Graphic Novel Review: Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 3rd, 2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Media Tie-In

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Other Star Wars Reviews: Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters [Books] / Book Review: From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back

First things first – I enjoy Star Wars. I’ve seen all the films, some of the TV shows (okay, mainly Mandalorian and the odd episode of the cartoons) , read some of the books, and by this point I feel I can say, with confidence, the tie-in media is sometimes really hit or miss! Case in point, Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains. This graphic novel focuses on the First Order, with stories about Phasma, Hux, Snoke and Kylo Ren. They’re okay in themselves, giving just a little bit more about each character. Let’s go through them one by one.

Firstly, Captain Phasma. The first tale here is about a young Stormtrooper who views the fearless Phasma as a hero, and wants nothing more than to be like her. However, she might not have what it takes to be as ruthless as the captain. This was an enjoyable start. We know Phasma only a little from the films, and it’s great to get a bit of extra insight here. It definitely adds to the character which, to me, is what these sorts of stories should do.

Hux’s story takes us back to his childhood, briefly, and we get a bit more under his skin, seeing how his path was shaped and getting to understand his character a bit more. The ending to Hux’s story is fairly satisfying, but it feels almost like they’re pushing the sympathetic angle, and because of the timing of this release, it felt just a touch too unmoored from what would eventually be Hux’s arc in The Rise of Skywalker. It’s not a bad story, but it’s too easy to see the disconnect between the mediums.

Snoke is the focus for the third story, in a sense, but rather than getting more about him and his backstory, we instead see him training Kylo Ren. It’s an interesting choice, but one I wasn’t totally impressed with – the story says more about Kylo than Snoke, but it feels like maybe the writers were limited in what they could do with this character, considering what we later find out.

Finally, Kylo Ren himself. This story draws parallels between Kylo and Vader, as Kylo is determined to prove himself better than his grandfather. The way the parallels were shown was excellent, and visually this was my favourite one. But it does, similar to Hux’s, almost go out of its way to present Kylo as more sympathetic. Still, out of the four, this is my favourite, and goes more into the character than any of the others.

The artwork is great, really capturing the looks of the actors from the franchise, and effectively rendering them in 2D form. There’s also notes about each story, which were fun to read, and with the trilogy finished it’s also interesting to see the direction they seemed to think the films were going, without being able to give clear ideas of what they thought versus what they may have been told.

If you’re a fairly big Star Wars fan, you’ll likely really enjoy this, as it is a fun addition to the universe. If you find, like me, that some of the Star Wars tie-in stuff is a little hit or miss, it might not be totally worth adding this to your collection, unless there’s a specific character you’re really invested in and want just a little more of.

Still, a decent set of stories, interesting titbits, and excellent artwork in the tie-in comics – I’d still read more in this series if given the chance!

Goodreads

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