Published: September 15, 2021
Writer: Cavan Scott
Pencils and Ink: Rachael Stott
Paints: Vita Efremova & Nicola Righi
Production and Design: Johanna Nattalie
Cover Artist: Rachael Stott
Follow former Jedi turned saber-for-hire monster hunter Ty Yorrick in this adventure-packed High Republic miniseries by Cavan Scott and Rachael Stott!
Ty begins the trek up Temple Peak, but the mountain’s hungry creatures and slippery edges put her rusty Force skills to the test. Dangerous monsters, cliffs, and battles are second nature for Ty, though. But dealing with people? Well, that may be the hardest part of her mission..
The opening issue of this series was an incredible start, setting high expectations for this series. This week, we get to see if Cavan Scott and Rachael Stott can continue this trajectory. One of the biggest advantages that this series has, as does the entirety of The High Republic, is that there are only a few key writers involved with the project. It means that everything has been so carefully planned out that it all fits together like a wonderfully intricate jigsaw. Scott is one of the core writers and it shows. I can’t wait to see what is in store for issue two…
The first thing to say about this issue is the artwork by Stott. From the very first, full page panel, she grabs you into the world of The High Republic and refuses to let go for the entire issue. This comic is simply gorgeous. The action scenes are incredible, detailed and are extremely easy to follow. The crispness to the characters really brings them to life which is then further enforced by the amazing shading that is used for both characters and the background. You feel like you are in the mountains along with Ty, I couldn’t help but feel rather cold reading his issue! And her use of panels on top of white, you don’t notice it until she then layers panels onto of a full-page panel. Stott knows exactly what she is doing, and the result is jaw dropping. This is some of the best art I have seen, executed perfectly throughout the entire course of the comic.
With great art also comes great story writing. What really struck me with this issue was just the sheer breadth of the galaxy that we get to see. It feels that every page held a new place, a new animal or something else we never knew about. Scott is really showing us a different side to the galaxy and it’s fascinating. The whole New Republic Era is full of things we, as readers, don’t know anything about and Scott is able to unfold this huge galaxy right in front of our eyes. Possibly the most intriguing aspect of this is the different force followers, names just dropped in such as the Sabracci Sages, which instantly make me want to know more. It is very clear that there are many different groups of followers aside from the Jedi. It reminds me very much of Jacen Solo from Legends learning lots of different viewpoints to the force. It is these snippets that I love to keep seeing in this era as it really paints a different view of the galaxy that we all know.
Ty steals the show, in terms of story and the artwork for her from Stott. Scott teases us this issue with a few flashbacks that are very short, not giving much away. What is clear is that she is constantly full of self doubt, of struggling with the training she has received and events that led to her leaving (or ben thrown out) of the order. Scott reminds us of the famous Star Wars phrase, ‘do or do not, there is no try.’ Ty is always trying but never believing in herself that she can actually do. It’s one of her greatest barriers and one she just can’t seem to overcome. She is also very oversensitive to being called a Jedi, even though it is her training that she always seems to fall back on. She doesn’t want to be a Jedi, but she can’t escape her past. This is obviously a prelude to her first appearance in The Rising Storm and Scott does a wonderful job of really fleshing this character out more, as well as providing some important background information for the future (hopefully not just contained to this series).
Drewen I find fascinating and is a character that I’m glad is being explored more. He is desperate to be a Jedi and now finding out his background we can understand his motivation. Through every story in The High Republic there are links to everything and Drewen’s past is no different. Having it linked to the events of Light of the Jedi works incredibly well and while I won’t give anything away, I wonder just how much of an impact this will have in the rest of the series. He is an interesting companion for Ty, who is willing to leave her gift, her responsibility and her ‘family’ out of choice, yet Drewen sees this as the worthiest path he could possibly take. It is this part that I think will affect Ty and make her see things differently.
The ending of this issue is, well, rather surprising. I won’t spoil anything about it, but I will say it is a brave choice by Scott and one that I think works very well in this era. The stories that are forming The High Republic are never afraid of shying from harsh reality, it’s one of the reasons this series feels so special. I’m glad Scott made the decision (and hopefully I can talk about it more in my next review!).
This issue is just brimming with so much. The story of Ty, her background, where she has been and her character. The different creatures, places and beliefs that are in the galaxy. More obscure force powers, followers of the force and temples. There is just so much here for fans of The High Republic era, as well as for fans of a really unique character. Couple this with breathtaking artwork by Stott and you have a comic that feels like it hasn’t just met the expectations of the first issue, but leaves them far, far behind and sets a new standard for this series. With so many stories focusing on the main events of the era, it would be easy to shy away from the series. Yet this series has everything a fan of The High Republic could want. I can’t wait to see what issue three will bring us!
Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures – The Monster of Temple Peak is a four-part series available from IDW Publishing. This issue is available from all good comic bookstores in the USA and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. This issue retails at $3.99.
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