Obi-Wan & Anakin #3
Obi-Wan & Anakin #3 (of 5)
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist/Cover Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Obi-Wan & Anakin #3 deepens the plot a little further, but things are still moving pretty slowly overall for a five issue mini-series. Yet even with such a slow plot progression, I can’t help but feel satisfied with the little teases that we get. In this issue we get more of Palpatine’s tutelage of young Skywalker in the seedy underbelly of Coruscant. The strange clans of the Open and and the Closed keep their motivations guarded as they lure Anakin and Obi-Wan deeper into their schemes. Yet those schemes are sprung into motion with the revelation that Anakin can fix things. What end game is there for the Chosen One and the Open? Not to mention, how do the Fishers fit into all of this? There’s lots of questions and tons of great plot seeds, but will there be enough time to explore them all?
The issue opens on the murky world of Carnelion IV as Obi-Wan and Anakin continue their balloon ride with the Open and the Closed. Charles Soule has Obi-Wan bluntly point out the strange cooperativeness of the two tribes as they strive to help the Jedi find the distress call that lured them to this planet. While it is a bit heavy handed, it at least makes it apparent that Obi-Wan isn’t blind to what’s going on. The problem is that by the end of the issue, the readers are still kept in the dark with what’s happening. We know the Open and the Closed hate each other, so what could be so important to unite the two? It’s a powerful story draw, but it’s illusiveness is also a drawback. It entices but also disappoints. Hopefully that plot seed will bear fruit before too long.
As the balloon ride continues, the Open realize that Anakin can fix things. They start having him fix little droid brains to test his skills, then quickly decide that they must kidnap him. Just like the mysterious cooperation story thread, this one is left dangling. They grab Anakin and go, but we don’t find out why they are taking him yet. Even stranger, as soon as they have Anakin, they also decide to try and kill the rest, even though there is no apparent reason for it. At one point they were bent on helping the Jedi find the distress signal, and the next moment, they are back to hating each other and devoting themselves to self-destruction. It’s odd and the lack of explanations, while intriguing, is a little frustrating. Issue #4 really needs to pack some answers.
Aside from the hijinks on Carnelion IV, we get another blast from the past as we continue our journey into the lower levels of the galaxy’s capital. In Club Kasakar, Palpatine shows Anakin the evil and corruption that lurks in the very heart of the Republic. He slyly exposes Anakin to the side of the galaxy that everyone knows about, but does nothing to fix. Further pushing the agenda, he lays down a subtle path that could change it, if one were so inclined and bold to do so. Slowly but surely, Palpatine worms his way into being Anakin’s friend and mentor, nudging him along a path separate from the Jedi. I have to give Soule high praise for his use of Palpatine. The relationship he lays out between Anakin and his future Sith master is absolutely superb and worthy of its own comic. In a way, it’s sad to see it shoehorned in here as I think it’s the far more compelling storyline of the two being presented.
The two storylines aren’t the only things that contrast in this issue. There’s a very interesting division between the artwork for the past and present stories. The panels taking place on Carnelion IV are dominated by greens and blue greens with earthier tones invading their way into the interior of the airship. It’s dark and gloomy. On the other hand, the Coruscant panels are presented in a sea of purple, but with bright, vivid lighting of all the characters. There’s excellent lighting effects giving the feel of a nightclub. Plus the facial expressions of the characters make the seedy characters come to life. The distinct coloring of the two time periods creates a clear divide in the comic which helps keeps the two time periods separate, but also makes the two locations feel very unique in their own rights. Overall, I really liked the artwork in this issue. The character depictions are pleasing, the layouts work great with the flow of the story, and the colors keep everything fresh and lively. My only gripe would be the cover. Checchetto is pretty good with the interior art, but his cover art leaves a little to be desired.
With lots of great story hooks and questions, I’m eager to read the next issue. However, with only two more issues to go, I’m worried whether Charles Soule can answers all those questions without cramming it in or leaving things untold. Regardless, this issue was enjoyable and I’m digging the artwork. Hopefully it can continue the strong vibe it’s got rolling and finish this series on a high note. I give Obi-Wan & Anakin #3 a five out of five metal bikinis.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.