When the last issue of IDW‘s Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy ended, we’d seen the frightening power of Darth Vader, and we’d left sequel-era hero Rey in a sticky situation as her new ally, Moebin, had been captured by a bounty hunter. This time, we get to find out how Rey will be able to solve this dilemma, as well as getting to see a softer side of one of the newer characters in the Star Wars canon.
The first story in this issue, ‘Repair Stop, Part 2’ by George Mann, picks up where the last issue left off, with the togruta smuggler Moebin tied up and prisoner to the rather large and intimidating bounty hunter, Kief. Having used a variety of gadgets and some clever moves, the man has managed to best Rey, who doesn’t seem to have anything other than her staff with her, and has captured his target. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be the brightest star in the sky, and is easily distracted by Rey, allowing Moebin a chance to try and escape.
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This honestly, doesn’t do good things for Kief, and makes him look kind of silly. The bounty hunter who was pulling out weapons and gadgets to get the upper hand in the last issue is now dumb enough to just stand there and chat whilst his prisoner escapes his binds about a foot behind him. It’s not exactly going to get him put up there with the all time greats like Boba Fett or Bossk. The silver lining to this is that it means we get some more shenanigans across the story as he and Rey have a back and forward over who gets to have the upper hand.
Overall, this story began quite promisingly with the first part, but the finale feels kind of rushed. There are times where the characters feel like they’re making silly mistakes, just so that it can lead to the next story beat, and Rey feels like she’s kind of going through the motions as she seems to be doing very little to help with the situation. It’s clear from context clues that this story is taking place between episodes 8 and 9, which means that she can’t just pull out her light saver as she’s probably not fixed it yet, but she still has force powers; yet she never uses the force to try and help stop the bad guy. It just seems like she’s making all the wrong choices so as to drag out the story.
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The art, provided by Butch Mapa and Charlie Kirchoff, is pretty decent though. The characters from the movies all look like the actors, and the new characters are pretty distinct looking. Moebin and Kief have some striking designs that makes them easy to spot on the page, and this definitely helps everyone to stand out from the background. Everything has decent detail, and it’s one of the nicer looking stories in the series yet.
The second story this issue is ‘A Very Nihil Interlude’ by Justina Ireland. Straight away I was excited for this story, not just because I love Justina Ireland’s work, but because the variant cover shows that this story will be featuring Deva Lompop; a pretty interesting new characters.
The story begins on Hon-Tallos, a planet already mentioned in a few High Republic stories, where a young Nautolan girl called Vroma is being chased through her village by one of the local bullies. She’s taken a Durga Berry from the berry grove. Despite the grove being open to all, the bullies tell Vrona that she’s not welcome there, and that the berries are theirs. Left alone in the street with her broken berry, Vrona is approached by a woman who watched the whole thing, Deva Lompop. Deva tells the girl that there’s a good way of dealing with bullies, and agrees to help her get even.
This story, though short, was a lot of fun. Having recently first appeared in the comic tie-in War of the Bounty Hunters: Jabba the Hutt, Deva instantly stood out as a character of note. Having been around in the High Republic era, being a formidable bounty hunter, and just looking cool, she’s been an instant stand-out. Here we get to see more of her in her early days, as she works with the Nihil. Not only is it interesting to see more of this younger Deva, but it’s brilliant to see the villains of this era doing something good. It adds more depth to the Nihil as a whole, and suggests that they’re not all villains out to do no good. Whether you’re aware of who Deva is or not, this short story is sure to be a fun experience that will stick out.
The art for the story is provide by Nick Brokenshire, and I’ve found that their particular style works really well with stories that focus on the Nihil. Brokenshire’s art has a wonderful amount of detail to it, and when applied to characters that are a bit more chaotic, like the Nihil, it seems to fit well. They also manage to make Deva look beautiful one moment, and truly frightening the next; which is perfect.
Whilst the first story in this issue feels like a bit of a letdown, the second is perfect, and is a prime example of some of the cool things that the Star Wars Adventures series can do; adding extra detail and context to characters from other stories, whilst being hugely entertaining themselves.
Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy #14 is out now from IDW Publishing.