Three stories, and a whole lot of confusion!
Covert Art By: Batt & Patrick Blaine
Art By: Jan Duursema, Tomás Giorello, & Stephen Thompson
Written By: Scott Allie, Haden Blackman, & John Ostrander
“Yes. Now pick up your jaws, Jedi, and cover me.” – Alpha-17
The Defense Of Kamino is an attempt at melding three stories into one issue of a comic book. This isn’t an all-too uncommon practice in the world of comics, as for years publishers have pulled out all sorts of different tricks for any issue of a series they deemed special. In the case of The Defense Of Kamino the gimmick of three stories in one issue works better than I thought it would because all three stories are about the same event. However I do believe that each individual section has its own weakness, as well as strengths, and that ultimately the intentions of the stories are not followed through on.
I don’t actually know what the intentions were in regards to The Defense Of Kamino. However, because of the way that all three stories are structured I came away with the impression that each story was meant to be told from a distinct faction involved in the battle. The first story is about the Jedi, the second story is about the Advanced Recon Commandos, and the third story is about the Separatists. On its own this is a novel idea, and had it been executed better I probably would have liked The Defense Of Kamino more than I did. The problem I had was that the intentions that I felt were laid out were then betrayed by a reliance on the Jedi. The second story has to involve the Jedi in a major way and that undercuts the ARC’s. The third story is more of an individual segment, like the first segment about the Jedi, but it’s also disjointed and not all that well written.
I’ll admit, from what I’ve read so far I’m not a big fan of Scott Allie. I find that he relies on his artwork far too much, and that in the case of The Defense Of Kamino at least, the art lets him down because it is unable to adequately convey information to the reader. Sure I was able to pick up on what was happening in Mr. Allie’s story, but I had to work to understand and that wasn’t because of a complex story but a hard to comprehend story. The sections from Haden Blackman and John Ostrander were much better, outside of Mr. Blackman’s unneeded inclusion of the Jedi. However, as far as the art in the book went I was unimpressed with the two artists not named Jan Duursema.
Issue fifty is a special issue of any comic book, but that doesn’t guarantee it will be a well done issue. The Defense Of Kamino is an interesting concept and it is a compelling read in places. But, viewed as a whole it a less than fulfilling read. I’m very interested in the future of Republic, specifically a future guided by Mr. Ostrander and Miss Durseema. It’s unfortunate that The Defense Of Kamino failed to impress, but that is often the case with special issues that rely far too heavily on gimmicks.