*Note: Full spoilers for The High Republic Adventures #5 and minor spoilers for Light of the Jedi.
A corner has turned in The High Republic Adventures #5 as this issue takes the characters into the second wave of The High Republic. After the events of The Great Disaster, the Nihil are moving on to other things, led by Marchion Ro and the Jedi find themselves trying to keep up.
“Showdown on the Junk Moon” picks the pace up and raises the stakes slightly for our main characters; although, I am not sure yet how high the stakes really are in this comic series. While the Nihil have been presented as ruthless in the novels, they are not as threatening in this series. Of course, this is geared more towards the younger audience, but so is A Test of Courage, and that novel managed not to hold anything back. It could also be because Master Yoda is involved, a Jedi Master with whom Marchion Ro is familiar and might be looking to avoid a confrontation.
Speaking of Yoda, he is approached by Elder Tromak, who also trusted Krix with the location of part of a sacred artifact, likely part of the same one Marchion Ro shows Loden Greatstorm at the end of Light of the Jedi. Tromak needs the Jedi’s help to retrieve the artifact before the Nihil can, so the two are off on their own High Republic adventure carrying over to Wave Two. While meeting so many new characters has been delightful, it will be a good change of pace to see a younger Yoda off on his own mission on something that ties to the larger High Republic storyline.
Meanwhile, Zeen goes after her “friend” Krix and makes it to Ord Mantell (a planet referenced a lot in Star Wars canon, most recently featured as a location in The Bad Batch). She doesn’t even get a chance to land when Krix, still chasing a local and not realizing Zeen was the pilot, shoots her ship down. Even when he does see her, Krix decides to leave her in the wreckage to complete his mission. This sets Zeen on a temporary dark path, and she almost force chokes Krix before he is rescued by Ro and the rest of the Nihil. In the end, Zeen has a choice to make whether she wants to help the Jedi continue to fight the Nihil, which now includes Krix.
Despite threatening the boy with death, it seems that Ro simultaneously has a soft spot for Krix. Enough of a soft spot that he reveals to Krix, and all of us, his face and gives him a helmet along with a new mission. His face was shrouded in mystery in Light of the Jedi, and I expected it wouldn’t be revealed until the end of Phase One at the earliest. However, showing Marchion Ro’s face could only have happened in a comic issue or graphic novel. And, it makes sense that it would be in The High Republic Adventures because it is the comic series focusing on the Nihil at the moment.
All three cliffhangers with Yoda, Zeen, and Ro are clever and make The High Republic Adventures a little more appealing to readers of the novel who might avoid the comics. So far, I have been up and down on this series, but it has the potential to be the best Star Wars series from IDW, and it gets me excited for Daniel Jose Older’s Race to Crashpoint Tower, the Middle-Grade entry for Wave Two. Without having finished Rising Storm, reading IDW’s series can continue to be a nice compliment to the novels. There is no Galactic file insert in this issue but a missed opportunity for one on the planet Ord Mantell. We will get acquainted with another planet in future issues as Yoda and Ro are headed to Vrant Tarnum.
And that’s it for Wave One as Wave Two kicks off this week. Moving forward, I will be reviewing Marvel’s The High Republic and IDW’s The High Republic Adventures as whole Waves instead of by issue. So, it is a wrap on the monthly recaps, but what a way to end Wave One.