A Comic Panel Far Far Away: A Most Violent Cover-Up In ‘Star Wars: Captain Phasma’

by Tony Thornley

Today is May the Fourth. A day to celebrate all things from a galaxy far, far away. And, as Star Wars has such a long  and successful history in comics, so we thought it would be fun to visit some classic stories from the past, present and future of the franchise.

Cover by Paul Renaud

One of the best things about Star Wars has always been the expanded universe delivering on the promise of characters that the films couldn’t deliver. Whether it was Boba Fett in comics and novels, Darth Maul in the animated series, or Captain Phasma. Phasma was introduced as essentially this generation’s Boba Fett, and on-screen that delivered. She was ruthless, but beyond that she was nothing more than an intimidating figure with a cool design.

However, in the tie-in media, we got a full picture of this mysterious woman (even if we never saw her face). One of those tie-ins was this mini series by Kelly Thompson, Marco Checcetto, Andres Mossa, and Clayton Cowles. Bridging the gap between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi this is the story of the most brutal warriors in the First Order.

As Phasma attempts to erase her failure protecting the secrets of Starkiller Base, she’s discovered. The young officer makes his escape, but Phasma recruits a young pilot to help her pursue him, lying about her purpose. It’s a chase that takes the duo on a thrilling hunt, but also reveals the true depths of Phasma’s villainy.

Thompson frankly didn’t have much to go on here. However, she crafts a fascinating narrative around Phasma. Even better, she doesn’t attempt to make her redeemable or likable. This is a villain story about a monstrous warrior who is determined to murder a man just to cover up her own actions and preserve her reputation. Yet, she’s also able to take us cheer for her while she does it.

Just like their work on Obi-Wan and Anakin this art team is a great choice to tell this story. The series is basically a four issue long chase scene, and Checcetto drives that action forward. He never lets up the pace, surrounding Phasma perpetually with blaster fire, explosions and driving elements, which Mossa then breathes full of life. The camera is continually moving around Phasma, her companion and her target.

This is a thrilled story that’s worth reading on its own, but it adds so much to this fan favorite character. It’s frankly too bad that she met her end in The Last Jedi, because I would have loved to have seen this version of the character on-screen.

Single issues of Star Wars: Captain Phasma #1-4 are available at your local comic store, as well as digitally from Kindle and Comixology. The series is collected in Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars The Last Jedi: Captain Phasma from Marvel Comics, available at bookstores, comic stores and your favorite digital retailer.

We’d like to ask, on behalf of our friends and colleagues that own and are employed by comic shops, that you first try to get these books at your local shop. This is a very uncertain time for owners, employees, and their families. Show some love for your community and friends by buying from your regular shop when possible and safe.

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