Published: October 9th, 2019
Writer: Ethan Sacks
Penciler: Luke Ross
Colourist: Lee Loughbridge
Cover Artist: Marco Checchetto
BEFORE THE EXCITING EVENTS OF STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER! Hounded by the FIRST ORDER across the galaxy, the RESISTANCE is in dire need of ships, weapons and recruits to make a final stand against KYLO REN’S forces. Desperation drives a delegation led by GENERAL LEIA ORGANA and REY to entreat the Rebel veteran’s one-time allies, THE MON CALAMARI, to join the fight — but decades after Imperial occupation enslaved their planet, there are those willing to stop at nothing to prevent another war from bloodying the waters of Mon Cala. A system away, POE DAMERON and FINN have their own mission: to hunt down a weapons cache on the remote moon of Avedot, unaware that they are being hunted by the most notorious criminal gang in the galaxy.
This first direct cover by Checchetto is a fabulous montage that depicts some of the events that actually occur in this issue, along with beautiful likenesses, particularly Leia who wears a gorgeous expression of strength mixed with solemnity. However, Stelfreeze’s variant is just as good with its bold, bright unusual orange colour-scheme grabbing your attention on any comic-book shelf.
Three storylines are set up in this overall plot and Sacks manages to strike a balance by providing enough time for each without ever leaving the reader wishing there was more. Okay, you do wish there was more, but in the anticipatory sense rather than feeling the comic is a couple of pages too short.
On the garbage planet of Anoat, the Resistance are currently in hiding, desperately trying to rebuild after their defeat on Crait. It’s on this world that Sacks writes a new side of Rey fans haven’t seen much of – Rey angry. She deliberately starts a fight with a fearsome Anoatian pit beast to try and rid herself of her feelings of anger and frustration. It’s a scene you would expect of Kylo Ren, but not necessarily of the Jedi-in-training. It seems that with everything that occurred in The Last Jedi, Rey is feeling somewhat discouraged.
Leia is also pretty despondent, but in her typical fashion she’s not sitting down wishing things were different but is doing things about it. These scenes are so well written as she is adamant about doing things her way, no matter the risk, and can’t be talked out of it, even by her other officers. It will be great to see more of Leia leading from the front and negotiating allies in the rest of the Allegiance series.
Meanwhile, Finn and Poe are on a secret mission hunting down a weapons cache. Although this part of the plot has the least pages in Allegiance #1, it is absolutely brilliant and adds some much needed humour to an otherwise dark story. Whilst seeking intel at a cantina, all pandemonium breaks loose and Ross’s artwork of the brawl really captures the energy of the fight – from flying objects, motion lines and plenty of angry expressions. A particular highlight are the panels where Finn, Poe and BB-8 are in silhouette while the fight still rages on in the background.
Although there aren’t many pages depicting the First Order, the pages that do leave such a big impact. Right from the beginning fans get to see how brutally the First Order deals with planets sympathetic to the Resistance. It is in these scenes that we also get a glimpse of a new type of TIE bomber design, and it will be interesting to see if they will feature in The Rise of Skywalker. Sacks wields Kylo Ren amazingly in this story, only giving readers a hint of the new Supreme Leader who’s now obsessed with finding the Resistance, just like his grandfather before him was with the Rebellion. Ross’s artwork takes this to another level by showing the obvious fear of the officers who have to report to Kylo, which is an additional similarity to Vader as all the Imperials who worked for the Sith Lord were terrified of his wrath.
If the story itself wasn’t enough, then right at the back is a short insight into how the comic was made, with draft artwork and a few annotations by Sacks for certain scenes. It’s absolutely wonderful to get a brief look at the thought and work that goes into these issues and will delight fans of the ‘art-of’ books.
Allegiance #1 really sets-up these storylines in an incredible first issue that only leaves you excited for the next. Not only are there links to other parts of the Journey to the Rise of Skywalker publishing plan but references to other areas of the Star Wars universe that are worth geeking-out about. Next week Allegiance #2 sees General Organa dealing with some unhappy Quarren on Mon Cala and meeting with Admiral Ackbar’s son.
Star Wars: Allegiance #1 was published October 9th, 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic bookstores and retails at $4.99.