Welcome back, EveryWookiee, to another DrunkWooky Star Wars Comic Review! Today, I’m taking a look at the brand spanking new Star Wars High Republic Adventures #2 from IDW, fresh onto the shelves yesterday, March 3, 2021! This book has a regular Talibao cover and a beautiful Yael Nathan 1:10 incentive cover featuring “Buckets of Blood”!
The High Republic train is continuing to chug its entries along into canon continuity with relentless consistency. Three issues in on the Marvel High Republic side and two issues in over here on the IDW, all ages High Republic Adventures side, we are seeing ample new, exciting, and inspiring characters, locations, and villains. This new era of Star Wars has only just begun and it is planting tiny seeds that will grow into mighty trees of canon!
Before we get into the thick of this review, let’s get some speculation house-keeping out of the way. While High Republic Adventures #1 was Marchion Ro’s final page cameo, this issue is Marchion Ro’s first full appearance. It’s worth noting that he hasn’t been named in either issue yet, though. The 1:10 Yael Nathan cover is also Torben “Buckets of Blood” Buck’s first cover appearance. We’ve added all this to the WookyWiki Star Wars Comics First Appearance and Key Issue Database!
Not all readers are yet on board with the IDW all ages imprint, which is really unfortunate. In issue one, we had the first cameo of Marchion Ro, the Eye of the Nihil and big bad of this first batch of multimedia High Republic stories. On a few boards I saw readers doubt that Disney and Marvel would allow such a key character to fully first appear in the IDW all ages series, yet here we are! Star Wars High Republic Adventures #2 is Marchion Ro’s first full comic appearance and he is all over it!
When we last left off, Yoda, Torben Buck, and a ship full of padawans, were descending onto a planet that was being bombarded with ship wreckage erupting out of hyper space. Their mission was to save those they could and attempt to prevent catastrophe. Meanwhile, planetside, two orphans who considered themselves brother (Krix) and sister (Zeen) were attempting to find a ride off-planet. Unfortunately for them, the closest ships were full of marauders- The Nihil! The Nihil had landed to capture a government official.
Jedi action ensued and Zeen revealed her Force sensitivity and prowess! That was, apparently a no-no. Krix, who shuns the Force, according to their community’s custom, was heartbroken that she had lied to him. He attaches himself at the hip to the captured government official, pleading to get off world as an essential aide to the official.
We pick up here in issue #2! This being an all ages book, you would expect the story to be a light-hearted romp, with low stakes, and a quick resolution ending on a fairly satisfying and positive note. That is not the case. While the writing is leveled down to appeal to a broader age range, the issues and plot notes we deal with here are anything but light and breezy. This issue is not only prime Star Wars canon material, but essential characterization of some of the primary characters of this era! Marchion Ro shows his capacity not only for ruthlessness, but also his power to corrupt others. The orphan boy starts what we know to be a path down the dark side as he settles into his resentment of his force-sensitive sister. So, a far cry from a quick wrap up to a light-hearted adventure of the month, this book leaves us with a juicy and tempting cliff-hanger leading into a broader story with deep story elements important to the canon!
Not only that, but this issue is packed with excellent Yoda action! The wily (not-so) old Jedi Master is cracking wise and kicking butt! There are also small beats that tie together the larger High Republic world. Yoda opens up a box and is awash in a purple glow. We don’t know what was in the box, but it was also referenced in Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi. Marchion Ro holds a grudge against the Jedi and whatever is in that box will come into play later.
Yes, there are moments of explanation and exposition which may not be necessary in a book which doesn’t need to concern itself with a younger audience. None of this slows the pace or dulls the impact for the older audience, however.
Talibao’s art is vivid with a sense of excitement in just about every panel, even those that are just dialogue. In sum, I’d say that those who haven’t picked up this series yet because they believe it to be an inconsequential all-ages series or somehow otherwise lesser, need to grab it and get up to speed. This series is balancing the needs of both young readers and die hard adult Star Wars canon nerds with expert effect.