Published By: Marvel Comics
Released On: 27 September 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Matt Owens
Penciler: Denys Cowan
On a planet of near-perpetual darkness, the Jedi must bring light. Mace finds both his faith and skill tested. For is it truly the place of the Jedi to go to war?
The issue opens on the planet Hissrich, with Mace and his team, Kit Fisto, Prosseet Dibs and Rissa Mano, following a native into some subterranean caves. The creatures are almost Gollum like in appearance. Kit is immediately worried of a trap but Mace warns him to not be paranoid. The creature leads the Jedi team to their home, which is powered by the roots of the trees above ground. The roots give off light and heat that allow the natives to survive. The Jedi find a scout droid that has seemingly been deactivated.
The droids, led by AD-W4, are getting ready for a part of their plan, still unknown to the reader. We quickly shift back to the Jedi team, where Rissa exams the scout droid in the hope of accessing its memory. Too late does she realise that the droid could also be transmitting information. The droid army begins to rip the plants out of the ground, causing rocks to fall down on the natives’ town, people and the Jedi.
The droids enter the caves and begin to attack the Jedi. While dealing with some destroyer droids, Mace encounters AD-W4. The two begin to battle, but Mace is pushed back towards the other Jedi, who have to prevent him from falling. Mace and Rissa go after the droid above ground, only to discover the droids are harvesting the plants for their energy. Mace and Rissa start attacking the harvesting droids, while Kit and Prossett find more rocks are falling onto them and soon, too many for them to deal with. The issue ends with Mace and Rissa continued their search for AD-W4 and finding even more harvesting droids…
Before I started writing my review, I had to go back to check the length of other synposes I had written. My suspicion was right, the length for this issue is much shorter than what I’m used to. One could argue that there is a lot of action in this, but it doesn’t feel like it. This issue feels short. In a lot of the other Marvel titles, you feel like you are getting a cinematic experience, the writing is such good quality that for each comic you are taken on a journey. Mace Windu #2 doesn’t deliver this and I think it should! With only five issues, you would think the writer would want to cover a lot. The themes of this issue, of light versus dark, of peace keepers turning to war generals, these are meaty subjects that such be delved deepily into. Yet it feels in this issue that we only brush the surface. I want more!
The droid humour is back… again. I know the writer is perhaps shackled by the legacy of the prequal trilogy but the humour really throws me out of the story. This is a shame as the one liners from AD-W4 actually work well. Mentioning AD-4W, I am a bit concerned with how powerful he seems to be. He was able to stop Mace Windu, one of the most powerful Jedi. Again, this is something that took me out of the story, as there doesn’t seem to be any real reason why the droid is able to do this. Sure he has a lot of weaponry, but would this really stop Mace? Added to this is Kit Fisto’s character, who seems a little trigger happy. He is a leading member of the Jedi, yet he doesn’t listen to the force while the Jedi are travelling around the caves. I guess what I am trying to say is that it all seems a bit out of character and I’m not sure the writer really gets these characters.
Not wanting to repeat my critical response to the art, all I will say is that it hasn’t improved. Mace’s lightsaber stood out in one frame as looking completely wrong and then right in another frame, then wrong…. you get the idea! Let’s move on…
There were a few good aspects of this comic. It was great to see Mace and Kit’s relationship building and leading the way to events in Revenge of the Sith. I also particularly liked the links to The Clone Wars and the old Expanded Universe. Mace is still from Haruum Kal and Kit mentions the Vixem from the planet Umbara. These are both great little easter eggs, which certainly helped to improve this reader’s view on the comic.
I think I didn’t do much in my last review to hide my disappointment with this series. I wish I could say that this issue completely turned around my opinion… it didn’t. There are a few welcome improvements, enough to give me some hope for the series if it continues this trend, but not enough to change my view that this was a golden opportunity missed by Marvel. This trend of poor character named series is starting to make me dread the next announcement of one, rather than get me excited. Marvel really needs to start thinking about setting their expectations higher and giving fans the kind of stories they deserve.
Issue Preview and Cover Variants:
40th Anniversary Variant Cover by Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson
Mace Windu is a five part series available from Marvel. All issues will be collected in a trade paperback (6 March 2018) entitled Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu.