Jedi of the Republic Mace Windu #1 | Writer: Matt Owens | Penciler: Denys Cowan | Colorist: Guru-eFX | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Release Date: August 30, 2017 | Price: $3.99
With the release of Marvel’s new Star Wars content, it was only a matter of time before we received a series featuring the fuchsia lightsaber wielding Jedi Master Windu. Jedi of the Republic Mace Windu #1 features the council master as he embarks on a mission to gather intel on a separatist population on the outer rim jungle planet of Hissrich. Being that this story is set during the Clone Wars, the resources of the Jedi are worn thin, and as such they can’t afford a full company of soldiers for every mission. In the case of not being able to access those resources, it is necessary that they chose an effective alternative. Given his high level of skill and leadership capabilities, that alternative is Mace himself.
In lieu of soldiers, Mace is instead given the option of choosing a small company of Jedi to undertake the mission with him. The first is Kit Fisto, Nautolan Jedi Master is a capable combatant, and served alongside Mace and the other Jedi during the battle of Geonosis that kicked off The Clone Wars. For movie watchers, you can see him during that scene and a few others in Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Next, he enlisted Prosset Dibs, blind Jedi Master with strong insight in the force. This comic is his first appearance. Finally, young devaronian Jedi Knight Rissa Mano an accomplished engineer was also chosen to accompany Mace on this mission (also another first appearance).
The story picks up with the new team forming, a brief overview of their skills, and them landing on the planet. After they do battle with the few droids they we get a reveal of what seems to be the arc’s arch villain, a mercenary assassin droid named AD-W4. While the start of this series is solid, I don’t feel anything that hooks me with anticipation for the next issue. So far, this is Jedi doing what they always do… that is dismantling battle droids. Aside from that, based on issue one, nothing particularly interesting is grabbing my attention. There’s no real mystery to look forward to or any inner crisis for Mace to overcome… yet.
Characterization is done well. We understand Mace and Kit to be the wisest among those on the team, and Mace is very much as I’ve always known him to be. Prosset Dibs is insightful, but perhaps haughty with his tongue and actions. At the same time, we see his Jedi teachings come into play as he apologies for his actions both when speaking to Mace and Kit. Rissa Mano has the brightness of youth in her, and feels to be something of a breath of fresh are from an otherwise demure team. I look forward to seeing their interactions in the future.
Another aspect I like is the detail and break down put into the lightsaber combat scene. Instead of a mindless charge in because they are Jedi and know they are superior than a feeble squad of droids, Mace directs a forward assault and flank. While he does tell Rissa that stealth wasn’t necessary at the time, he does show a tactical battle prowess that represents a Jedi’s wisdom, even in battle. I appreciate seeing writing that takes this into consideration. As powerful as Jedi are, it’s their skill and mind’s that accomplish the greatest feats.
When it comes to the art, there seems to be inconsistency. While the cover is an excellent depiction of Mace tossing droids with the Force, on the inside, the art is hit or miss from panel to panel. There are some places where expressions and features are drawn very well, and others where structure and angles look off. Most of it looks very well done, but I notice at different points, there are panels here and there that don’t have the same quality of work. There’s even one panel in which Yoda looks nothing like Yoda. When it comes to scenery and things like ships, the work is more consistent. I’m also unconvinced by panels or groups of panels that are meant to be action shots. While I see the action lines, the stances often do portray the action well, and I think it’s something that needs to be worked on.
I am very pleased to see Jedi of the Republic Mace Windu #1 but, I wouldn’t be being honest if I didn’t say that I’m underwhelmed. I expected a book featuring one of the most powerful Jedi, a man that held the title of Master of the Order, creator and Master of the Vaapad to be immediately intriguing. While I look forward to the next issue, I am also hoping for something more visceral to grip me.