This is most definitely a must-have for any Star Wars comic collection.
Star Wars Legends: The Clone Wars Vol. 2 is a collection of Legends stories from the early 2000s. It contains Star Wars: Republic issues #55 – #67, Star Wars Tales #22, and a four-part Darth Maul: Death Sentence story.
A year after the Battle of Geonosis, General Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker have joined up with other Jedi generals and their padawans on the planet Jabiim. There, they are hunted down by Commander Alto Stratus and his elite squad of commandos, the Nimbus. Stratus kills most of the Jedi and their padawans before he is killed. Anakin Skywalker escapes this fate after being given orders by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to leave the battle, leaving his master Obi-Wan for dead after a vicious attack.
Anakin heads to Aargonar where he teams up with Tusken Jedi Master A’Sharad Hett and his apprentice Bhat Jul. During an ambush Jul is killed and only Skywalker and Hett remain. They must survive the planet and each other as Anakin blames all Tuskens for the death of his mother and in a fit of dark side rage, he attacks and almost kills Hett. The Tusken removes his mask and reveals to Anakin that he is human and was taken in by the Tuskens as one of their own and later became a Jedi. The two escape the planet and join up with Master Ki-Adi-Mundi. Mundi takes Anakin in as his apprentice after learning about Obi-Wan’s demise.
Meanwhile, on the planet Rattatak, Count Dooku’s servant Asajj Ventress has Obi-Wan as her prisoner along with Advanced Recon Commando A-17. Ventress places a Sith torture mask on Obi-Wan to suppress his focus and leave him weak and powerless. Asajj has no intention of killing Obi-Wan, but rather intends to break him. Count Dooku favors turning Obi Wan to the dark side as his apprentice and Ventress hopes that Dooku will see the broken Obi-Wan and choose Ventress as his apprentice instead. She tortures the Commando and places him in the cell with Obi-Wan. The two prisoners team up and make an escape, releasing the other captive prisoners to aid them. Among one of the captives is Osaka Kirske. He tells Obi-Wan of Asajj’s origins and how she came to be. Obi-Wan and A-17 escape the planet by stealing Ventress’s ship.
The series then gets more political in nature, involving Supreme Chancellor Palpatine’s manipulation of the war and the Senate to convince them to allocate him even more powers. It also tells of the fate of Supreme Chancellor Valorum and his disgrace after being removed with a vote of no confidence that placed Palpatine into power. He comes to Bail Organa to warn him and tell him of the true nature of Palpatine. The Clone War, it seems, is taking place on two fronts — the first being the battlefields throughout the Galaxy with the Jedi Generals and their Clone Troopers, and the second with the Senate with members like Organa who are one of the few people brave enough to question Palpatine’s power.
The series also tells of a Jedi named Quinlan Vos who has infiltrated Dooku’s ranks having convinced him that he has turned to the dark side. Unfortunately the deeper Vos dips into the shadows, the harder it becomes for him to resist the dark side. With every assassination that Dooku sends him on he slips deeper and deeper down that path. We also get a story about a bounty that has been placed on the heads of all Jedi. The Crimson Nova chapter of the Bounty Hunters Guild has sanctioned this contract and Mace Windu approaches them to tell them to cease. The leader of the Crimson Nova, Mika, attacks Mace Windu and he returns with a group of Jedi to defeats her with the help of her second-in-command.
At the end of this collection is a four part Darth Maul mini-series. There’s a bounty that’s been placed on Darth Maul and his brother Savage Opress’s heads by Ja’Boag, the leader of one of the largest mining companies in the galaxy. Maul and his brother Savage Opress head to Moorjone to confront Ja’Boag. The Jedi Council is also aware of the bounty and has sent some Jedi to Moorjone to protect mining mogul. It all concludes with an epic battle and a reunion between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul.
The writing on this series is awesome. The earlier stories of Obi-Wan and Anakin are written by Jaden Blackman and do an amazing job of conveying Anakin’s conflict and frustrations. The way he portrays Skywalker is very relatable and the stories and relationships between Anakin and the other Jedi Masters and padawans are deep and full of lessons for him. The story between him and the Tusken Jedi in particular touched upon a lot of hidden hatred and prejudice that Anakin harbors deep inside himself. The different Jedi Generals and their padawans are written very well and Blackman does a great job of telling Asajj Ventress’s backstory and what motivates her to become a Sith apprentice.
John Ostrander picks up where Blackman leaves off effortlessly. The transition from the war stories to the political aspect are handled in a way that is seamless and flows freely. He does a great job conveying both battlefronts between the actual war and the political situation on Coruscant. The story he tells helps highlight how Palpatine manipulates the Senate into giving him absolute power.
Tom Taylor’s work on the Darth Maul story is beautifully written. It shows the dynamic between Maul and his brother Savage. There was also a Charming story about the natives of the planet who have a prophecy about a demon-faced hero that walks in the light. They believe that to be Darth Maul but it turns out that things aren’t always as they seem and that part of the story was written very cleverly. It also gives us a reunion between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul which is pretty kick ass.
The artwork on this collection is nothing short of breathtaking. Every page explodes with action and color. Brian Ching is a master of bringing the characters in the world of Star Wars to the page in a way that is familiar and exciting. The classic characters look like they stepped right out of the films and the newer characters fit effortlessly into the Star Wars universe. Brad Anderson’s color work is flawless. Every page is vibrant and pleasing to look at. The lightsaber battles and explosions in particular jump right out at the reader. Bruno Redondo’s artwork on the Darth Maul series is striking and the lightsaber battles on this portion of the collection were some of my favorite. There’s a very cinematic feel to the way the frames are drawn that suck the reader right in. The colors that Michael Atiyeh adds to Redondo’s artwork only enhances and amplifies the action and excitement.
This collection is a wonderful set of stories that really expand on the history of the Clone Wars. It does an amazing job of filling in the gaps between episodes 2 and 3. I highly recommend this book to any Star Wars fans interested in learning more about the Clone Wars. It is masterfully written and every page is drawn beautifully and vibrantly.
Is it good?
This book is amazing. Once I picked it up and started I couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend this collection to any Star Wars fan. It stays true to the source material while giving the reader something new and exciting to explore.