Knights of the Old Republic: Dueling Ambitions

KotOR 39 Writer: John Jackson Miller Penciller: Brian Ching Colorist: Michael Atiyeh Cover Artist: Daryl Mandryk To quickly get to a certain review, click the links below: Issue #39 Issue #40
Issue #39 review
The new era in the Knights of the Old Republic comic series continues as Zayne Carrick and company arrive on Jervo’s World so the team can compete in the legit and “less-than-lethal” dueling competitions. While Zayne is excited by the environment, we’re introduced to a new character, Goethar Kleej, a four time consecutive solo aerials champion. And when there are openings to compete in the dueling, Zayne doesn’t hesitate to try and participate, and even Rohlan gets roped into the competition. At the start of the issue, John Jackson Miller shows readers the new swoop racing competition and sets the stage for what kind of action and excitement we’ll get from this story. Miller introduces several new characters, including Kleej who wishes to retire from dueling but is denied the chance to leave without completing one last requirement. Miller easily ties this last requirement into added pressure for Zayne Carrick who’s been a fan of Kleej ever since his Jedi years on Taris. Throughout, Miller moves the story along and introduces lots of new details beautifully concerning dueling, its champion, and our heroes. Visually, Brian Ching does a great job grabbing the readers’ attention by illustrating Miller’s words with the art from the first opening pages. Ching does a great job throughout the issue of relaying the emotion Kleej feels concerning his retirement when he’s confronted and blackmailed by his boss, Bardron. Although the first expressions of excitement from Zayne make him look very silly and ridiculous, the racing and fist fights are all well done giving the sense of how fast and dangerous this “less-than-lethal” sport will be. Between the duels and Gryph’s lack of support resulting in some poor plants suffering, Miller and Ching start this new story arc strong with a well-developed plot and beautiful art, respectively. This story looks to be a great swoop ride!
Issue #40 review
Much like the first issue of the story arc, we start with some fun dueling action before slowing down to develop the story. With four characters surviving the semifinals, we learn more about Goethar’s past, Aubin’s struggle, and Jarael’s dreams. John Jackson Miller continues this story arc with intense opening action sequences to get the readers excited, and keeps them excited even after slowing down the action to develop all the characters a little bit more. Miller does jump right to the tail end of the semifinals, but when you grow worried for Goethar and his son, you wonder more for how they’ll survive the duels than the matches leading to the semifinals. Brian Ching continues to do a great job bringing the duels to life and capturing the emotion of the characters. The opening page shows just what kind of trouble Zayne has dived into this time, and the look on his face shows he really should remind himself he’s “having fun”. And when events slow down, Ching shows the fears and worries the characters have going into the finals. Miller and Ching deliver another great addition to the Knights of the Old Republic series, and make you wonder how Zayne is going to accomplish his goals for this story arc with only one issue left. But with the story arc so far, you only feel excitement coming out of this issue, especially with Gryph in the last panel. Reviews by Lawrence D. All staff members can be reached at