Published: September 11th, 2019
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
THE DEVIL’S APPRENTICE! SUPREME LEADER SNOKE’S brutal training of KYLO REN begins. Will the sadistic Snoke break his tormented protégé? Or has he underestimated the son of HAN and LEIA?
There may only be two cover variants for this issue, but both deserve an award for their creepiness. Noto was clearly inspired by the throne-room scenes from The Last Jedi and the direct cover definitely recreates the Supreme Leader’s imposing nature. McKone’s puzzle-piece variant of Snoke wreathed by Dark Side lightning is possibly the best, and scariest, yet.
Early in Kylo Ren’s training, the Supreme Leader takes his young apprentice to Dagobah in an attempt to crush any remaining Light Side feelings from Ren’s heart. Just like his uncle before him, Kylo enters the ‘cave of evil’ and inside confronts his greatest fears. In the meantime, Snoke patiently waits outside, reaching out to his apprentice’s feelings and is impressed by Ren’s display of power and use of anger.
The mystery surrounding Snoke is one of the key features of his character, and the story utilises this fact for maximum effect. Fans know that the Supreme Leader likes playing mind-games, and that’s exactly what this issue feels like. When is Snoke directing Kylo’s actions? How does Kylo hide his true feelings? Why does Kylo want to fool Snoke? There are so many questions raised by Snoke #1 and each reader will have their own questions and interpret different answers – which is a fantastic piece of storytelling by Taylor.
Kirk has been drawing the villains of the Sequel Trilogy in such unique ways, and this issue is no different. The opening frame is a heart-stopping portrait of a very angry Snoke that is bordering on terrifying. However good the likeness is, most fans will probably flick past that page rather quickly. There’s a lot of action scenes that manage to express Ren’s volatility, with a great emphasis on the contrast between shadows and light. A particular highlight is the middle double-page spread, showing so many different angles of Kylo’s battle against his fears. However, there is one minor complaint about the artwork and that’s Snoke’s height; he doesn’t seem tall enough and certainly doesn’t tower of Kylo Ren like he does in The Last Jedi.
The return to Dagobah takes this issue to another level, especially seeing these new Sequel Trilogy characters walking in the footsteps of the Original Trilogy. At the same time, it will make fans wonder how Snoke knew where Luke Skywalker trained – the questions raised by this issue seem to be never-ending! Taylor manages to portray the strained master and apprentice relationship between the two characters well, particularly Snoke’s continuous disparaging of his apprentice. He also adds an interesting new side to Kylo with an underlying confident arrogance to some of his lines that feels more reminiscent of Han, and that feels slightly different to the films.
As far as the villain issues from Age of Resistance are concerned, Supreme Leader Snoke #1 feels like one of the best. Some stories can fall into the trap of revealing too much new information about a character, but this issue stays true to the enigma that is Snoke. It will be interesting to see if this story will link in to the The Rise of Kylo Ren in December as Charles Soule will also be exploring the beginnings of Kylo’s training. On Wednesday, we get a double dose of girl power, with Rey #1 and Rose Tico #1 being released.
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Supreme Leader Snoke #1 was published September 11th, 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic bookstores and retails at $3.99.