April 4, 2015

Marvel Reviews: Star Wars: Kanan – The Last Padawan #1

Kanan1Star Wars: Kanan – The Last Padawan #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Cover: Mark Brooks

For anyone not watching Star Wars: Rebels, Kanan will most likely be very new to you. However, those familiar with the show will quickly recognize him as the leader of the Rebel cell in the war against the Empire. Now you don’t need to have watched any of the episodes to enjoy this issue as Marvel takes us back to the years of the Clone Wars when Kanan was known as the Padawan, Caleb Dume.

After we’re brought to up to speed with the familiar opening text crawl, Weisman takes us to the planet Kaller via a flashback. Where Caleb, Jedi Master Depa Billaba, and their troops are attempting to liberate the world from the Separatists. However the people really don’t see much of a difference between the two factions and young Caleb doesn’t understand why the disrespect was tolerated by his Master. This is when Weisman begins to open up the characters and we get a glimpse of Depa and delve deeper into who Kanan was. Their relationship seems to be one of the better ones and not filled with the usual conflict and arguing that we usually see in the Master/Padawan pairing. This was a great thing to see and a breath of fresh air that Weisman didn’t make this formulaic and stale.

The story is backed by artwork from Pepe Larraz that is composed of some really great visuals. The layouts during the battle are not only intense but they keep you focused on Kanan and Master Depa. The panel with her refocusing Kanan’s attacks is one of the best in the entire issue. It just shows the two in sync and each panel after is pure lightsaber action as they rip through General Kleeve’s forces. David Curiel’s colors only make it all look even better and complete the fine visuals.

Weisman does a fine job with making sure that anyone can pick this issue up and just dive right in. You needn’t have to have watched Star Wars: Rebels or even the Star Wars films (if that’s even possible) to have fun with this one. So if you’re looking to see what Marvel is doing with the franchise this is one of the titles that should be on your list.

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