Published: July 10th, 2019
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
ANOTHER GUN! STORMTROOPERS don’t get a name. They are simply a tool of the EMPIRE. But PHASMA has a name, and one young soldier wants what she has. One stormtrooper has ambition. And this ambition is on a collision course with CAPTAIN PHASMA.
Phil Noto has given fans yet another fantastic direct edition cover, but McKone’s puzzle-piece variant is possibly the most striking, with Phasma proudly standing in front of the mighty legions of the First Order. The concept variant uses a momentous scene from The Last Jedi to great effect and the embers falling across the page are almost a kind of fiery snow.
For all her mystery behind that chrome mask, Phasma is actually one of the most developed Sequel Trilogy characters, with a novel outlining her brutal past and a Marvel comic mini-series explaining Phasma’s survival of the destruction of Starkiller Base. Phasma #1 takes place before The Force Awakens, and it’s a gripping page-turner from start to end.
During the battle for the Outer Rim planet of Demir, young stormtrooper KM-8713 tries to follow her captain’s every command, even if it means leaving behind the injured or sacrificing her friends. However, after witnessing Phasma standing safely on the sidelines and using her troops as a shield, KM-8713 quickly becomes disillusioned and accuses the chrome captain of cowardliness. A confrontation ensues but only Phasma walks away into the sunset.
Immediately the comic throws you straight into the heart of the action, and Kirk’s artwork transports the reader into the midst of the battle for Demir. Every page is a visual feast, from the battalion of stormtroopers and walkers to the organic ship designs of the natives. The planet itself uses a harsh colour palette of reds and oranges, making the white armour of the troopers practically jump-off the page, whilst also suggesting the “heat” of the battle. Lanham’s bold multi-coloured lettering also adds to the drama by adding in those iconic blaster sound effects amongst others.
Although new character KM-8713 is only secondary to the plot, she is still a very interesting stormtrooper and it would have been nice if she could have had a few extra pages to herself. There are definitely some hints of Finn’s personality, as she is also compassionate towards her fellow troopers but unlike Finn, KM-8713 believes fervently in the First Order. As her thoughts appear on a few pages they help to show how her views towards Captain Phasma change, beginning with complete adoration to seeing the true traitor beneath.
Phasma is cold, calculating and ruthless, and this story cements all of these traits. It’s amazing the First Order have any army at all, with Phasma’s self-survival instincts leading to the sacrifice of most of her legion. Even is she is extremely self-centred, we do get to see the captain passionately leading and inspiring her troops, whilst even attempting to nurture KM-8713 into a mirror image of herself, which is quite similar to Phasma’s relationship with Siv from Delilah S. Dawson’s novel Star Wars: Phasma.
If all that wasn’t good enough then Taylor and Young’s story also delivers a revelatory Star Wars history moment. When KM-8713 is sent to be reprimanded, she meets Captain Phasma without her helmet. Phasma is finally, fully unmasked! It’s a completely shocking point in the comic that will probably leave you staring at the page for quite a while.
Phasma #1 is such an amazing story it leaves the reader wanting more. More pages of action, more ruthless machinations and basically just more Phasma. We have a couple of weeks break now, but when Age of Resistance returns, it will be for Special #1, featuring 3 all new character stories.
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Captain Phasma #1 was published July 10th 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic book stores and retails at $3.99.