I’ve been consuming so many Star Wars comic books lately that when one of them takes a month off from publishing, it can be easy for me to forget what was going on in previous issues.
Case in point– Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, the second volume of which launched last fall and then skipped all of February, with issue #3 finally having been released from Dark Horse Comics today.
Thankfully I was able to use context clues to refresh my memory and piece together what was going on– The High Republic Adventures #3 begins with Jedi Padawan Sav Malagán having joined Maz Kanata’s pirate crew. She makes a hologram call back home to the Jedi Temple on Takodana to give an hasty excuse to her Master Kaktorf, then continues to serve alongside the other pirates in an effort to reclaim Maz’s ship from a rival crew called the Dank Graks. We also spend some time aboard that ship, the Venomed Scabbard, getting to know the Graks themselves a little better. That crew is led by a Force-sensitive Geonosian named Arkik Von, who is on his way to an out-of-the-way scrapyard called Frander’s Hidden Depot to pick up some “special starfighters.” Little does he know that one member of Maz’s gang– namely Abadoo, a member of the adorable, vacuum-like Hoover species designed to appear in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi– has stowed away on the Scabbard and is feeding information back to his boss. But even when Arkik figures this out, he doesn’t seem to care very much, saying that he’s “counting on” Maz following them to their destination. Meanwhile, we get some backstory on the surly pirate named Alak and his connection to the cult known as the Scarlet Skulls, which writer Daniel José Older created for his young-adult novel Star Wars: The High Republic – Midnight Horizon.
Eventually these two pirate gangs converge at Frander’s Hidden Depot, where the apparently also-Force-sensitive Lasat Franzen has decided he doesn’t want to continue his black-market business relationship with the Dank Graks. That’s about when Maz’s crew shows up and chaos threatens to break out, until Sav has the bright idea to go undercover as a mercenary representative of the aristocratic Graf Clan, sent to the depot to oversee the deal between Frander and the pirates. Nobody really seems to believe this, but it doesn’t matter for long because the deal is further interrupted by an attack from the Grim Devourer, Arkik’s ship which has been surreptitiously stolen back by the Pau’an member of the Graks– with poor Maz Kanata still aboard. Anyway, this issue concludes with Maz’s crew back aboard the Venomed Scabbard, in pursuit of the Grim Devourer, while Sav declares her intention to join the Dank Graks as a double agent to rescue Maz. There’s a lot going on here, and Older’s writing sometimes gets tangled up in itself to the point of being a bit convoluted, but otherwise I think this comic is still proving to be pretty fun, especially considering the crisp, cartoon-like illustrations by penciller Toni Bruno and colorist Michael Atiyeh. The style of artwork here would fit right at home on an all-ages Star Wars animated series, and it really helps bring the proceedings to life on the comic page.
Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #3 is available now wherever comic books are sold.