*This is interesting . . . our main character is utterly incompetent. I really love Zayne for this reason; he’s really very unique in the way that he’s both clumsy and unlucky.
*The scene where the politician is nattering about how the Jedi have crime under control and then the padawan falls screaming through the air next to his speeder is pricelessly funny. I laughed out loud. Cute.
*And the twist that the Padawan arrivies late to his graduation only to find that his fellow classmates have been MURDERED BY THEIR OWN MASTERS is just really brilliant. I'll admit that the image just threw me off; I was literally trying to understand what I was seeing and then one of the masters said, "You're late, young one," and it just killed me. It’s just great.
*And I can kind of already see the genius of what Miller’s going to do with this series and with Zayne. So, he’s late to the ceremony, right? Which seems like part and parcel of his whole incompetent/unlucky thing. When he’s racing to get to the ceremony, you’re kind of like, “What a doof.” And then the twist comes and you realize that Zayne was actually incredibly LUCKY, not unlucky. These are the little paradoxes that Miller is so adept at.
*I loved the way we transition from that to the flashback to an old master talking about the master's role: "We are not just their teachers; we are their protectors." Great. Brilliant.
*And so our Zayne is on the run from the masters, including his own, Lucien. And he had finally managed to capture the criminal he’s been after, Gryph, so suddenly, it’s the two of them on the run from these homicidal Jedi. This is a great set-up in the sense of the bickering buddy comedy and all that.
*The very idea of a Padawan trying to outsmart a bunch of Masters makes for great drama.
*And this certainly gives that scene where the masters talked about the 'graduation' a different tone. "Say what you will, I'll miss them." Geez, yeah . . .
*And the mystery is just stunning. WHY? Why on earth would they kill their own Padawans?
*So, the masters go down into the Underworld section of the city after Zayne and there’s this fantastic large panel of them fighting off hordes of bad guys.
*Great, great bit with Gryph convincing Zayne to shave off his braid. Great picture of Gryph and then Zayne's braid hits him on the shoulder. This is character stuff, guys, and great character stuff at that and so artfully done.
*Great scene with Zayne conversing with Master Tander via holo.
*So, wait, Tandar is a Yoda like Jedi, but he doesn't talk backwards . . . so was Yoda just goofing on everybody or what?
*The realization that Zayne thinks he might have actually have killed his friends and then blocked it from his memory: very cool.
*And the mystery grows, even as the clues grow. The fact that four of the five Jedi on planet are Consulars, the mysterious demise of a droid on the moon . . . this is great stuff, feeding us clues and still keeping us guessing.
*We finally get the payoff, in two brilliantly done large panels as we see the horrific visions that led the Jedi Masters to believe that one of their padawans would become a Sith lord that would destroy the Jedi. Only option: stop the prophecy at all costs; kill all the padawans.
*The droid's 'suicide' is great too.
*And at this point, I lose all interest.
*A nice three panel shot of Gryph, showing him going, quite nicely through a whole ream of emotions. Gryph is a really great character and the artists are able to make him just incredibly expressive.
*The final meeting between Lucien and Zayne is cool, as is the flashback to the murders.
*And the bounty hunter bites it. What a shock.
*And the story ends with Zayne deciding to become the prophecy if need be to get justice for his murdered friends, meaning that the Masters made the prophecy come true by trying to stop it. Well, yeah, that’s gotta feel good.
*An interesting start; well characterized, with an interesting and compelling premise. Sadly, the solution to the mystery proves to be yet another Jedi vision of the future, which is pretty clichéd. But still, having read farther in the series and already knowing how Miller is able to really build an incredible story out of this set-up, well, it’s a reminder about judging things too harshly. I definitely originally kind of didn’t like the whole “vision” solution because it felt pretty formulaic. But Miller really makes this series work, so dinging the series as a whole based on that particular plot point would have been really dumb.
*CANONICAL STATUS: Most of the records relating to Zayne Carrick are considered to be extremely accurate. Mostly likely these events happened exactly as recorded here. This work is RECOMMENDED as a historical reference.
*4 stars. Highly recommended.
John Jackson Miller
*Next time, let’s just keep on trucking. Love this series, so let’s keep going. Join me next time for Flashpoint.