Comic Review: Obi-Wan 1 (of 5)

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Published: May 4, 2022
Rated: T
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Ario Anindito
Colourist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Book Design: Adam Del Re
Cover Artist: Phil Noto

The synopsis;

Fast approaches the ultimate destiny of one of the Jedi’s most renowned masters!
•  As he spends his final days in the remote deserts of Tatooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes time to reflect on — and record — key moments of a heroic life long-lived.
•  Writing in old leather-bound journals from his hermit’s hut, Obi-Wan remembers his days as a young Jedi Initiate, his trials as a Padawan, the crucible of Jedi Knighthood and the Clone Wars, and some of the earliest challenges he faced as a true Master of the Force!
•  In this tale, Obi-Wan considers a watershed Youngling adventure he narrowly survived on Coruscant when he was but eight years of age…
•  This is just the beginning of his Jedi journey!

The review;




Hello there! I’ve been excited about this issue since the day of its announcement. With the release of Mike Chen’s Brotherhood novel, Kiersten White’s Padawan novel and the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV series all to be released in the immediate future, it is only fitting that Marvel Comics join the celebration of my favourite Jedi Master. So, let’s see what the team have in store for us.




Starting as usual with the covers, we have 13 variants that we know of, but there are sure to be more that surface over the coming days. Phil Noto has been tasked with the direct cover and it is gorgeous. Depicting younger and older Obi-Wan with an ominous looking Vader in the foreground, the way he frames a cover is something special and is very fitting for the series. With so many variants, I’m going to pick my favourite and that is the 1:25 cover by Ario Anindito. His take on Sideshow Collectibles “Mythos” Obi-Wan Kenobi is just beautiful. Needless to say, I have this cover on order at my local comic book store!



A storm is brewing, Obi-Wan is seeking shelter in his homestead. He retreats to the basement, alone with his thoughts and memories, he starts to write a tale of his life as a youngling in his journal.


Obi-Wan awakes to find his friend, Gehren is missing. He finds her on the Jedi Temple roof tops looking out over Coruscant. She has been having more nightmares, even consulting with Master Yoda hasn’t brought her peace, so there’s only one thing. She bodes farewell to Obi-Wan and jumps from the rooftop.



Obi-Wan follows her, in pursuit of his troubled friend through the underbelly of Coruscant. He stumbles into a group of aliens, who halt his progress. A Jedi mind trick and he has the Rodian fooled, but not his comrades. He turns to the kinetic side of the Force and with pushes and pulls he disarms some of his assailants. His incomplete skills are soon outwitted, and he is kicked to the floor, only for Gehren to take down his attacker. The proceedings are brought to a halt by a Zabrak female, Nodrus Cay of Black Sun. Cay is Gehren’s ticket off world. Payment has been made with a Eadun silver pendant. Obi-Wan won’t leave his friend a decides to travel with her.



Enroute to the ship, binders are slapped onto Obi-Wan and Gehren, their trip is going to be different to what they had believed. Cay has deceived them, and they are now going into service for her because they are Force sensitive. But it is the Force that saves them as they use it to break open the binders and Force leap out of the hanger fleeing the melee of blaster bolts.

Gehren is still intent on leaving the Jedi Order and leaving for home. They say their final farewells and Obi-Wan heads back to the Jedi Temple alone.

Master Yoda is there to greet him on his return. Displeased with Obi-Wan’s late excursions, the teachings of the evening are fresh in his mind, so Yoda gives him a task to help him ponder his thoughts in the shape of a broom and sweeping the hallway.

This is Christopher Cantwell’s first foray into Star Wars comics, and he set the bar very high in this first issue. His use of the storm to put the older Obi-Wan indoors to add more to his journals is a nice touch. His use of Obi-Wan’s narration for the story has captured Obi-Wan’s almost melancholic tone as he remembers his past.

I’m going out on a limb here, but the nightmare suffered by Gehren has some familiarity to it, but I think it could be The High Republic related. Could it be a vision of a Jedi being drained by the beast unleashed to hunt the Jedi down by The Nihil? Am I reading too much into the artwork being created by Ario Anindito for me to draw that conclusion? Time may tell.

I liked the way Yoda was waiting for Obi-Wan. Just like an angry parent after you have broken your curfew and returned home late. We’ve all done it! Taught a lesson and then given some sort of punishment to ponder those teachings. A great touch and shows Yoda in a paternal way.

Anindito is no stranger to us after his amazing work on The High Republic series, so it is wonderful to see him rewarded with being selected as the artist for this mini-series. And he doesn’t disappoint, from the first frame his distinctive style stands out and carries Cantwell’s story perfectly. One particular frame caught my eye that I just have to mention. It is the second frame on the third page in of the story. He has captured both Ewan McGregor and Sir Alec Guinness perfectly and this frame brought a huge smile to my face and makes me very happy.

But his work isn’t limited to that one frame. The look of Obi-Wan’s cellar harks back to the schematics that have gone before and really helps the atmosphere Cantwell is trying to build. Then through the context of young Obi-Wan’s story, he uses facial expressions to maximum effect. Dare I say that some of it verges on Manga stylised art, which makes his style stand out.

Carlos Lopez has done a brilliant job of complimenting Anindito’s artwork. The sandy hues of the Tatooine desert turn into the dark backgrounds and bright lights of the bowels of Coruscant, and they work so well. There is a lot of text for the story as Obi-Wan shares his thoughts. Joe Caramagna manages not to cramp the artwork and although heavy on words, it doesn’t feel that way.

Issue 1 felt shorter than it actually is. I flew through the story and was left wanting more. Well, if that isn’t a good sign, I don’t know what is? Here’s to issue 2 hitting the shelves!

Availability;

Obi-Wan is a 5-part mini-series published by Marvel Comics. This issue retails at $3.99 and is available via the Marvel App, ComiXology and all comic book stores.

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