In Review: Thrawn #3

A fantastic origin story for Arihnda Pryce, with a certain Chiss entering her life.

The covers: Two equally strong covers to choose between in this installment. The Regular cover is by Paul Renaud and features a bust shot of Arihnda Pryce in the foreground. Behind her is a huge bust shot of Thrawn. Behind him is the Imperial logo with a Star Destroyer and several TIE fighters flying about. This is fantastic and is print, poster, and tee shirt worthy. The Variant cover by Rahzzah features an actual scene from the issue: the first meeting of Thrawn and Pryce at a party on Coruscant. Both characters look fantastic, with the Chiss looking down upon the human with cold eyes. To her credit, Pryce is not intimidated by his stare. This fan-flippin’-tastic. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Jody Hauser, based on the novel by Timothy Zahn, has her story follow the rise of Arihnda Pryce, a terrific supporting character from the recently concluding Star Wars Rebels series. Beginning on Coruscant at the Alisandre Hotel, Arihnda is telling her friend Jauhir that they are going to go to as many parties as they can “…or at least until we get thrown out.” The story then goes back to Lothal two years earlier where Pryce is being told that her family needs protection since they’ve discovered a Doonium vein. It’s suggested that her family sell another twenty-one percent of the company to the governor, but she refuses. She’s then told that “It’s the only way to keep some predatory megcorporation off your back.” Her mother should also be notified, since she’s the general manager of the company. Continuing to refuse, a few days later her mother is arrested for embezzlement by the governor’s office. Going to Senator Renking’s office, she’s told to give up the company to the Empire and that will free her mother. She then wants to go to Coruscant as an aide to state her case. Once there, and caught up to the where the story began, Pryce is given a fateful introduction to Colonel Ylaren, Thrawn, and Vanto. This leads to her meeting with a moff (Not that one) and events take a turn. The story proceeds to show how far Pryce will go for revenge and what happens to those that are obstacles in her path. It’s interesting to see the focus on someone other than the title character, but Hauser shows how the Chiss assists her and how a more infamous moff becomes involved with young Pryce. Great intrigue, espionage, and drama. Overall grade: A

The art: One can tell that they’re looking upon strong artwork when the visuals during a conversation are riveting. This book, due to the story, features primarily conversations. Luke Ross get two short action sequences to illustrate, and they’re good, but the drama he gives to a character as they’re speaking intensifies their every word. The transition between panels three and four is a neat transition from the present to the past, but take note of how lighter and upbeat the younger character appears — a sign that something, as yet not shown, in the character’s past has changed her. The partner that appears in the final two panels goes from friendly to angry quickly and that matches the character’s speech perfectly. Governor Renking’s emotions as he ponders what to do with Pryce on 3 are great. The moff that speaks with Pryce is a fantastic looking character; his first close-up is a sneer that perfectly sums up the disgust of an Imperial officer. An alien is introduced on Page 10 and this character is fabulous. This individual is shown briefly in action and I hope that the character returns before the close of the series. Thrawn is undercover in public for two pages and the items that he wears to conceal his striking skin and eyes are wonderful — I wouldn’t be surprised to see cosplayers adopt this look at comic book conventions or Star Wars Celebrations. Usually Thrawn’s emotionless eyes are enough to make him threatening, but this change in how he’s hiding himself is even more unnerving, so my hat’s off to Ross for accomplishing this. The settings also deserve mention, with the opening two panels of the book instantly establishing the locale, the moff’s quarter’s are impressive, and the diner extraordinarily cool. Overall grade: A

The colors: Nolan Woodward also does some slick work on this issue. Notice how the harsh colors used for the setting in the second and third panels on the first page, giving the setting an uncomfortable tone. When the story moves to the past the colors lighten considerably. Lothal has desert coloring, which will be familiar to anyone who’s watched the animated series. The harsh colors reappear when the scene moves back to Coruscant, with Thrawn’s blue skin again being strong. However, take notice of the color of the clothes that Pryce has wears — they match Thrawn’s blues. This is a subtle way to show a relationship between the characters before one is ever formally established. This makes Pryce as a surrogate of Thrawn as she moves up in the power structure of those around her. Very cool. The alien introduced on 10 has some beautiful colors. Notice when the action begins the background shares the same color as this alien, but when the battle turns the colors match those of the alien’s opponent. Even this alien’s final appearance has it tinted the color of the victor. The final panel of this issue has the background colored in a pale blue, reminding the reader that Pryce wouldn’t have been able to achieve her goals without a particular character’s assistance. Overall grade: A

The letters: This issue’s text consists of scene settings and dialogue. The story doesn’t require any sounds, though the two quick action scenes could have used some. Still, the contributions of VC’s Clayton Cowles are fine, though the frail font used by Star Wars comics for dialogue continues to look weak regardless of the speaker or their tone. Overall grade: A- 

The final line: A fantastic origin story for Arihnda Pryce, with a certain Chiss entering her life. The story is full of nefarious characters looking to further their goals and the art brings the individuals to life sensationally. Not action packed, but full of constant tension. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-Thrawn-2018-3-of-6/digital-comic/638021?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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