is just such a disappointment for such a criminally depicted character that could have been so much more.