Finally, this series of comics becomes more than just a historical curiosity!
Cover Art By: Hugh Fleming
Art By: Chris Gossett & Art Wetherell
Written By: Kevin J. Anderson & Tom Veitch
“The Jedi Masters have offered their wisdom. The rest is up to you.” – Jedi Master Ood Bnar
It took a long time for Tales Of The Jedi to bring forth a story line that truly grabbed me. Up until this point Tales Of The Jedi had been nothing more than an interesting historical curiosity. I love the Old Republic Era, and I greatly enjoy any time I spend in that era simply because of my affection for the era. However, the comics and story arcs that have sprung forth from the Tales Of The Jedi series have not been of the highest quality. Continually I came to this blog and had to write about how letdown I was by Tales Of The Jedi. I’m finally happy to say that Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith is the compelling and interesting story arc I have been waiting for all this time.
There are many elements at play in Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith. The first element that struck me was that for the first time I was impressed by the artwork in a Tales Of The Jedi comic book. I was more impressed with the art of Chris Gossett than Art Wetherell. However, I will admit that Mr. Gossett’s work was a tad inconsistent. In the beginning issues of Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith his art took on the clunky style found in the other series’ that had made up Tales Of The Jedi thus far. Near the end of the series Mr. Gossett’s art took on a cleaner look with clearly defined lines and characters who were now more than hard to identify shapes. Mr. Wetherell didn’t impress me as much, but his one issue was serviceable and did not distract from the story in any manner.
The next element that struck me about Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith was how interesting the dynamic created between Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma turned out to be. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the paths of those two characters. The way that Kevin J. Anderson and Tom Veitch managed to contrast the themes of weakness and strength with the two characters was fascinating. Kun is weak, perhaps one of the weakest characters I have ever read in Star Wars. Ulic, on the other hand, is strong and truly seeking to explore the Force and make a difference. Watching the two of them come from different places and yet end up at the same destination made for an interesting read. I could have done without the typical “ooh, the dark side you must avoid” crap, but to be honest that is just an irritating aspect of Star Wars that I have come to expect.
Along those lines I was much happier with the way that Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith handled the Force. Yes, the Jedi and Sith were still expounding their dogmatic views on the Force. But, both sides were shown to be dogmatic in their approach and in the end causing more damage than good because of the way they view the Force. I was particularly captivated by the exchange between Ulic, Nomi Sunrider, Ood Bnar, and Odan-Urr. The complete inaction by the elder Jedi in that meeting speaks, to me at least, to the failings of the Jedi Order as a whole. They are unwilling to truly explore the Force, and in moments like that meeting the Order shows a lack of action that is damning. I love moments like that, and I know that is spurred on by my hatred of the Jedi, but man do I love moments like the meeting in this series that I feel shine light on the failings of the Jedi Order.
The last element I feel like discussing in Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith is the actual story arc of the comic book itself. It’s not perfect, but it is so much better than what came before in the Tales Of The Jedi series. The action is mixed in nicely with the more talkative moments and the meditations by characters don’t hog the spotlight of the personal journeys of the more important characters. I was compelled by the story and the characters in Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith, so much so that I cared about what happened to them in this series and what the future will hold for them in the upcoming series’.
Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith is a nice change of pace from what has come before in the Tales Of The Jedi series. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I was compelled by the story, interested in the characters, and enjoyed the artwork. This is what I have wanted from the Tales Of The Jedi series all along, and I’m damn happy that I finally got what I wanted. Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith is a good comic book and a great representation of the wide variety of stories that can be told in the Old Republic Era. Any Star Wars fan should enjoy Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith, and if nothing else it has me excited again for what is to come in this series of comic books.