Star Wars – The High Republic: Eye of the Strom #2: Wreckage, Hunt, Triumph, End
After rising up to become the leader of the fearsome Nihil raiders, Marchion Ro has set off a series of disasters that have terrorized the Republic and the Jedi. After his latest and greatest victory, Ro and his marauders celebrate as he plans more horrors for the galaxy to witness in his name.
“The High Republic” has been a lengthy but successful epic multi-platform series. In the first fourteen months, it has releases twelve books, almost 40 individual comic issues, a manga, and an audiodrama. Even with all that, this issue marks only the end of the very first phase of the overall mega-series. There will be three total. This issue in particular acts as the final story in “Phase I,” which is very appropriate since it involves its main villain explaining his various plans throughout his campaign so far. The first issue mostly took place long before this present. It involved Ro’s backstory. This issue takes place almost entirely in the present. It takes place just after the events of “The Fallen Star,” the last major novel of Phase I. Even though this chapter does take place in the series continuity present, it does wander off for a bit to tell of how Ro got the rare assets that he has been using to kill the Jedi. Then it comes back to his implementation of his next diabolical plan.
This issue was clearly meant to be the last part of “Phase I,” not only because it ends with the declaration that the first phase has ended, but with its references to the other “High Republic” titles. This issue makes multiple nods to the “Light of the Jedi” novel as well as “The Rising Storm” on top of “The Fallen Star.” All three of those novels consist of the main series, the core of the “High Republic” epic. It also makes references to the “High Republic: Trail of Shadows” comic series, which recently ended. All in all this issue acts well as and endcap for the first leg of the massive series. The Nihil started off in this saga as an almost unknown entity. Now that the overall story has progressed quite a bit, this issue finds their motivations and plans clear as day.
The art and colors do not stick out in this issue especially, but not because they are not quality. It is plenty colorful, even extremely colorful at times. The issues employs two different artist for separate segments to differentiate one as a flashback. This is something the IDW “Star Wars” comics do all the time. However the storytelling in this chapter really overshadows the art and colors by a lot, leaning heavier on the writing and lettering. This was a smart move. Elaborate art is great and all, but when ending not just a mini-series but an entire phase of a major epic story, it is necessary for it to take a back seat to the story points and act more as support than as flair. The art and colors do that well here. As an annual-sized two issue mini-series about a major villain, it is pretty great. As an effective final epilogue the first phase of a major multi-platform epic mega-series, it is sublime.
Unfortunately this will be the last time readers will see Marchion Ro for a while. However in his first year and in this series, he has made a lasting impression among fans. This will not be the last time they will see him. The machinations of Marchion Ro never cease.
Star Wars – The High Republic: Eye of the Strom #2: End of Phase I
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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