In Review: Kanan #12

The excitement and epic scale of Star Wars is alive and well in Kanan

The cover: The cast of Star Wars Rebels is surrounded by several stormtroopers. It’s impossible to think that the group won’t find a way out of this situation, and it’s probably going to come from the figure who’s high above them: Caleb Dume, Kanan Jarrus’s former identity when he was a Padawan. Mark Brooks is continuing to prove himself to be Marvel’s preeminent Star Wars  cover artist with this image. Each character looks fantastic, the setting is fully realized, and the highlighting on each character, including the stormtroopers, is perfect. Overall grade: A+

The story: “The Ties That Bind” is the epilogue to this saga and, sadly, series, written by Greg Weisman. Kanan and Ezra Bridger are on a mission to meet up with an old friend, Morfizo. The pair make it to Moraga where they’re greeted by Morfizia. She tells them that her husband has been taken by the Empire to Lahn, because he’s joined a Rebel cell. Naturally Kanan says he’ll rescue him. However, before leaving, he needs to see his “baby.” That word was enough to get my attention and I had to pry Weisman’s fishhook out of my mouth when I saw “baby”; I should have known what this item was. The focus of the issue is on Kanan having to confront some aspects of his past which provide some good drama and allow for the fun repetition of “never mind.” Having Ezra along on this adventure adds a new voice to the series and gives Kanan a good character to model for and sound off on. There are some neat action sequences in this story which will please those looking for the adventure that Star Wars is known for, but there is also the reappearance of a character from one of the Star Wars novels who was an outstanding inclusion. There is also the appearance a major Rebels’ villain and a cameo by a “random guy” whose identity I’d guessed instantly and was pleased to see. This was an outstanding conclusion. Overall grade: A+

The art: Don’t fret, fans. It’s true that this issue is not illustrated by the incredibly talented Pepe Larraz, but it is illustrated by the incredibly talented Andrea Broccardo. Her visuals are similar enough to his that the change in artists is practically imperceivable. This is made more than evident on the first page which has a great shot of the entire cast of Kanan’s past, including his younger self, looking down upon him and Ezra as they make their way to rendezvous with a contact. The space shots on Page 6 look amazing, especially with the trail the ship makes as it heads down to a planet. The bottom panel on 9 has Jarrus igniting his lightsaber and it’s exactly the heroic shot a reader needs to see. The dominant panel on 11 is a fantastic image that will take away a reader’s breath with the power it has. The only panel that surpasses it is the reveal on 17 that matches the power that this character commanded when he appeared on the television series. There are also two specific alien species in this episode, with one being from this series’ past and one new, and both are outstandingly rendered, with the smile of the latter creating a similar reaction in me each time I saw it. The final page contains a fantastic illustration that is only missing the closing music of the television program. This book looks amazing. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Tremendous coloring on this issue from David Curiel. The slight fading of colors of the past looking upon the brightly colored present in the second panel on the first page is beautiful. I really like the work done with the trees in that panel. The second page starts with a sinister orange used to highlight a questionable character the heroes are meeting. Inside that character’s ship the colors are dark and sinister in blue and violet; this absolutely made everything seem shady. The skies of Lahn are a beautiful yellow, which create an instant contrast to the grey metal structures of the Empire and the white of stormtroopers. Curiel has made magic with every issue he’s done. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue and narration (the same font), scene settings, sounds, yells, an editorial note, and the closing title are crafted by VC’s Joe Caramagna. I continue to have issues with this franchise employing such a thin font for the dialogue, which weakens the antagonists: it makes the dialogue of the strong character on 17 seem wimpy. Dialogue and narration should also be a separate font, not differentiated by the colors of their text balloons. However, I am very pleased with this issue’s sound effects, which Caramagna has shown ample skill for in the past. Overall grade: A-

The final line: My highest recommendation of the week goes to this outstanding conclusion. This can be read and enjoyed by any reader, even if they haven’t read the previous issues. The excitement and epic scale of Star Wars is alive and well in Kanan. This is must-read, must-own reading for all fans of 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.
    No Comment