Published: September 25th, 2019
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
A DYNASTY OF DOOM! ANAKIN SKYWALKER casts a long shadow. Can KYLO REN ever escape his infamous grandfather’s reputation? Or will he succeed where DARTH VADER failed?
With this last direct cover for the Age of Resistance series, Noto is certainly going for a dramatic finale, having Vader’s mask materialising from flames behind Kylo Ren. If you look closely, you’ll even see the famous pill-shaped Death Star lighting hidden in the lettering. Both Mckone and Frenz have captured very dynamic poses, and the Greatest Moment variant uses such an unusual angle to fantastically recreate that famous lightsaber battle from Return of the Jedi.
To be fair, Kylo Ren has made quite a few appearances throughout this series, either trying to impress the Supreme Leader or annoying General Hux. However, here in his own dedicated issue, Kylo isn’t having to put on any façades and Taylor brings out parts of Kylo’s personality that have surprising similarities to his parents.
On an unnamed planet in Wild Space, the First Order send a delegation of troops led by Kylo Ren in an attempt to negotiate with the proud native Benathy people, who have been destroying all life on neighbouring worlds. When the peace talks come to a grisly end, the First Order not only have to face hordes of enemy Benathy warriors but also their revered deity – a Zillo beast. The only way for the First Order to acquire the loyalty of the Benathy is for Kylo Ren to try and kill the beast; renowned for its impenetrable armour.
When reading the story and learning that Kylo is going to be the chief negotiator, you know that the peace talks are going to fail. Kylo doesn’t have Leia’s skill at diplomacy, although he does try – a bit. It’s a fun scene to read because you’re just waiting for Kylo to snap, especially when the Benathy king insults the volatile Knight of Ren. However, Kylo isn’t negotiating alone and has an interesting former-Imperial stormtrooper, Captain Ruthford, as an advisor. The way Taylor wrote the interactions between the two resembled Captain Rex and Anakin Skywalker’s relationship; where Rex was always trying to talk Anakin out of reckless plans and the Jedi Knight never listened.
Kirk has saved the best till last when it comes to the artwork, and Kylo Ren #1 has so many incredible, breath-taking pages. As the Empire once tried to bring the planet under Imperial rule, many of the panels compare past Imperial and present First Order forces, and seeing how the designs are similar yet different is fascinating. He also deserves credit for taking on the challenge of drawing so many masked characters in one issue – from Kylo’s intricate silver-patterned helm to dozens of stormtrooper helmets. However, the action scenes with the Zillo beast are probably the most exciting. Kirk uses the huge scale of the Zillo to full advantage and makes the First Order ships appear severely outmatched. These scenes also provide even more clever juxtaposition between Kylo Ren and his grandfather, as Anakin fought the ferocious beast in Season 2 of The Clone Wars.
As mentioned above, there are elements of Kylo’s parents in his personality that Taylor has subtly woven into this story. So, Leia’s diplomatic skills don’t come through much but some of Kylo’s lines definitely include his mother’s classic wit. As for his father, well that shines through in the final scene of all when Kylo removes his mask after defeating the Zillo beast, and his smug, self-satisfied grin has Han written all over it.
Kylo Ren #1 is an action-packed issue that sends this series off on a high note. Age of Resistance has had some amazing issues, with most adding a lot more depth to scenes or characters from the Sequel Trilogy. Here’s hoping Star Wars: Allegiance will be able to do the same, whilst also filling in some of the timeframe between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Kylo Ren #1 was published September 25th, 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic bookstores and retails at $3.99.