I’ve fallen behind on reviews as of late due to the AWESOMENESS OF CELEBRATION (SWCA) so I’m going to go ahead and play catch-up with this straight up DOUBLE REVIEW of both Kanan #1 AND Kanan #2. You might be asking yourself “What’s up with all the caps?” Well, clearly you are unfamiliar with the greatness that was Celebration Anaheim OR the greatness that has been Marvel’s Kanan series thus far. Fortunately I’m about to shed a little bit of light on one of those!
Right away the first issue brings us instantly back to everything we LOVE about The Clone Wars. Larraz has such a wonderful way of creating splash page masterpieces that rock! Caleb Dume is everything we glimpsed in A New Dawn: a brash young padawan who questions everything and is hungry to be the best Jedi he can be. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know a bit more about Master Depa Billaba. Her teaching and patience with Dume is such a wonderful counterpoint to not only Caleb’s inquisitive nature but also to the man Caleb will become. The camaraderie Dume has with his Clones makes their eventual betrayal sting even more. The teaching moments Billaba finds are great and also show what a great Master she makes.
As a Legends fan I am mighty curious to see if it’s still true that she was the pupil of Mace Windu. General Kleeve makes an odd reference to rumors of Depa being “unstable” which immediately brings to mind Shatterpoint. Interesting to say the least.
The second issue hits home right away in very “rhyming” way in its opening. The first issue opens with the Jedi battling alongside the clones only to be followed by the second issue opening with the Jedi battling against the clones. A great moment for all of The Clone Wars fans with the clones repeating the line “Good soldiers follow orders.” The heartbreaking turn of events leaves Dume alone surviving in the gutters of Plateau City blaming himself for his master’s sacrifice. Kasmir’s harsh kindness is the first step in Dume learning to survive in the galaxy alone, and learning his first lesson in survival Dume returns with hope to Coruscant just in time to have his hope broken a second time by Obi-Wan’s last message.
Starting right away with the art, the illustrations in these books are amazing. Larraz has a definite style that instantly characterizes Kanan’s expressions and even, for one quick panel, wonderfully represents the entire crew of the Ghost. I’m loving the variant covers by Plunkett and Amy Beth Christenson and how the actual Rebels crew is adding their own covers into the mix! Bigtime hoping that trend continues.
Both issues so far have soared above the mark in every category. Story: yes. Art: yes. Character: yes. The story here is paced wonderfully and ranges from silliness, to epic battle, to Jedi lessons, to desolation, to loss, to solitude, to survival. The dialogue is fantastic and really captures the character in such a vulnerable point in his life. There is something really important that this series has so far in spades.