Comic Review – Asajj Ventress Both Serves and Defies Count Dooku in “Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories” #5

After the company reacquired the rights to publish family-friendly Star Wars comic books last year, Dark Horse Comics’ new title Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories got off to a rocky start. An irregular release schedule (only five issues have been released over the course of ten months) and iffy writing made this feel like one of the least consistently reliable Star Wars comics in recent memory, but I’m always hoping for improvement and keeping an open mind that things might eventually turn around.

And turn around it has indeed, as this week saw the release of Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories’ best issue yet, focusing on the character of Sith assassin Asajj Ventress during the prequel / Clone Wars era.

Hyperspace Stories #5 takes place after the events of the 2022 novel Star Wars: Brotherhood, and sees Asajj Ventress attempting to claim a Republic Command Center on behalf of Count Dooku. She easily bests some clone troopers, but an incursion by a Jedi Padawan and her master quickly bring the plan to a halt. That is, until the Jedi depart and leave the Sith assassin unattended. Despite her eventual success, Dooku remains unimpressed with Ventress’s accomplishments, assigning her another thankless task: retrieving an ancient artifact from the ruins of a Jedi temple on the moon of Staggec in the Outer Rim. This leads Asajj on a wild goose chase that pits her against more clone troopers and sends her to Naboo, where she encounters her nemeses Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker again. Along the way, Ventress begins to suspect that it might in fact be Dooku himself who is tipping off the Republic– via Chancellor Palpatine– to her location.

I really enjoyed this issue, as it zooms in on the often contentious relationship between Asajj Ventress and her master Dooku. It actually really made me want to finally read the 2015 novel Star Wars: Dark Disciple– another Ventress story set during this era– which I’ve been meaning to check out for years. Writer Amanda Deibert does a great job of getting into the central character’s head here as she toils away hoping to be promoted to Sith Lord, and eventually catches on to the fact that she’s being used as a pawn in a much larger game. And the art by Riccardo Faccini (with colorist Dan Jackson) is both energetic and moody, drawing the reader into the dark world and frequently precarious existence of a Sith apprentice. I don’t need or even want every Hyperspace Stories issue to be set during the prequel era (though it’s nice to visit this period we haven’t seen much of lately in Star Wars comics) but I would love to see more stories from this title with this level of intrigue and insight into its characters.

Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories #5 is available now wherever comic books are sold.