We fast forward thousands of years into the future and what do you know, the Jedi are still fighting the Sith!
Cover Art By: Adam Hughes
Art By: Brad Anderson, Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons & Michael David Thomas
Written By: John Ostrander
In case you haven’t noticed yet, at the onset of this here blog project thingie I’m giving a breakdown of my review style for every new medium I review. Maybe this is tedious to some, and if that is the case then I apologize and will let you know that you can skip ahead to the next paragraph. I am a lifelong comic book lover, well before I discovered Star Wars I was deeply in love with the various fantasy lands presented to me by the awesome invention known as the comic book. What I love most about comic books was their ability to be almost the perfect storytelling medium. The best elements of film and prose are present, but there is something deeply tactile and imaginative about comic books. But, I digress, because my love of the medium has little to do with the into paragraph I was in the middle of writing. Reviewing or writing about comic books isn’t different than a movie or book review. It’s not like a video game review where it is necessary that the gameplay mechanics be given their own section. If you’ve ever read any of my movie reviews then you should know what to expect out of my comic book reviews. One important thing to keep in mind, when applicable I will be reviewing the story arcs as a whole as opposed to individual issues.
With the above out of the way it’s time my loyal reader for us to delve into the world of Legacy. Legacy is the brain child of longtime Star Wars alum Jan Duursema and John Ostrander. They worked together for a longtime on Star Wars, Vol. 2 which then morphed into Republic. They have a large number of fans but there are also a great number of people who decry their work as too rock ‘n’ roll for Star Wars. I don’t share that view, they do have times when their stories don’t fly out of the park, but I’ve never found it to be in any way related to the idea of their stories being too rock ‘n’ roll. The universe of Star Wars is expansive and it is open to the dabbling hands of many different creative minds. I’ve never understood the need to pigeonhole Star Wars into the lighthearted adventure genre, it’s a universe that has so much more to offer. It can be dark, gritty and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll while also telling light adventure stories.
Now that my feelings on the above matter are known, what’s the verdict on Broken, the first story arc of Legacy? There is an air of freedom about Broken, and Legacy as a whole. These aren’t characters we know, their world is recognizable yet foreign at the same time. I have spoken in the past about my love of the Old Republic Era, and I love the Legacy Era for much the same reasons. The story presented in Broken feels fresh, although not completely as will be discussed later, it isn’t encumbered by anything else in the Star Wars universe because there isn’t anything else from this time period to worry about. This isn’t a feeling that can be found in any other era besides the two I have mentioned, and it is a great boon to the story of Broken.
The story in Broken is a good jumping off point for this new world. It resonates with the Star Wars we already know while at the same time veering off in a different direction. It is somewhat troubling that the initial story idea of the Sith using the Empire to take over the galaxy feels as if you are caught in a Star Wars version of lather, rinse, repeat. This is only a small impingement however as very quickly Broken takes off beyond the limits of its initial conceptual idea and introduces a core group of strong characters that are interesting on the whole. Perhaps the biggest coup for Broken is the introduction of Darth Krayt, a more well rounded Sith than most that have been previously seen. Yes, he is still evil and still wants to rule the galaxy with his iron fist alone, but he is presented as more human than monster. I happen to love gray areas and while Krayt isn’t completely in the gray, his motivations certainly are and that adds depth to the Sith that is always welcome.
Broken moves along at a brisk pace, but it isn’t a fast read. Part of that is the writing of Ostrander, he is always giving the reader something new to chew on or mull over. But, the real credit for the depth of Broken falls on the shoulders of Jan Duursema. Her pencils are always busy crafting some sort of visual pleasure, and taking in her visual touches provides more meat to chew on than the actual written story does at times. Comics are a visual medium, and Ostrander understands this, he doesn’t overdo the dialogue, rather he allows Duursema to paint the picture for the audience and allow their own imaginations and interpretations to take care of the rest. In terms of the craft put into Broken the only negative mark I have to give is that at times the dialogue did feels too exposition heavy while the characters came across as too dumbed down for my liking. Once again, it wasn’t a constant detriment to the comic, or a major one, but it was noticeable and bothersome at times.
As the opening story arc for Legacy, Broken does it’s job just fine. It is interesting and fresh with a healthy amount of meat on its bones. There are areas where it could have been improved upon, but as a brand new entry in the Star Wars mythos you’d be hard pressed to find a better jumping off point than Broken. I highly recommend Broken for anyone who wants a well written and beautiful looking story in a part of the Star Wars universe that is fresh for the discovering. I know I look forward to continuing my time with Legacy, hopefully you’ll return as well.