Kanan: The Last Padawan #1

Kanan: The Last Padawan #1

Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks

Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 is simply perfect. In this one issue, Greg Weisman is able to tell a nearly self-contained story in itself, touching on all the right notes, and conveying a tale that’s sure to capture readers’ interest. It goes back to the Clone Wars to show Kanan and his master Depa Billaba in action against the Separatists. The story highlights a battle on Kaller that showcases some of Billaba’s teachings as well as Kanan’s early experiences. It’s a superb start to the series.

Kicking things off, it all begins with Kanan and the crew of the Ghost as they’re getting ready for a supply mission. It’s funny, because with just that first page, I found myself realizing how cool a Star Wars Rebels comic would be starring Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Ezra, Zeb and Chapper would be. Pepe Larraz’s art style is perfect. It strikes a nice balance between the art style of the show, capturing the likenesses of the character, but also forming it’s own unique look that’s very appealing. David Curiel’s colors bring the artwork to full life with dynamic lighting effects and a rich palette. On top of all that is Greg Weisman’s dialog with nails the voices of the characters. And this is all on page one. Throughout the issue, they keep the pace, and things just get better and better.

After that opening scene, they pull out all the stops and blast readers with a two page spread that’s worth spending some time on. We see Kanan and Billaba in the thick of battle with Separatists battle droids and Republic Clonetroopers. In the background is a curling plume of smoke and fire. Lightsabers are seen slicing through clankers in fiery spasms. Off in the distance you can see the long line of enemy columns as they stretch off into the hills and rolling valleys. As animated as Larraz’s style may be, he packs in a lot of detail. Look closely and you’ll see those enemy columns reaching way off into the distance. Up closer, you’ll notice a clonetrooper getting hit by blaster fire. There’s even twin suns in the sky. The artwork captures the emotion of the scene, the emotions of the characters, and features some really nice coloring. It’s a great image that amps things up.

From there, the story rolls out. We see the Jedi in action and get some glimpses in Kanan’s head as he narrates. Then we see Billaba focusing her apprentice and teaching him how to be a better Jedi. We catch a look at the leader of the Separatists forces on Kaller, a wicked looking, one-eyed Devaronian in some sweet battle armor. The natives of Kaller are introduced in a way that’s very integral to the story. Weisman certainly knows how to blend plot elements in seamlessly. With just a few lines, the Devaronian is able to set the stage on where the Kallerans stand and how they’ll few the conquering forces of the Republic. I also really love the look of them as they are a very unique looking species.

As the issue develops, the plot thickens, and we see a conflict brewing between the Kallerans and the Republic forces. This doubles as an opportunity for Billaba to teach Kanan a few lessons. A fireside chat furthers the character development, humanizes the clones, and creates an attachment between the readers and the characters. Then Weisman sucker punches everyone with the final two pages, ratcheting up the story, and leaving things on a high note. At this point, sales of issue #2 are guaranteed as everyone will want to see how this plays out.

Art and story wise, this issue delivers on all marks with flying colors. The artwork is beautiful, the storytelling is captivating and flawless, it’s the perfect mixture of all the right elements. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this issue. The characterization of Kanan even ties in with John Jackson Miller’s novel A New Dawn by presenting young Caleb Dume as a the ever questioning padawan. The comic just does not miss a beat. Thus I give Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 a five out of five metal bikinis for an outstanding job by the whole creative team.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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