Rating: 4/5 – Thrawn’s Initiation into the Empire, From the 2017 Novel.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Although I read and loved the Timothy Zahn helmed Thrawn trilogy that was published in 1992, I have not read the Thrawn novel that defines his origin that was released last year. Thankfully, Marvel has decided to publish a mini-series that will adapt the novel over the course of six issues. Writer Jody Houser will be adapting this story, who also happened to adapt Rogue One in comics form, so she’s definitely familiar with not only the material, but the format of adaptations as well. That experience pays off as I really enjoyed this first issue.
The story opens up with three pages that use a nine-panel grid to show Thrawn silently taking out a group of imperial soldiers on a hostile planet. From there, Thrawn makes himself known to the Empire and cunningly and openly works his way up the ranks. In this first issue I definitely got the sense that there was probably much more time and details dedicated to Thrawn’s initiation into the Empire, but Houser still managed to make it entertaining while not seeming as though the story was rushed. Throughout this first issue Houser balances the material to fit within the confines of a first part of a six-issue series.
The art by Luke Ross is a great choice and I almost wished he would have used more of the nine-panel grid throughout as it was such an effective opening. Instead, he uses a wide variety of panel layouts and page designs so that the story flow never gets stale or monotonous. My only complaint is with the colors. At times it goes from a dot pattern color shade, to smooth, and back again. It gives some pages an inconsistent feel, although never enough where it lessened my enjoyment of the total package. Although this is an adaptation of a novel, if you haven’t read it in book form, I’d definitely suggest giving this issue a try. I’m certainly glad I did.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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