Comic Review: Cassian & K-2SO #1

The Creative Team:

Published By: Marvel Comics
Released On:
9 August 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Penciller: Fernando Blanco

The Synopsis:

Cassian Andor is one of the top intelligence agents in the ranks of the Rebel Alliance, ably assisted by his reprogrammed Imperial security droid, K-2SO. But naturally, the two weren’t always on the same side of the Galactic Civil War. Now, for the first time, read the story of the pair’s first contentious meeting! It is very likely not to go well.

The Plot:

The annual begins (like the Rogue One comic adaption) with a Rebel’s Report, introducing Captain Cassian Andor and rebel spies, Kertas and Rismor. Their mission, to extract Imperial security protocols while attempting to evade detection.

The story opens with Cassian tinkering with the wiring of an unknown droid who very quickly tries to detain the Captain. We are then immediately transported to a few hours before, with Cassian flying a ship to Wecacoe, explaining to Kertas and Rismor that he doesn’t expect a large stormtrooper presence on the planet. After landing, Cassian continues to talk to the spies who never answer back as they communicate through scent. Before too long, the three spot a large Imperial force filled with stormtroopers and security droids. Refusing to be deterred, Cassian pushes on undetected until they reach a decommissioned Imperial cruiser. Cassian believes the Imperial security protocols are on the ship. Kertas and Rismor start trying to find them but Cassian quickly spots stormtroopers heading in their direction and soon an alarm is sounded.

Realising they can’t escape, Cassian comes up with a plan and tells Kertas and Rismor to stay put. Getting the attention of a security droid, Cassian tries to subdue the droid, who we learn is K-2SO, but can’t find the kill switch, as this is a model he has not encountered before. With ease, K-2 is able to defeat Cassian but is thwarted by the rebel spies, who press the droid’s kill switch. The story catches up with the start of the story, with K-2 reactivated and trying to detain Cassian as only 29.73% of his memory has been erased. The kill switch is thrown again.

Switched on again, Cassian gives K-2 new orders to lead them to the Rebel’s ship and take out any troopers who try to stop them. The team make it to find their ship surrounded by stormtroopers. K-2 once again tries to detain Cassian, getting the attention of the stormtroopers. Rismor and Kertas run off, leading the stormtroopers away from Cassian and K-2 but not before telling Cassian that K-2 has the intel the Rebel’s need.

The Rebel ship suddenly blows up and so Cassian tells K-2 that they need to find a new ship. Not one to be deterred from his programming, K-2 tells Cassian that he still needs to detain him and that 8.3% of his memory is still intact. Realising his mistake, Cassian switches K-2 off again and removes the droid’s base layer of Imperial programming. Once reactivated, K-2 is suddenly the droid from Rogue One and helps Cassian to find a new ship and escape. We see that Rismor and Kertas have blended into a crowd and are safe on the planet.

The Review:

Let me start by saying that I loved Rogue One and that when this one shot was announced I was a bit surprised it wasn’t for an entire series, surely there was enough material to fill more than one comic? But at least we were getting something. Fast forward to actually having the comic in my hands and the one word that comes to mind is disappointed.

The story is fairly straight forward and one of the few things I like about this comic is that it doesn’t go over the top. Cassian and the rebels aren’t trying to be heroic or save someone, they are trying to get intel, and aren’t doing superhuman feats to accomplish it. This fits the image of Cassian portrayed in Rogue One. Check. The humour of K-2 is also very well written and there were a few moments that made me give an audible chuckle. Again, this fits the image of K-2 portrayed in Rogue One. Check. So where does it fall apart?

Well let me start with the one page flashback that opens the story. I don’t really think it was needed and was quite forced. This is one of a few Star Wars comics that have used flashbacks recently and I wish they would stop. When there is a need, when there is an actual reason to use them then great, but these comics are not Crimson Empire.  It would have been far more productive for the flashback to have been taken out and the page space used to explain other things in the issue. For example, the rebel ship blowing up, who did it? Of course we assume it is the Imperials, but how?

A lot of the time, this issue felt rushed. I expect more from a one-shot, a way to highlight a truly great story. But this did not meet those expectations. As well as the story, I felt the artwork could have been better. The detail across the whole comic was poor, especially on Cassian’s face. Again it felt rushed. For a story that I imagine many will be looking forward to, for a story about two character’s we probably won’t see a lot of, I think more time and attention should have been given. I still can’t help think that it would have been better suited to a series but if this is the quality we would get, perhaps it is better it is only a one-shot.

Issue Cover Variants:

Availability:

Cassian & K-2SO Annual #1 is a one-shot comic from Marvel and available from all good comic stores now. 

Mark 'Spooked Hippie' Alders
Mark’s day job is a primary school teacher, where in his classroom you will find life size cut outs of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, trying his best to educate the youth of today in the ways of the force.