Welcome back to another new comic book day, EveryWookiee!! I’ve scoured yesterday’s news releases and below are the first appearances, cameos and key events from this week’s Marvel and IDW Star Wars comic releases: High Republic Trail of Shadows #1, War of the Bounty Hunters #5, Doctor Aphra #15, and Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #4
You can find all this information and tons more on WookyWiki.com, our sister site and Star Wars Comics First Appearance and Key Issue Database!
We saw these next few pages in the preview last week. First, we get the first appearance of Emerick Caphtor, a male Jedi Knight with a knack for investigations.
Next, we get the first appearance of Sian Holt, private investigator, and her longtime informant, Keefar Branto (first appearance). Keefar is following an underworld contact named Urk Panga who also first appears here.
Next, we get some Jedi cameos! Bell Zettifar and Indeera Stokes makes their first comic cameos in a flashback to the Jedi battle with the Nihil at Grizal. Loden Greatstorm, appearing here as a corpse, made a prior cameo in Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #7 in a flashback.
Every good Star Wars protagonist needs a trusty droid companion, and Emerick has Cuetoo (potentially Q2-something later). Interestingly designed, Cuetoo perches on Emerick’s shoulder like a parrot or spider monkey!
Finally, we get a flashback to another ancient Jedi Master, Ridyarvrikt, an Ongree Jedi would often sing a nursery rhyme to Jedi younglings who would not go to sleep. Although the nursery rhyme “Shrii ka rai ka rai” first appeared in the audio book, Tempest Runner, this is the song’s first comic appearance and it looks like it’s going to be an integral clue to unlock the mystery!
War of the Bounty Hunters is chock full of interesting story beats and key events, if not many first appearances. That is, until one of the final pages, when Qi’ra lines up a rogues gallery of Crimson Dawn affiliates to set up the next arc, Crimson Reign! We have some familiar faces, but also some unnamed first cameos. You guys know how Charles Soule likes to plant elements of future stories, so grab some copies of this issue and stash away until these characters start making waves!
From left to right, we heave:
Ren: Male force-sensitive humanoid leader of Knights of Ren. He mad his first full appearance in Star Wars The Rise of Kylo Ren #1. Ren makes his first cover appearance on The Rise of Kylo Ren #2 Cover A.
An Unknown Character who resembles T’Onga: T’onga is a female human bounty hunter who made her first appearance in Bounty Hunters #1.
Imara Vex: This character is an exciting inclusion!
Imara hasn’t made a comic appearance yet, but is a playable character in the upcoming Star Wars: Hunters video game! What this might mean is that we could start seeing some more of the characters from Hunters in comics: Grozz, the Wookiee, Aran Tal, a Mandalorian, Sentinel, a stormtrooper, Zaina, a Rebel Alliance fighter, Utooni, Jawa scrappers, J-3DI, a droid programmed to believe he is a Jedi, Rieve, a dark side warrior, and Slingshot, an Ughnaught in a Droideka shell.
Besides new characters, like I said, we have some key story beats.
Boba blew Beilert Valance to smithereens:
We’ll see if that sticks.
Finally, the third arc of Soule’s trilogy has been revealed! Hidden Empire concludes the story arc begun by War of the Bounty Hunters and continued in Crimson Reign!
- Cover A McNiven
- JTC Action Figure Variant
- Pagulayan Variant
- Frenz Handbook
- Sprouse Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Variant
- Cassaday Trading Card Variant
- McNiven 1:50 Variant
- Carbonite Variant
Doctor Aphra #15 is the first appearance of the Thought Dowser, a mind control artifact used by an ancient religious order called The Ascendant. Doctor Aphra #15 is also the first mention and cameo appearance of The Ascendant.
With the High Republic era being explored and rumors that stories from even further back will be explored in later film and Disney+ streaming projects, this is worth keeping an eye on.
We at least have a good guess that Aphra continues her use of the object into the next couple of issues based on the cover to Doctor Aphra #17:
At any rate, the device fries Aphra’ techno tattoos, an integral part of her character:
Finally, nothing notable in terms of firsts of key events, but this Halloween tradition continues to be a beautiful and spooky ride! It has far outgrown it’s all ages branding.