Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, Annalisa Leoni, VC’s Ariana Maher, and Phil Noto
Release Date: February 3, 2021
Readers get their second look into the High Republic era. Previously, we saw Jedi Padawan Keeve Trennis complete her impromptu Jedi trials and become knighted as a Jedi Knight. However, there is trouble afoot in the galaxy as she sets off for her first mission and something is amiss with her master, Sskeer.
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The star of this comic is Master Sskeer, as the comic provides some details of his lost arm, and his current…agitated state. Sskeer, his former padawan Keeve, and two Jedi Twins depart the Jedi’s Starlight Beacon space station to investigate the wreckage of a Nihil attack in Hutt space. Which later turns into a bit of a crime scene. Readers get their first look at the Nihil, the new Star Wars villains in the High Republic era. And it’s pretty underwhelming. You don’t even see them in action, just the aftermath of one of their attacks in Hutt space. There is some action here as Sskeer battles a Nihil warrior left behind in the attack, resulting in a cool yet brutal attack by the reptilian Jedi master.
The sickly green and yellow colors by Annalisa Leoni really showcase the Nihil’s method of gassing locations before their attack. It really builds this atmosphere of mystery and impending danger for the Jedi as they search through the ship. Anindito really shows their stuff with the paneling in this comic, as we see Sskeer in action from various cool angles when he faces off against the Nihil warrior, short as the fight was. Especially with the fight’s brutal conclusion and close-ups.
Weirdly enough, Jedi Marshall Kriss, the Jedi master in charge of Starlight Beacon, comments on Sskeer bad mouthing the Nihil saying they should never demonize their enemies since they’re still living beings, no matter what atrocities they commit. Which is ironic considering the Jedi Order’s views on the Sith and how they always handled them. This viewpoint tries to establish the good nature of the Jedi at this point in time, yet it comes off as either too idealistic or potential naivete on her part. We’ll see if there’s any more to this. The comic also references a “Great Disaster,” a recent historical event that is clearly important to the story but is given little context within the comic.
From there, Sskeer and his team form a bit of a crime scene and trace the Hutt’s illegal supplies to the planet Sedri Minor, a small outpost colony that delivers grain in the outer rim of the galaxy. The comic concludes with teasing of an attack from the second group of new villains for the High Republic: the carnivorous alien flora called the Drengir.
The comic certainly delivers on telling a story about Jedi Master Sskeer and tries to show off Star Wars’ newest High Republic villains the Nihil with teases for the Drengir. However, they don’t come across as big galactic threats yet, just random foes for the Jedi to deal with. I would only recommend this comic if you’re interested in the new High Republic era and want to see a glimpse of what the new villains are like.