Today saw the release of Marvel’s one-shot comic book Star Wars: Visions – Peach Momoko, and below are my brief recap and thoughts on this issue.
After two seasons of Star Wars: Visions on Disney+, fans have a general idea of what to expect from the concept– on the TV show, talented animators from around the world are given free reign by Lucasfilm to explore the iconography and mythos of the Star Wars galaxy without being beholden to the confines of canon. In publishing, the premise has expanded to a full-length novel and one previous comic-book release, but now Marvel Comics will be issuing a series of one-shots by familiar comic creators. The first issue of this new series is created by Japanese artist and writer Peach Momoko (Demon Days), and is entitled “The Followers of Ankok.” In this story, Ankok is something of a Force-cult leader, bringing peace and balance through the enslavement of a civilization.
But there is also a character named Kako, who the title page describes as a “descendant of a Sith commander,” though the rest of the comic’s contents are entirely wordless. Kako has a hatred toward Ankok, and expresses this by disappearing into the background while the ruler’s submissive followers allow themselves to be violated by grotesque pink tentacles emanating from Ankok’s throne. Instead, Kako and her android Gel (not referred to as a droid, interestingly) retreat to a nearby marketplace, where they encounter a young shopkeep named Popo, who takes interest in their cause. Soon Kako, Gel, and Pop find themselves allied with each other, and infiltrate the next meeting of Ankok’s followers. During this ceremony, Kako allows herself to be defiled by the tentacles, only to use her opposing powers to eliminate Ankok once and for all.
There’s a dark twist at the end of this tale, but overall it’s the story of good overcoming a twisted form of evil. And Momoko gets this idea across through some of the most gorgeous artwork (she both wrote and illustrated this issue) I’ve ever seen associated with a Star Wars comic book. It’s also fairly impressive how she manages to convey the narrative without using a single word of descriptive text or dialogue outside of the title page. I’ve seen that kind of thing done before in comics, but Peach Momoko seems to have absolutely mastered it here. So much of the art in this issue is eminently frameable, all while using imagery and symbolism that is undeniably Star Wars in origin. There’s a lightsaber and the Imperial insignia at play here, partnered with the basic concept of light side vs. dark side, but Momoko has also made this universe her own, using recognizable motifs to carve out her own piece of A Galaxy Far, Far Away. In the next Star Wars: Visions one-shot, we’ll get Takashi Okazaki continuing the saga of the Ronin, and if it’s anywhere near as good as this issue, fans have a lot to be excited about.
Star Wars: Visions – Peach Momoko is available now wherever comic books are sold.