Anyone looking for Star Wars stories that take place in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope should be commanded to read Dark Horse comics. With this series, along with Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin there are some compelling stories taking place that are playing around with Vader’s psychosis after just becoming the Sith Lord. Love or hate the prequels, we must ask ourselves of this tie-in…well…is it good?
Star Wars: Dark Times – A Spark Remains Part 1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Dark Horse published a summary of this issue that reads thusly:
Reunited with the ragtag crew of the Uhumele, Jedi Dass Jennir is surprised to find them plotting with another Jedi to take down the iron fist of the new Galactic Empire—Darth Vader himself! Having only just found love and a reason to live, Jennir is reluctant to join—but their plan may be too good to pass up.
If this means anything to you then you’re way ahead of me as far as understand what is going on in this comic. I vaguely remember reading about Jennir a year or more ago, but since then I haven’t been reading this storyline. That isn’t to say this comic will require a knowledge of previous events, but let’s just say without knowing a thing you might feel out of the loop while reading this issue.
The whores from a galaxy far far away…
We learn in this issue that Darth Vader stops at nothing to kill Jedi and our hero Jennir wants to do something about that. He has a ragtag group of aliens to work with, but is also in love. As we all know, when a Jedi falls in love bad things happen.
If you don’t hum the Empire music with this image you aren’t a fan.
A lot of this issue spends its time with Jennir’s group, which is why I felt so left out. Writer Randy Stradley does a good job differentiating the characters, but there isn’t much of an introduction to them. It’s inferred that you read the previous issues, which is fair enough to ask of the reader, but anyone going in blind might not get as much enjoyment out of this without reading the previous issues.
Fly like a bird Darth. FLY!
Who are these people?!
Artist Douglas Wheatley does an impeccable job with settings and facial expressions. Everything is in high detail and I was never confused while reading this issue. One particular sequence involves Vader and a troop of stormtroopers getting gasoline dropped on them and a match being flung out. Wheatley captures the explosion and chaos by smash-cutting a mile away from the binoculars of an empire general. This is one example of Wheatley doing a good job in telling the story. Note the smaller frames as the match is light and flung out. This slows the reader down with the anticipation, and then to cut to the binoculars only increases reaction to the anticipation. With the explosion happening so far away the reader can only guess, and use their own imagination, to see what happened.
Click, click, BOOM!
- Pretty and exciting art
- The potential storyline being set up a strong one
- Anyone unfamiliar with the characters may need to steer clear
The story of Jennir and his lover should have important ramifications once Vader reaches him. That is what I’m excited for, but the story is being unveiled for a different reader, one who has grown attached to the cast of characters and has a good sense of what has come before it. That reader isn’t me. I can still appreciate this issue though and it wasn’t a total loss for me. I think anyone going in fresh might have the same trouble I had, but a couple issues in should rectify this as there’s a top notch comic to be read here.
Is It Good?
Almost. Newbies beware, but in a couple issues, sticking with it now, you should enjoy it as much as the dedicated readers.