We’re starting a new storyline hot off the heels of the defeat of The Drengir. This time, the Jedi of Starlight Beacon are taking the fight to The Nihil in the aftermath of The Republic Fair on Valo.
Speculation was rife when the Marvel solicits revealed the cover, showing Keeve Trennis dress’s in Nihil armour. Of course, this issue explains it quite well, and whilst the answer is obvious, even being a trope of the franchise, tries to make it feel fresh but doesn’t quite manage it.
However, this does start to give us a look at the inner workings of The Nihil from the other side rather than from the point of view of the pirates themselves. We also get to see the newer Tempest Leader Zeetar in his massive mech armour.
Scott starts to lead the Jedi of Starlight Beacon into dangerous territory, with Avar Kriss actively defying the will of the Jedi Council on Coruscant, and the explicit orders of Stellan Gios to not take the fight to The Nihil, despite everything the pirates have done, Gios and the Council are starting to work closer with The Republic to thwart The Nihil. Using Keeve Trennis and and one of the twins, Terec to go behind enemy lines is certainly something that Gios would in no way go for.
As the start of the storyline, Scott throws us right into it, starting with Keeve and Terec taking on newcomer Orla Jareni, a Jedi that Keeve seriously looks up to almost as much as Avar or Sskeer in their guise as The Nihil before more pirates arrive in their ships, which gives us another great look at The Nihil’s arsenal, as well as the beautifully designed Jedi Starcruiser.
I love the way that Anindito’s art goes from dark and bleak to light and hopeful when jumping between The Nihil scenes and the Starlight Beacon ones, it really shows the contrast in the two ideologies and how far down the rabbit hole Keeve and Terec have to go in order to try their hardest to fit in with their new cohorts.
Whilst I find the use of the disguise to infiltrate the enemy base as a bit overused in Star Wars at this point, it’s no fault or hinderance to Scott’s fantastic writing. In fact in his hands, I’m sure it will play out great over the rest of the story arc, especially after that cliffhanger ending with Zeeter ordering Keeve to kill the captured Myarga the Hutt.
Overall a decent start to a new story arc, and the first issue that is part of the second wave of ‘The High Republic’. The team of Cavan Scott and Ario Anindito are riding a constant high with this series and it doesn’t look like they are slowing down anytime soon.
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