I’ve had The High Republic #4 by Cavan Scott and Ario Anindito circled for a while now as a potential key. We’ve known for months now that two new comic characters would be appearing on the cover.
The Herald – one of the leaders and the official speaker of The Path of The Open Hand.
And an Evereni character – I had initially thought this was Yana Ro but it could also be Marda Ro. Both were main characters in High Republic The Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland. Both Yana and Marda are ancestors of Marchion Ro, the big bad from Phase I.
Then last week on one of the final pages from The High Republic #3 I noticed that the art on the “Coming Soon” page for The High Republic #4 appeared to have been changed.
A few of the changes:
- The Evereni in the back now has ceremonial garb instead of the standard white robes of The Path of The Open Hand.
- The big drapes behind The Herald are now red instead of white/blue
- And the characters in the foreground have been changed. One now has a a hood up uinstead of being an alien with big ears.
The only reason these changes are notable is because they provide clues as to what scene this depicts and could provide insight into who else may appear in the issue.
I initially thought the character behind the Herald was Yana Ro but with the outfit change I’m leaning towards it being Marda Ro. For two reasons:
1. While they look more like how I would picture Yana, Marda would be much more likely to be wearing ceremonial outfits in her role as “The Guide” while Yana would have simpler, more functional clothes with her role as one of “The Children.”
2. This issue kicks off the Battle of Jedha in the comics. I have been fortunate enough to have gotten an early review copy of The Battle of Jedha audio drama and, if the scene from this cover overlaps with a scene from that story, then this wouldn’t have be Yana. Marda Ro specifically asks about Yana in a conversation with The Mother and is told that Yana is off on her own important mission. So when the Herald makes a big speech to a crowd on Jedha, Yana isn’t there, but Marda is.
That being said it’s not specifically mentioned that Yana is offworld. And the comics will likely offer a different vantage point of the Battle of Jedha. Yana could have accompanied The Herald when he petitioned the Convocation of the Force for the inclusion of The Path of the Open Hand.
Big picture though… it does not matter if this is Yana or Marda Ro. They are both huge characters from phase II of the High Republic and either one would make this a key issue.
This is their first cover appearance and the first cover appearance of The Herald. I also expect this to be their first full appearance in a comic.
Who else may have their first appearance in the Battle of Jedha arc of the Marvel High Republic comics?
Other potential first appearances (in a comic) could include Jedi Master Silandra Sho, Jedi Master Creighton Sun, Jedi Knight Aida Forte, The Mother, The Brothers of The 9th Door, Tillson Graf, and members of the Church of the Force.
I am very excited for the remaining issues of this run. And to get more context into the Battle of Jedha from other character perspectives.
The High Republic #4 comic from phase II comes out January 11th and the High Republic Battle of Jedha audio drama comes out on January 3rd, 2023.
See all variants, descriptions, and pre-order links below.
Star Wars The High Republic #4 | Phase 2
(W) Cavan Scott (A) Ario Anindito (CA) Ario Anindito
VIOLENCE COMES TO JEDHA!
• The Temple of the Whills has been attacked, Vildar Mac critically injured in the blast. Is Tey Sirrek to blame?
• The Herald of the Open Hand has arrived to address the Convocation, but just what is the nameless horror that lurks in the streets of the Holy City?
• The Battle of Jedha begins here!
In Shops: January 11, 2022
Star Wars: The Battle of Jedha (The High Republic)
After the events of The High Republic: Convergence, the Jedi travel to Jedha in this all-new Star Wars audiobook original.
Jedha. The worn streets of this ancient world serve as a confluence for the galaxy. Visited by all, yet owned by none. Here, the Jedi are but one creed among many worshipping and studying the Force. From the Guardians of the Whills to the Path of the Open Hand, countless beings come to learn, and to share, in peace.
As all of Jedha prepares for its Festival of Balance, the galaxy still reels from the violence on Eiram and E’ronoh. But after foiling a plot to escalate the war between the two planets, the Jedi believe that a lasting peace may be within reach. Master Creighton Sun and Jedi Knight Aida Forte arrive on Jedha with delegations from both planets to formally end the “Forever War.” The Jedi hope that the harmony of Jedha’s many factions, along with the signing of a peace treaty, will create a symbol to the rest of the galaxy of what can be accomplished through unity.
But not all are happy with the Jedi’s involvement or ready to concern themselves with peace. Rumors begin to swirl that the Jedi bring war in their wake. The distrust and anger that for so long fueled the Forever War now threaten to corrupt the communities of Jedha. When violence breaks out on the sacred moon, the war that was meant to end on Jedha may soon engulf the entire world.
Audio Book: January 3rd, 2023
Script & Ebook: February 14th, 2022
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