Published: August 28th, 2019
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
MAROONED! GENERAL HUX and KYLO REN crash-land on a far-off planet. With no hope of rescue, the two are forced to work together to survive. But can they survive each other?
Lettering isn’t something usually mentioned for covers, but the huge size of the type used for Hux’s name across these covers is so prominent and eye-catching even without the artwork. Phil Noto has done it again with a superb direct cover cleverly showing Kylo Ren’s mask looming behind the General, subtly implying how Hux is always in Ren’s shadow. The monochrome concept design variant is a familiar piece, but it works well here, depicting the dramatic moment of Hux’s passionate speech.
It’s obvious when reading this issue that Taylor has done his research when writing General Hux #1, as there are numerous references to other pieces of Star Wars literature in which the character makes an appearance. Brendol Hux’s cruel abuse and belittling of his son in the first few pages links directly with Aftermath: Empire’s End, whilst Armitage’s admittance of ordering his father’s death from the final scenes was revealed in Star Wars: Phasma.
After a severe crash-landing on a remote planet and without any communications, Kylo Ren and General Hux argue (unsurprisingly) over a suitable course of action. Whilst they’re distracted, native beasts attack and Ren is rendered unconscious, leaving the General to cunningly trick an old Alderaanian, Bylsma, into helping them contact the First Order and being rescued. Once safely returned to Starkiller Base, Hux then enacts his vicious revenge on the saboteur of his shuttle.
One of the first things this story must explain is how in the galaxy can a shuttle crash when there’s a pilot on board with Solo blood in his veins. Well neither incredible piloting skills or the Force can save a ship with mechanical failure, and including a saboteur adds another dimension to the plot.
Armitage doesn’t fight with weapons but with words, and reading this fan get to see just how manipulative the General can be, and that he uses knowledge to his advantage. It is hinted at in The Force Awakens that Hux knows exactly who Kylo Ren really is, and this comic proves that fact. So, when Hux comes across an opportunity of help from Bylsma, he simply preys upon the Alderaanian’s loyalty to his home world and its beloved princess. Hux also clearly patiently holds grudges against those who he considers having done him wrong, and the ending where he confronts the saboteur demonstrates that rather gruesomely.
Of course, there couldn’t be a comic about Hux and Ren without the two arguing, and there’s lots of it to enjoy. Their on-screen rivalry is perfectly replicated by Taylor, and there’s many thinly veiled threats, insults and nastiness bounced between them, which is extremely fun to read. Kirk’s artwork also ramps up the tension and half of the time the body language speaks for itself. There is also some unusual framing, such as extreme close-ups of the characters focusing only on certain areas of the face. A particularly chilling one is of Hux half-covered in blood smiling coldly at Bylsma as he sentences the poor man to death.
Perhaps a slight fault of this issue is that it doesn’t really delve into Hux’s backstory enough, with only one tiny flashback to his past. It is understandable, with a limited twenty pages, and could in the future offer Marvel or a different Star Wars publisher an avenue for deeper character exploration. September sees the turn of Hux’s evil boss in Supreme Leader Snoke #1, so be prepared for plenty of villainy.
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – General Hux #1 was published August 28th, 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic bookstores and retails at $3.99.