reflection

An entertaining third chapter that introduces a bold new threat into the Star Wars universe, with a solid (if not occasionally hammy) script and phenomenal visuals.
Writing/Plot
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters

Review: STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #3 Approaches The Howling Dark

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Writer Cavan Scott and artists Ario Anindito and Mark Morales, with colorist Annalisa Leoni and letterer Ariana Maher return with another intense chapter in the Galaxy Far, Far Away with “Star Wars: The High Republic”#3. This issue sees the introduction of an intriguing new threat in the Star Wars universe, while building upon the growing tension within the main cast of characters. With a tight and tense script (if not sometimes a little cornball-ish) and incredible visual work, “The High Republic” still stands as a highlight among the new Star Wars material that we’ve been seeing in recent memory.

“One JEDI missing and another driven insane. What horror lurks in the darkness beneath the rotting crops? Death is averted, but a terrible union is formed. Can KEEVE TRENNIS protect an innocent life while facing betrayal from within her own order?”

Writing & Plot

Cavan Scott focuses on the development of his plot on two fronts with the script for “Star Wars: The High Republic” #3. On the one hand, he is exploring the possibilities of a new element in the dark side of the force that suffice to say is a concept we’ve never really seen in the Star Wars univer, and is a fascinating look at how the Dark Side corrupts the natural world. On the other, he is also testing the mental fortitude of the main cast of characters in the face of a growing darkness within their own ranks. The latter of these two is an arc that continues to grow more and more fascinating. Watching a newly-promoted Jedi Knight have to contend with one of her most trusted allies falling to their basest forms and emotions is compelling for both the development of this protagonist as a character, and the context of this event in Star Wars as a whole. The use of dialogue and narrative here is still solid, if not just a tad bit corny at times. This issue almost feels like a reminder that Star Wars is for everyone (and it damn well is), so there are some playful moments mixed with a lack of subtlety from the newest foes in the pages of this comic that make it feel akin to something from an episode of Star Wars: Rebels (which is a great show, but you know what I mean). Still, this is a completely solid and entertaining comic that propels the story forward in an intriguing direction.

Art Direction

The always top-notch visual work in Marvel’s Star Wars comics continues in “The High Republic” #3. Ario Anindito’s pencils and Mark Morales’s inks  put together an immensely well-detailed comic that has the look and feel of the Star Wars universe, all while making everything new. The character animations are outstanding, with the slight twists and twitches of emotion being realistic on the human characters and even easily identifiable on even the most unusual looking of aliens. The action sequences look stellar, like something right out of the cinematography in one of the films. Jedi leap, dodge, and slice with all the grace and momentum that we know them to possess, and it looks great here. The colors from Annalisa Leoni are vibrant and tonally varied, and actually give this comic much of its uniformity with the rest of Marvel’s Star Wars outings. The use of dynamic lighting in this comic continues here, with the glow of lightsabers and alien suns and how they reflect off of skin and surfaces still being a highlight for me. The letters from Ariana Maher really shines with the specials effects, as every swing of a lightsaber or scream of anguish echoes across a page with the perfect choice in size and font for the noise. This is once again a brilliantly well put together book from the visual end, and one that is fitting for the visual legacy of the Star Wars universe.

“Star Wars: The High Republic” #3 is a thoroughly entertaining comic book that uncovers new territory and mythos for the Galaxy Far, Far Away while also continuing to be a stellar character-driven tale. The script from Cavan Scott can get a bit corny at points, but the introspection in the head of the main characters and the tight pacing of the story override that minor flaw with ease. The visuals from Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, and Annalisa Leoni are outstanding and continue to provide a phenomenal visual ride for for this Star Wars comic. Be sure to grab this latest issue when it hits stands on 3-3!

Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.