The structure of the threats that intentionally inform the Star Wars Universe sometimes rest on those smaller that give credence to large ideas. The progression of Kylo Ren is the most pertinent here simply because it informs the psychology of a current villain while the other two tales speak to both the challenge and, at times, weaknesses of those involved in the never-ending proceedings of the struggle for power.
Star Wars – Age Of Resistance – Kylo Ren The continuing mythology of Kylo Ren is an interesting structure to behold as “Rise Of Skywalker” approaches. The events that make him or continue to make him are structured inside the small details of canon which are reflected in issues like this. While this battle is a small time perspective, it reassures the idea that Kylo is trying to emulate and beat his grandfather’s accomplishments. This also informs his inferiority complex around Luke. A Greek chorus in the visage of an old soldier from the first battle Vader made on this certain planet gives a center of credence but the inference of “Your God is dead” which is envisioned in the final moments is quite telling.
Star Wars: Target Vader #3 In comparative, the texture of “Target Vader” is about finding a weakness in the Dark Lord. A paradoxical progression is that the bounty hunter assigned to try to take Vader down in part cyborg. One gets the feeling that this man must have been deep inside the Empire either with the Emperor or perhaps served on the periphery of Anakin back in the day since he seems to know things about the Empire’s greatest weapon. Physically and especially in the face, Valance, the hunter looks a lot like Bruce Campbell in a grizzled form which is a great piece of casting if it integrates at any point into the Disney+ Universe. There is also the omen of a Tuscan Raider who is part of Valance’s crew. The person underneath the disguise is not a Tuscan but seems to admit he is from Tatooine and has a knowledge of the force which points to a certain person. The key with Valance is drawing Vader into a trap with the knowledge that Vader will always sense a trap.
Jedi Fallen Order Dark Temple #2 The idea of a Jedi Temple left alone without an essence of its original owners seems like an unique travail of the Star Wars Universe. As evidenced in certain stories of “Rebels”, it seems to ingrain itself on various planets that either have a divide or strong connection, of course, to the Force. Cere as a Padewan separated from her master is placed in what seems a prison. But like all students still finding her way, she makes wrong assumptions and makes rash judgements that get her into trouble. But like many heroes, they continue to fight when all hope seems lost. In a planet that seems to be one the Outer Rim it just matters how long it is until help arrives.
By Tim Wassberg
Seeing the textures of this series put together doesn’t diminish its tale at all but gives it a fuller conception as a cautionary tale. “Star Wars Adventures: Tales From Vader’s Castle” [Cavan Scott/IDW/120pgs] tells the approach of a rebel team into the planet of Mustafar which has become Anakin/Darth Vader’s home either by conscious or unconscious perception. It is fitting but also bathed in metaphor as it should be. As seen in parallel to say “The Mummy” from 1999, every character has their own flaws but also must know their limits. The lead character, a female pilot Llla, does not seem aware of Vader but the stories here correlate to the actual confidence building of a small insect-like crew member in Skritt (honestly the weakest part of the story). Different characters tell different stories like Han Solo on one of his misadventures where he is caught in the path of one of the disgraced witches who helped resurrect Darth Maul or an Ewok who was led astray in his aspect to avoid strife and appease his predators. Ultimately this reflects back on Vader’s merciless pursuit of the rebels until they leave. He takes down one of their ranks in Hudd, a gluttonous thief but does so off-screen while also dismantling one of the droids with his light saber. But ultimately there is a sadness in Vader simply because you almost understand he wants to be left alone but yet is brought out as a blunt instrument as that is his purpose.
By Tim Wassberg
The aspect of perception and how one sees characters can both inform and influence the idea of how they act or seem to persist in any given situation. The tendencies within these 4 comics below progress distinctly because of the ideas that came before them, both effective and bridged gaps….
Star Wars Adventures – Tales From Vader’s Castle #3 – Beware The Briar Witch With the tale of the young Han Solo on another smuggle gone wrong, the tone is exactly right. Unlike “Solo” [the film] which jumped in tone between the drama and the humor (getting some of it right along the way), this filters in this story more like Seth Green’s “Star Wars- Detours” which was scrapped after the Lucasfilm acquisition by Disney. Granted this is just a story within the overall siege the rebels make on Vader’s castle on Mustafar. But the Briar Patch intention, even in its ode to “Song Of The South”, shows the idea of be wary of that which seems too good to be true. The essence of Chewbacca seems really emotive in the art here because it is slightly stretched and skewed. “Beware The Briar Patch” is a tale of warning created against a large backdrop but a cool side story nonetheless.
Ghostbusters – Crossing Over #7 The melding of the different incarnations of the Ghostbusters within several inter dimensional rifts actually is less chaotic than one might think. The idea of new recruits shepherded by the original team but also the team being perceived in different times and dimensions including The Real Ghostbusters is quite interesting. Watching a Janine character who is more brazen and less cautious interacting with Ray Stanz from a certain time period does create an interesting perspective. The different ghosts and the sarcastic tone as usual seems to come through. The continuing interaction with Death and the idea in the fact that he can’t be captured as it will create a bottleneck is an interesting concept but there is a fate for us all.
TMNT – Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Like the launch of the new animated series on Nickelodeon, this iteration takes a different approach. Since Splinter is not yet seen in this episode, the appearance of Man Bun, a pet store owner turned mutant sent by Maxum, the puppet master, to test the turtles makes sense and the art is fluid and furious in its chaotic nature. Like the series, April O’Neill provides a sense of groundedness as a darker evil lurks below the surface but as it is just the first issue, the bigger texture of its mythology within the Rise has yet to make itself known.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #87 The storyline with this volume seems like one ,ore of war and the gritty colors in red and brown reflect this. The Turtles are out in the open and working with other mutants with a sense of purpose. They have become soldiers and are grown up in the truest sense of the word. There are still their idiosyncrasies but these turtles are more sure which makes their actions seem that much more intense and viable. The Krang are still the Krang but much more methodical in their focus and infighting adds a new dynamic to it even though the battle seems like it might be lost.
By Tim Wassberg