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Reviews Comics The JC Lit Comic Reviews Special: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC: COMMENCEMENT

Discussion in 'Literature' started by 000, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. 000

    000 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 18, 2005
    [blockquote]Previous Review Threads

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/26025489/p1/?36]Legacy: Broken[/link][/blockquote]

    Backtracking a bit to the pilot episode of [b][i]Knights of the Old Republic[/i][/b], Dark Horse's new flagship series. It's also hit TPB by now, so it should have already reached a broader audience.

    Comprised of:

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/22229961/]Knights of the Old Republic #1: Commencement, part 1[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/22230007/]Knights of the Old Republic #2: Commencement, part 2[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/22536418/]Knights of the Old Republic #3: Commencement, part 3[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/22846338/]Knights of the Old Republic #4: Commencement, part 4[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/23143075/p1/?69]Knights of the Old Republic #5: Commencement, part 5[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/23358181/p1/?76]Knights of the Old Republic #6: Commencement, part 6[/link]

    Some rules: rate "Commencement" on a scale of [b]1 to 5[/b], supplementing your rating with a review, if you want to (it's not necessary but is highly encouraged). Please do not rate or review the story until after you've read the whole thing, and remember to review the entire story, not just a single issue. Re-reading the arc in its entirety is recommended, although obviously not required. Thanks. [face_happy]>
     
  2. ThrawnRocks

    ThrawnRocks Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2004
    4.8 out of 5.

    Brilliant. It is very well written. Great characters. Great story. Great humor. It does a great job of translating the KOTOR universe into comics. It retains some of the feel of the games, but expands it rather than just rehashing it. Much like KOTOR there is a serious plot with plenty of intrigue while retaining a great sense of humor with many moments where you actually laugh out loud.

    It is great to see a bumbling hero who really needs the help of his allies. Gryph is brilliantly hilarious and what a good co-star should be. He has great character quirks, best of all the whole "intern/henchman" thing :p Jarael and Camper are great characters as well. The Jedi Covenant makes a great group of villains who for once aren't Sith or Dark Jedi (although they are appropriately zealous). Finally I like that almost all the characters, save Zayne and Lucien are not human. It is nice to see some diversity.

    Oh, and one other thing. The art is really good. Brian has really improved IMO since I first saw his stuff in CW TPB #2. He has lost a lot of the extra lines he put in on people's faces, and now has a very clean style. As a result the drastic art change in issue #5 was extremely distracting. The drawings were badly done, the characters didn't look like themselves or an appropriate translation of themselves, and there was almost no attention to detail (save the few pages with the Jedi Master's visions, which were really well done). When Brian returned to doing the art it was like a breath of fresh air, and I really noticed his clean style with lots of details. The switch in art was distracting enough to lower the rating of this story by .2, but other than that I really have no complaints.


    All in all, it is wonderful, and I cannot wait for the Flashpoint TPB to come out!
     
  3. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    I'll second that 4.8.

    Solid story that never goes quite where you expect it. Just when Zayne gets a plan, things change and he goes a different direction -- just like real life. I'm really, really impressed with the quality of the story, and Ching's art is solid. He went from being one of my least favorites with his Republic work to one of my favorites here. The characters feel real, and the humor is great without taking away from the darker undertones of the story.
     
  4. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    4.8 sounds good to me too, actually. The arc really surprised me a few times, though the shocking reveal of the murder really tops them on the list of things. It has a good mix of humor in there and genuinely interesting cast of characters brought together. And it even works well if you've never played KOTOR, which is something the comics need to do (and have done so successfully). And Brian's art definitely feels like an evolution of his Republic style as well. All adds up to a solid package.
     
  5. Winged_Jedi

    Winged_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 28, 2003
    I give it a 4.7. Loved the heroes, loved the villains, and I loved the fact that it seemed to fit with the KotOR 'feel' from the games.

    I thought about taking a whole point off for the brief art change. Gryph in particular was horribly done- I wondered at first glance if it was the same character. However, the Jedi visions were stunning and easily my favourite four pages in the entire TPB, so that balances things out.
     
  6. NJOfan215

    NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 17, 2003
    You should include issue 0 in this as well, 000, since it's in the trade.

    I've been rereading comic arcs lately, i read kotor 0-10 about 6 weeks ago. 0-6 was very good, i think it's well written and it's nice to see Zayne growing into a more comperant and complex hero. Griff, Camper, Zerell(?), and Elbee(?) are all awesome. I too think the hencmen/intern thing is funny. I think the book moved a little slowly at times, but other than that, i liked it. 4.5.
     
  7. R_Zion

    R_Zion Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 23, 2004
    I'm going to go with a 4.9 as well.

    I won't rehash what's been said before except for that I loved the main cast. I wasn't particularly fond of the masters, but they were effective and their role and got the job done, so to speak. I loved the jokes and comedic situation spread throughout. It's nice to have a lighthearted adventure even if the galaxy is at war or some grave danger is looming.

    As to the art, I liked Ching's style, though I can't speak for his improvement since I never saw his Republic work. Also, as to the art change, while I wasn't overly pleased with it, there were a good many panels I liked. In the beginning of the change the artist tried to make Gryph look more like a Snivvian (though for the rest he kinda looks like a rapid Vulcan Hedgehog or something), and I can appreciate that. He also was quite good at depicting Elbee and the visions by the Masters were well done as well. He could draw Zane well, also, but it seemed as though he had a penchant for making Jarael's shirt skin tight.

