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Star Wars: Jedi of The Republic: Mace Windu #1 Review

A disappointing start to a much anticipated mini-series.

You had me at “Mace Windu,” Marvel. The biggest badass from the Star Wars prequels is gracing the world of comics with a five-issue miniseries that starts today!

Marvel synopsis:

For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have been the peacekeepers of the galaxy – but now, at the dawn of the Clone Wars, they find themselves in a new role: generals in the Army of the Republic. As Mace Windu, one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors, leads a small unit of Jedi into battle shortly after the war begins, the Jedi must make peace with their new role, or be lost to the violence around them!

What’s the skinny?

The Clone Wars are on and the Jedi are pressed into the roles of soldiers, spies and generals for the Grand Army of the Republic. The Separatist forces are moving to gain control of the entire Outer Rim and work their way slowly inward towards the core and capital world of Coruscant.

To counter the rapid expansion of the Separatists and their droid army into the reaches of the Outer Rim, the Jedi Council has dispatched one of their best, Jedi Master Mace Windu. Accompanying Master Windu is a squad of Jedi he’s personally selected for their unique skills and abilities; Jedi Master Kit Fitso, Jedi Knight Prosset Dibs and one of the newest additions to the rank of Knight, Rissa Mano. Their mission is one of stealth and reconnaissance, as they’ll need to infiltrate the remote jungle world of Hissrich undetected and determine the nature of the Separatists plans.

What’s the catch?

Cheers! Wait, I don’t have a mouth!

I’m sad to say I have a lot of problems with this issue, the artwork being the most glaring one. Of course mistakes happen but I’m surprised such a large one made it past the editing team. As you can see from the photo above, Mace is straight up missing the bottom half of his face. If only my problems with the presentation of Mace Windu stopped there. From start to finish his face must have been drawn nearly ten different ways. It’s not that we’re seeing a different face because of different angles or emotions either, we’re seeing a different style being implemented for the same character multiple times in a single issue, and often on the same page. At first I thought it could have been because of the closeness to the character’s face but I realized some panels had his eyes drawn different sizes (on the same face), others had his face very thin and angular, at times he looked to have aged in both directions on the same page, when frowning he had crease marks and then magically didn’t, and the list goes on and on. Mace wasn’t the only character I noticed this with, but being the most heavily featured character, it was very noticeable.

Clandestine reconnaissance mission to a remote alien planet. Objective? Sneak in undetected and gather intelligence on Separatist activity. You’d think given the mission object and the stealth gear the Jedi are using, STEALTH would be practiced. Instead the first droid patrol Mace and the Jedi come across results with them bursting out of the jungle with lightsabers swinging. Which in turn alerts the droids and anything else nearby to the Jedi’s presence. I’m still scratching my head over this one.

Is it good?

The artwork comes across as sloppily done and incredibly inconsistent. But what frustrates me the most about the art is Denys Cowan is clearly a talented artist and there are panels here that are great. Sadly they’re few and far between and vastly outnumbered by the previously mentioned issues.

I’m hopeful that the introduction of two new Jedi will lead to characters who develop rich stories within the Star Wars universe. It’s a clean slate for Star Wars canon and I’d love to see this mini-series become a launching point for Prosset Dibs and Rissa Mano. But beyond Dibs and Mano there’s little to draw excitement from in the writing department. Windu is still suffering from the Jedi lost on Geonosis, but I don’t see that as an excuse for his actions as the leader of this mission. There’s zero logic in his actions and he seems so little like the character that captured the attention of countless fans.

I’ve been greatly looking forward to this mini-series since I first heard about it. So it was incredibly disappointing to get my hands on a comic that feels like Marvel phoned it in on, knowing that it’s a Star Wars comic and will probably still sell regardless of the extensive problems. I wish I could say this comic is an essential read for Mace Windu fans, but instead I’ll have to recommend avoiding it.

Star Wars: Jedi of The Republic: Mace Windu #1
Is it good?
A disappointing start to a much anticipated mini-series.
Two new unique characters in the form of Jedi
The idea of a stealth mission is usually to remain hidden, avoid detection and to be...well, stealthy. Expect the complete opposite here
Wildly inconsistent artwork, to the point that Mace Windu is missing his entire face in one panel
Slow story that offers little to readers looking for new material in the well flushed out Clone Wars saga

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