31: Republic 51: The New Face of War 1
Star Wars: Republic #51: The New Face of War, Part 1, was first released as a comic issue on 19 March 2003. It was written by Haden Blackman. It was then collected in the Trade Paperback entitled "Clone Wars Volume 2: Victories and Sacrifices," released 6 September 2003. It will soon be collected in Omnibus: Clone Wars Volume 1: Republic Goes to War, to be released on 22 August 2012. I read the TPB, which has a cover price of $14.95 USD.
Anakin and Obi-Wan, along with Jedi Master Glaive, his apprentice Zule Xiss, and ARC Trooper Alpha, get a briefing from C-3PO, representing Naboo. It appears that the Gungans have lost contact with their colony on Naboo's moon of Ohma-D'un. The Jedi lead a small strike team to the colony, assuming it was struck by Spice Miners. Upon arrival, they see that the colony was wiped out by a chemical weapon, and find the bounty hunter Durge on site. Durge, working for the CIS, has taken several spice miners hostage, and used the chemical weapon Swamp Gas to kill the Gungans. The Jedi fight Durge, but see that he is nigh-impossible to kill. He releases more Swamp Gas and calls on Battle Droids for support. Anakin and Alpha get separated from the group. For a moment, it looks like Glaive and Obi-Wan are about to get the upper hand, when Asajj Ventress shows up, decapitating Glaive.
-I love the battle sequeunces between the Jedi and Durge. There's a lot of action, and a lot of cool dialogue.
-The Gungan colony on Ohma-D'un harkens back to Episode I: The Gungan Frontier, a kids video game for the PC by Lucas Learning, in which the player must set up a thriving ecosystem to support the growing Gungan colony. I love it when obscure references like this are made.
-Ventress and Durge look awesome.
-The art design of Zule Xiss is a bit weird. She looks good, but she is supposed to be a Falleen. She is drawn to look more like a Zeltron.
-This issue, and the next one, appear as one continuous story in the TPB. Normally, in cases like this, I read the entire story at once. But in this case, it is clear when one issue ends and the next begins.
-This is the first appearance of Durge. He claims to be an ancient Jedi-killer, having not killed a Jedi in over a century. His near-immortality, distributed nervous system, and regenerative capabilities are featured. His hatred for the Mandalorians is not.
-This is the first time the Jedi encounter Ventress, thus building a long, complex relationship between her and Obi-Wan.
All in all, this was a great issue.
32: Republic 52: The New Face of War 2
Star Wars: Republic #52: The New Face of War, Part 2, was written by Haden Blackman and first released as a comic issue on 9 April 2003. Like the last issue, it was then collected in the Trade Paperback entitled "Clone Wars Volume 2: Victories and Sacrifices," released 6 September 2003. It will soon be collected in Omnibus: Clone Wars Volume 1: Republic Goes to War, to be released on 22 August 2012. I read the TPB, which has a cover price of $14.95 USD.
Ventress has just killed Master Glaive, which has shocked Obi-Wan and Glaive's Padawan, Zule. The battle continues between the Jedi and the CIS officers. Using the Dark Side of the Force, Ventress manages to resurrect the dead Gungans and use them to fight the Jedi. Meanwhile, Anakin and Alpha fight Battle Droids and locate the kidnapped Spice Miners. They free the hostages, and learn that the CIS plans to crash spice freighters into Naboo loaded with Swamp Gas, potentially killing millions. They are able to destroy the freighters and the CIS fuel depot, and reach Obi-Wan and Zule in time to fight off Durge and Ventress. Zule loses an arm in the battle, but the Jedi survive. Zule is placed with a group of Padawans who have lost their Masters. Anakin wants to visit Naboo, but is unable to, as they must return to Coruscant to be redeployed.
-The use of dead Gungans as cannon fodder is an impressive use of the Force. The Nightsisters of Dathomir will eventually use similar magic to fight off the CIS.
-This is a nice conclusion to the story. The threat is stopped, but the villains escape to fight another day.
-I am irritated by the fact that they misspelled "Padmé" in a letter Anakin writes to her. He puts the accent the wrong way (Padmè). In issue 51, he spells it right.
-In this issue, Anakin gives Alpha his nickname. Before, everyone calls him "The Clone."
Just like the last issue, I enjoyed this one. The story was interesting and compelling, and the art was really good. I recommend it, but wait for the Omnibus in August.
Next up: The Pengalan Tradeoff!