Clone Wars Adventures Vol. 1 Review
Taking a look back at the Genndy Clone Wars spinoff
Are you like me where you wish there was more Genndy Clone Wars and want to do something else with your time other than rewatch the Genndy series over and over again? Then do I have the spinoff for you. Introducing Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures. A series of spinoff comics telling more Clone Wars stories in the Genndy style that you know and love if you were an early 2000s kid. Released by Dark Horse Comics around the same time as the show, this anthology series was printed primarily in Archie Digest format, though I do have a single preview issue, that I'm not entirely sure where I got it from.
Today we are looking at Volume 1 which is set "five months after the Battle of Geonosis," and contains three short stories.
Blind Force - written by Haden Blackman, art by Ben Caldwell
Anakin and Obi-Wan are looking for a droid factory base on this planet that appears to be in total darkness. They are pursued and attacked by this alien species called Shadowmen, who can like blend into the darkness. They are struggling to fight them, and eventually Obi gets the idea to wear blindfolds and rely on the force. They defeat the Shadowmen, and Ani finds the droid base by hearing the sound of machines. Obi remarks that they are wired differently. They blow up the base and that’s the story.
Most of these stories are pretty simple and this one is no exception. A pretty standard Obi/Ani story with a few good moments where they interact. I also like how this story uses black borders around the panels, it really helps to immerse you in the atmosphere.
Heavy Metal Jedi - written by Haden Blackman, art by the Fillbach Brothers
This one stars Mace Windu and Saesee Tiin, that one guy with the Hellboy horns. They are fighting some droids and basically have a pissing contest. Saesee is utilizing raw power whereas Mace is focused more on speed and technique. There’s a super duper battle droid boss that appears, and they have to work together utilizing both styles of combat in order to defeat it. One thing that I think is really interesting about this story is it does this unique panel layout on a few of the pages, where it uses both pages to show events that are happening simultaneously, almost like a split screen. It’s a unique way of telling the story that could only be done in a comic. I also kinda like the attempt to give the Jedi distinct fighting styles. A lot of these stories kind of just amount to Jedi being badasses, so at least we get a little more characterization to distinguish some of them.
Fierce Currents - written by Haden Blackman, art by the Fillbach Brothers
Kit Fisto is on Mon Calamari once again. I just noticed that he has this little yin yang fish belt buckle and I think that’s really cute. I also love the underwater clone designs. So, Kit Fisto is investigating a Quarren(the squid guys) base. He breaks in and is like "who is giving you orders?" They say that they receive their orders telepathically. Kit Fitso eventually finds these squid like creatures that form a hive mind when they group together. Turns out they are the ones who have been ordering the Quarren because the Mon Calamari are disrupting the ocean. Kit Fisto breaks free from them, and tells the Mon Calamari to work out a deal with the creatures. This story is kinda cool. Just a weird alien creature, and a Jedi actually being a peacekeeper, rather than a peacekeeper fighting in a war. It’s not something you actually see a lot of in Star Wars.
The art is pretty good for the most part. It’s definitely hard to translate the insanely good animation from the series into comic form. There is some really good dynamic posing, as well as the occasional janky looking panels. But I think it works for the most part.
And that's the first volume, pretty simple, but the series tells more interesting and unique stories as it goes on. I'm gonna keep reviewing the rest of the series so stay tuned for more. And if anyone has a lead on volumes 9&10, let me know because I still need those.