In the eighth Age of Republic comic from Marvel Comics, Jody Houser explores Padme Amidala in an adventure taking place during the Clone Wars. In it, Padme shows her resolve, cunning, and diplomacy, but is it good?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Marvel appears to be embracing the prequel era of Star Wars, which is exciting considering these stories are in canon and approved by the official story group. They also allow readers a chance to enjoy the characters from the prequels on their own terms.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is very good at showing the heart of Padme and her fearlessness. It opens with her attempting to shed Anakin who wants to be by her side no matter what. We soon learn she’s going on a mission of sorts that’s more dangerous than Anakin would have liked and he surely would have come if he knew. Houser reveals Padme is attempting to make contact on a neutral world which has been forbidden and to is ignored per the chancellor and Senate. Fat chance she listens to them.
As the story unfolds Houser reveals Padme’s ability to communicate, plan, and do what she must under duress. You get a sense of the character and could see her going on more missions like this in future stories.
The art by Cory Smith and Wilton Santos is very clean and top notch when it comes to costuming. There’s a gorgeous shot of Anakin and Padme kissing early on with the city behind them that’ll bring back the feels for those who liked their relationship in the movies.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Much like some of the other Age of Republic comics in this series, there just isn’t much here. It reads like a chance to hang out with Padme rather than see her do much of anything. Sure she’s heroic and all, but the mission she’s on doesn’t matter to the larger story. The actual events in this issue are severely limited too. There’s a lot of standing around, sitting, and assessing. I don’t want to spoil the story, but the events in the issue take place over an hour not counting however long it took them to sit and talk as they arrive at their destination.
Then there is the ending, which has a conflict that is resolved way too easily. It shows Padme is willing to get her hands dirty, but since we all know that already it’s not that interesting.
Is it good?
I’ve resigned myself to not expect much from these comics outside of some interesting character wrinkles. This issue certainly has that, but it also has Padme go on a mission that seems utterly boring. It reasserts things we already know about Padme and just doesn’t add much to her story or the Star Wars narrative either.