In Review: Kanan: The Last Padawan #6

An outstanding read that only increases my anticipation for this television show's return. So good!

The cover: The cast of Star Wars Rebels have entered a room ready for action: Hera Syndulla has a pistol, Sabine Wren has a bigger gun, Kanan Jarrus his lightsaber, Zeb Orrelios a pike, and Ezra Bridger his slingshot. Only droid Chopper doesn’t have a weapon out, which is surprising since he’s pretty aggressive on the show. Kanan is low to the ground and his reflection reveals his past in the shiny floor — as a padawan, complete with Jedi cloak and lightsaber. This is a sensational image from the artist from the previous five issues, Pepe Larraz, with colors by David Curiel. The layout of the characters is perfect and the coloring strong, with orange lines to draw the reader’s eyes and the violet in the floor being a nice hidden image. Well done in every possible way. Overall grade: A+

The story: This is titled “Epilogue: Haunt” by writer Greg Weisman. I didn’t expect there to be an epilogue to the previous saga, but Weisman goes there and I’m glad he does. The Ghost is on Kaller to pick up supplies to feed refugees on Lothal. As soon as the ship lands and Kanan exits he sees images of his past before him. Hera picks up on his acting oddly, but lets it go. They find the crates, but they’re empty. Their surprise at a lack of cargo is increased by the sudden appearance of Gamut Key, provincial governor of Kaller with a squad of men; they’ve been tipped that smugglers use the location as a drop off point. He demands to search their ship. Hera allows them to, after all, they have nothing because they arrived to find nothing. When Kanan was Caleb Dume, padawan, he knew Key, but he’s not recognized now, and that’s a good thing or “we’ll have a firefight on our hands.” Naturally the crew wants to find their cargo, which puts Kanan into literally going down memory lane. I like how Weisman has Kanan feeling hesitant going anywhere in the city, afraid of being recognized and afraid of reliving the past; it was like he was a teen again. He encounters another familiar face, which has some fun lines and leads to a good action scene. Just as it seems the fight is over, someone does something that Kanan’s sidekick tried to alert him to. The cliffhanger is good and has me getting excited over this series all over again. Overall grade: A+ 

The art: Jacopo Camagni is a good artist. His linework is thin (which is how I prefer my comic art) and it resembles the visuals of the series, especially when characters makes comical faces. His creation of movement is good, with the landing of the Ghost on the opening page nice. The double-page splash of Pages 2 and 3 is the reveal of the ship’s crew and each looks good in their disappointment at what’s discovered. Even nicer is that in the same image, Kanan is in the foreground, with a lot of black to make him seem separate from his friends, while off in the distance the ghosts of his past show his master’s final stand. This was an excellent visual way to show the past and the present and relive one of his sadder moments. Camagni’s take on the native Kallerians is different from Larraz’s, but it’s still excellent: they are a bit more cartoony, which is more in line with the look of the series. However, Camagni can make them look really tough, such as in the fifth panel on 4. I really like Page 6. I’m a big fan of the nine panel layout and it gives him a great opportunity to show off some excellent character work, with Kanan caught in the middle. It made the pacing of the dialogue come off as very natural. The first two panels on 12 were funny, as was the character’s reaction in the second panel on 16. I knew what the final image would be on 20, thanks to what occurs on 19, but I was not prepared for it to be a splash and all the characters that are present. It’s a fantastic closer. Overall grade: A

The colors: Excellent coloring on this issue from David Curiel. He’s got an extremely tricky plot device that demands he do some slick coloring work: Kanan’s recollections. Curiel colors them light blue, giving them a ghostly appearance — while also giving them a Jedi spirit feel. Curiel is aces each time he’s required to do them. When Kanan is out looking for the cargo he’s in the darkest corridors of the city and the colors connote the darkness without losing any of the artwork. I really like how the sounds are bright, making them powerful contributions to the story. The final page is my favorite of his for the issue; when you see it, you’ll understand. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue and narration (the same font), sounds, and scene settings are done by VC’s Joe Caramagna. The sounds are the highlight of the issue, with a fight scene and Chopper getting some gorgeous work. I’m glad Weisman inserted them into his script because Caramagna shines at these. I would have liked to have seen a different font for dialogue and narration, rather than the shape of the box being the differentiation. Overall grade: B

The final line: An outstanding read that only increases my anticipation for this television show’s return. So good! 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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