In Review: Kanan #10

Sensational story from Kanan's past with jaw-dropping visuals. Highest possible recommendation.

The cover: “Anger leads to hate” seems to have been forgotten by young Caleb as he goes swinging at his most fearsome and towering foe yet — General Grievous. I’m always impressed by artists who can capture the details of such an oddly constructed mechanical device, and Grievous has got so many pieces going at odd angles and curves, not to mention he’s got four arms. The look on Caleb’s face as he runs at the cyborg is outstanding. Besides the two characters, the background, which contains a window with asteroids, is fantastic. The coloring is also tops on this, with the shine on Grievous excellent. Mark Brooks really outdid himself on this one. Overall grade: A+

The story: On Kaller, in a small medcenter in Plateau City, stormtroopers burst through the windows of the facility to take down the cast of Star Wars Rebels. The heroes are beginning to be overwhelmed by numbers, but they can’t leave Kanan, who’s still recovering from wounds within a Bacta tank. A slick transition to the past, shows Caleb in the same situation, and Trooper Stance helps the Padawan out of the liquid. With the boy reunited with Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her troopers, they go on their next assignment, Mygeeto. The world is engrossed in the war, so much so that no vision of the city can be seen as there’s so much smoke choking it. Something occurs on Page 11 to put them all at risk, and soon all are on the brink of death. An arrival on 15 was very unexpected, as I though that Marvel would avoid this group for a while, but I’m very pleased to see them. A clue is recognized by Billaba about a larger purpose to occurrences, but she shares nothing with her Padawan or the reader. There’s a gut punch of a moment on 18, with a dramatic entrance on 20. There’s a lot of action in this issue and a major loss. Greg Weisman continues to show that his Star Wars’ adventures are the cream of the crop from Marvel. Overall grade: A+

The art: Several artists have become iconic for their visits to the Star Wars universe: Al Williamson, Walter Simonson, Jan Duursema, Douglas Wheatley, etc. Without question, Pepe Larraz has earned a place at that table of honor. The first page features a panel of the Rebels crew trying to push back the stormtroopers — and it’s only a panel! This could have been a full page splash, but by making it a panel Larraz makes the action seem more claustrophobic and all the more deadly. Heck, even Chopper is in on the action! On the second page Hera is the focus as she says the forces are overwhelming, and behind her is Kanan in his tank, their reason for having to hold their line. Larraz has the point of view zoom in on the unconscious character until on Page 3 his eye opens, but it’s an incredibly slick flashback to the past when Caleb awakens in his tank. This is a fantastic transition carried out flawlessly. The double-paged spread of Mygetto did not have me cheering the obviously impending action, but instead had me thinking, ‘Oh, this is going to be a really serious battle.’ And it is. The action sequences against the hordes of droids are amazing. This is the type of action one wishes the television shows would tackle again. The last four pages are cinematic gold, with an explosion, a death, and “him.” Larraz is a drawing Jedi. Overall grade: A+

The colors: The first page must have been a nightmare for David Curiel to color, as it not only features stormtroopers and the Rebels, but shards of glass flying about from their terrifying entrance. It’s a beautiful explosion of color, with the colors looking exactly as one would expect from the Disney XD program. In the background of this panel is just a hint of the bacta that Kanan is swirling in and it’s beautiful. Curiel makes that blue look incredibly soothing on Pages 2 and 3. That color is in complete oppostion with a turn of the page as 4 and 5 are devastating in crimson, brown, and orange to show the destruction of a planet. The panel where Billaba slices a droid in half has incredible energy coming out of her lightsaber and from her victim due to the spectacular coloring. Curiel is outstanding. Overall grade: A+

The letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna does the lettering on this issue, consisting of creating scene settings, dialogue and narration (the same font), yells, sounds, a cut off yell, the final character’s speech, the story’s title, and the tease for next issue. The thin font used for the characters’ speech is not strong enough to match their characters, especially on the final character who has dialogue; plus the tail of the dialogue balloon for this character makes him visually sound as though he’s wispish, like an elf. I was thrilled by the powerful sound effects during this major battle and wanted to see Caramagna add more, they were so good, but that’s not his decision, unfortunately. The story’s title is beautiful, though it doesn’t appear until the final page, making it an absolutely awesome reveal. If only the dialogue looked stronger. Overall grade: A-

The final line: This earns my highest possible recommendation of the week. Sensational story from Kanan’s past with jaw-dropping visuals. This is Star Wars! Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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