Published: July 7, 2021
Cover Artist: Francesco Francavilla
The Incident, Part 2
Writer: Katie Cook
Artist: Cara McGee
Colourist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: Johanna Nattalie
The Gaze Electric
Writer: Daniel Jose Older
Artist: Nick Brokenshire
Letterer: Johanna Nattalie
Padmé and Anakin have grand plans to have a romantic night together after a long separation. But before they get a chance to get together, Anakin is Jedi-napped by a group of outlaws! Now it’s up to Padmé to use all of her cunning to infiltrate the outlaw group and rescue him. Then, get a glimpse into the times of The High Republic with a story of the nefarious Nihil in “Tales of Villainy”!
After complaining about the wait in Star Wars Adventures, over three months, We now have our next issue after only two weeks! Oh, how I could get use to that. And what an issue this looks like it is going to be. First, we have the second part of ‘The Incident’ by Katie Cook and illustrated by Cara McGee. If you’ve looked at the IDW website, you might be slightly confused as to the writer and artist for the second issue. It is in fact a The High Republic tale by none other than Daniel Jose Older. Older is the writer for The High Republic Adventures and has created an incredible series, one of the strongest I’ve read. This is illustrated by Nick Brokenshire, who is no stranger to Star Wars or Star Wars Adventures. I can’t wait to see what this pair produce for this issue…
‘The Incident’ picks up straight after the first part, with a single panel recap for anybody who missed it. Last part saw Anakin taken out of action quickly, which allowed Cook to utilise Padme a little more, letting her shine. In this issue, Anakin is back, yet Cook is quick to make sure that readers know that this is still a Padme story, not a Jedi save the day. This I think is really important, for this story shows just how strong females can be and have a strong story presence. What makes this different is it’s not overly focused on the female lead taking the limelight, it’s the female lead making sure she’s not pushed to one side, that she can still do something important, even alongside a Jedi. In this way, the story isn’t a ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ story, it’s very inclusive of both and shows each at their best. It is a very fine line to draw yet Cook does it exceedingly well.
But just like Padme won’t be pushed aside, neither will Checker. The droid, for all his limitations, can do more than is expected of him. Of course, this is very true to Star Wars, but it also cements the message that Cook is trying to get across. It doesn’t matter who you are, it is what you do that counts. Padme, Checker, Anakin, they all go far beyond what they should do to help others. Cook reinforces this by the reminder that Tomarian is all about possession, that he is more interested in showing off to others, than helping them. It is an important lesson for readers and Cook does it without being preachy. Last issue I said that the first part of this story was somewhat slow, as Cook was setting all the groundwork. In this second part, it really pays off. This part there is a lot of action, the message that Cook is trying to convey is heard loud and clear and the humour and one liner’s play perfectly.
McGee brings back her anime style of work here, with a lot more action to flex her artistic style. The action scenes with ‘Boom’ written in actually worked really well for me, the action flowing easily. Some of the panels are simply gorgeous, like last issue, those that are done with little lighting. Anakin deflecting a blaster bolt made my eyes grow wide. It’s these simple moments, that we’ve all seen, illustrated beautifully.
The second tale is the ‘Gaze Electric’ and oh, where to begin? At the moment I am carving my way through The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott, the next book on The High Republic series. A truly amazing Star Wars story and one that I need to read before I can start Older’s Race to Crashpoint Tower. Then keeping up with the comics as well, it’s safe to say I am a huge fan of The High Republic series in all its different series. The Gaze Electric, as a ship, is of huge importance to the Nihil and the story as a whole set during this time period. There are things here that make events a lot clearer in The Rising Storm, as well as setting up The High Republic Adventures. I don’t want to say too much, as I am very aware some of these have only just been released, but this is a short tale that is crucial to anyone following the series. Older fills in gaps that, while doesn’t spoil the timeline, had had me wondering had I missed something. We get to visually see into the heart of this ship, and see the characters that make up the series, from The Eye, to Doctor Uttersond, to Zagyar.
Older presents a tale that shows the horror that is the Nihil. This is not something where the heroes will show up and save the day, this is showing the full chaos that is this evil in the galaxy. It shows perfectly what life on the Nihil ship is, the experiences of the crew and the pressure that is on them from their leader. If they make one mistake, it could be their life gone. With so much going on in this timeline, it’s refreshing to have a tale that almost takes a step back and shows us the normal life of the crew.
Older keeping it simple, allows us to look around The Gaze Electric and it is Brokenshire who does a tremendous job of giving us the visuals for some things and some characters that we’ve only read about. There is a grittiness to the artwork that really suits the Nihil. The detail will have you gazing at panels again and again. Yet Brokenshire knows how to use his detail and when to leave it, particularly for humorous moments (The two panels about Garank had me laughing out loud).
This was a tale I was not expecting, particularly as the shorter piece in a Star Wars Adventures. It does rely on readers having knowledge of The High Republic but if you do, there is so much that Older fits into such a small space. To be honest, it’s what I have now come to expect from Older, to have any expectations I have completely exceeded. This is a tale that I have a sneaky feeling I’m going to keep coming back to as I continue to read all the different literature on The High Republic, as there is just so much there.
Two-week gaps between issues. If IDW can keep with this quality, then that sounds perfect! This is a very strong issue. ‘The Incident” delivers what it promised last issue, a clear moral and plenty of action set during The Clone Wars. The ‘Gaze Electric’ is a treasure trove for anyone following The High Republic Series (and if you’re not, why aren’t you?!). This is what Adventures is all about, something for everybody from high quality writers and artists who bring a bit of fun with their Wars and expand what we know about the galaxy far, far away. What more could you possibly need from a Star Wars series?
Star Wars Adventures (2020) is an ongoing series available from IDW Publishing. This issue is available from all good comic bookstores in the USA and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. This issue retails at $3.99.