    Overall, it's a wonderful and enjoyable piece of Star Wars lore and I can't wait to pick up Vol. 2!
     
  8. Whizkid

    Whizkid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 11, 2003

    4.5

    I loved the dynamic between Zayne and Gryph. Zayne is a very interesting character who isn't a Jedi prodigy and Gryph is just hilarious. I loved the flashbacks and the vision. The story was original and I would have been shocked if I wasn't spoiled. The only two negatives were the disruptive art change in #5 and the fact that we didn't get to know any of the masters that well aside from Lucien.
     
  9. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Read it about a month ago... I'm gonna read it again. I'd give it 4 outta 5 on first read. Very good story, but I remember being highly ambivalent toward the artwork. Be interesting to see if my thoughts change on second reading.
     
  10. sidious618

    sidious618 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2003
    5 out of 5. Outstanding story arc that sets up what may be the best ongoing series I've read. The characters, the story and the art is all superb.
     
  11. cbagmjg

    cbagmjg Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 12, 2006
    It's the games that made me want to read these comics, which in return made me want to read Star Wars comics altogether. And the bad art of issue #5 or not, I still give it a 5, because it's the story and the characters that remind me of the original trilogy. Not that I don't like the prequels, but it's just hard to beat not only that their the original, but the ones I grew up watching as a kid. And almost everything's better as a kid. Especially the fact of no responsibilities, at least nothing big.
     
  12. Darth_Shpydar

    Darth_Shpydar Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 2006
    About a 4.0/5.0, maybe 4.5/5.0.

    Interestingly, i originally read this arc as it came out month by month, and was ultimately "meh" about it to the point that KOTOR joined the ranks of monthly comics i stopped picking up. Recently though, i re-read the entire arc in one sitting, loved it, and wondered to myself why i was non-plussed in the first place. I am now back to picking up KOTOR, and regret missing the arc right after Commencement, especially since i can only find one issue from that arc.

    I don't know why, but for me, the story worked much better when read all at once. Though i suppose this can be said about a lot of comic story-arcs.
     
  13. jedimaster203

    jedimaster203 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 1999
    4.2

    I loved the beginning, but the middle kinda got boring. Anyways, I gave it an extra .2 because the ending was so awesome :)
     
  14. xoubara

    xoubara Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2003
    4.8/5.
    I absolutely loved it, near perfect. I'm really looking forward to reading the next arc... A pity I only buy TPB's (except for Legacy :p)
     
  15. 000

    000 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 18, 2005
    So... Shpydar, is that a 4.25?
     
  16. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    4.7 of 5

    Absolutely loved it. Surprisingly original and clever, it held my attention for the most part. I even liked the characters, which I rarely do reading... well, pretty much anything. The only reason I didn't give it a straight 5 was that it got a tad boring once or twice. Other than that it was a breeze, and I'm counting down the days to the next one.
     
  17. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Okay....
    The points are so high... It's getting outta hand.

    To confront you guys with the limitations of COMMENCEMENT: 'How To Draw Star Wars, lesson number one' coming up!
     
  18. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    I didn't like the art at first, but then it started to grow on me. By the time it hit issue #5 and someone else took over for Ching, Zayne became anime-esque and Gryph looked too real. At that point I realized I couldn't read the series without distraction unless Ching was doing the art.

    Then again, I've seen the previews for the later issues with Weaver's artwork, and they look pretty nifty.
     
  19. 000

    000 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Don't feel like writing a lengthy review, so I'll just say that JJM is my new favoritest author ever (until Stover comes back into the fold) and "Commencement" gets a healthy 4 out of five. Why not highter? I'm fighting the good fight against score inflation, that's why. :p

    And yeah, Weaver > Ching. Don't get me wrong, Ching's serviceable and does good scenery, but his characters tend to be squinty-eyed, emotionless, and mostly identical.
     
  20. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    How To Draw Star Wars, lesson number one:
    It's better to work late one evening and have some true character expressions than to just copy/paste your drawing and leave fans playing 'spot the differences'.

    [image=http://www.zegeling.net/kotor_commencement.jpg]
     
  21. ThrawnRocks

    ThrawnRocks Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2004
    I disagree. I feel the fact that the characters did not move or react makes that part even more hilarious. Cheesy? Yes. But funny as hell. It would have been worse if the characters had been moving around and reacted to what was happening IMO.
     
  22. Mayor_Adam_West

    Mayor_Adam_West Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2006
    4.5/5

    This is my favorite of the current EU. Zayne's a great main character for the series, and Gryph is hilarious. The main problem with the arc is Weaver. Foreman's good, Tolibao's good, and Ching is great. Weaver is my least favorite. He's not bad by any means, but I have a hard time getting into the way he draws faces.

    I'd be fine having Ching do the whole series.


    EDIT- To comment on what watto posted, I I'm with thrawnrocks on this one. That made it funny to me.
     
  23. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Lookit the arm on the girl in the first panel. That's just sloppy.
    And they coulda at least closed her mouth in the second one...

    To me it just reeks of laziness too much to find it comical.
     
  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    That bit annoyed me too. I'm alright with them not really moving, but the small things, like Jarael's mouth hanging open after she's done talking should have been changed.

    EDIT: That's an odd new addition to Jarael on the second panel.o_O
     
  25. Mayor_Adam_West

    Mayor_Adam_West Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2006
    I'm not seeing the problem there....

    EDIt- Strange, my copy of issue 3 doesnt have that black nipple thing on Jarael.