Last Wednesday saw the release of issue #11 in the Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories series from Dark Horse Comics, and below are my brief recap and thoughts on this installment.
Over the past six months or so, I’ve genuinely been looking forward to each new issue of Hyperspace Stories as they have come out, but sadly #11 is the first one to really let me down in a while. The story, written by Amanda Deibert, follows Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Yoda to the planet Bursant (newly introduced here), where they are set to give a set of Youngling Initiates a tour of an archaeological dig site containing a number of Jedi artifacts. During their visit, Master Windu gets a premonition of something going wrong, and soon they are attacked by a group of assassins who are locals to the planet. One of the Younglings gets briefly kidnapped, but Yoda and Mace are naturally able to work together to overcome this new enemy.
After a retreat to a nearby cave and a period of meditation, the Jedi Masters are able to parlay with one of the Bursant residents and discover that the aliens had been hired by a third party to attack the dig. They send the Younglings back to their ship and venture toward an abandoned settlement, where they are ambushed by battle droids and Count Dooku himself. A battle ensues, with Dooku eventually making his escape and many of the Jedi artifacts being destroyed in the chaos. It’s a quick, confounding narrative that whizzes by without ever making very much sense– I didn’t understand Dooku’s motivations at all, and the non-sequitur dialogue only confuses things further as the issue barrels along haphazardly.
The art by Megan Huang doesn’t help very much either. It’s cartoonish, which is fine for an all-ages comic like this, but the problem arises when I find myself unable to comprehend what’s supposed to be happening during the action sequences– the climactic showdown between the Jedi and Dooku is especially baffling on a panel-to-panel basis. Thinking back, I want to say that this creative team was responsible for some of the early, similarly iffy issues of Hyperspace Stories as well, and based on that track record I guess I’m hoping they don’t have a tremendous amount of involvement in Star Wars going forward. My understanding is that Dark Horse is pulling the plug entirely on this title after the December issue (#12) anyway, which is a shame because it had a lot of potential, and that potential did end up paying off quite a bit throughout the middle of the run. I just think they need to stick with writers and artists that are more capable of pulling off anthology stories like these. Regardless, my hope is that in the future the company can work with Lucasfilm Publishing to find a reliable formula that works in generating this kind of thing, because there are a lot of possibilities inherent therein.
Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories #11 is available now wherever comic books are sold.