Friday, October 29, 2010

Screw You Knight Errant

I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to Star Wars in its various forms. Cartoons for kids? Comic books? Made-up characters just to sell exclusive toys? All fine by me, especially then they tie in to the era of the movies. While I'm not crazy about the pre-history, it has its place-- I really did love the original Tales of the Jedi series and its many sequels. The Knights of the Old Republic comic was hugely entertaining with characters that felt ripped out of an RPG-- take that as praise or a slur as you will.

In particular, I like the comics. Generally speaking, good or bad, you can get something out of them. I've read most-- I hesitate to say all-- because I'm missing some issues of Ewoks, one issue of General Grievous, and a few promotional odds and ends due to poor promotion and not knowing they even existed. Even the various prequel Jedi comics, where all the characters have the same motivation and values, generally you'd have taken something away from it.

I know this comes off as whiny, but there are very few series I actively disliked. Vader's Quest was a dull story where one of the antagonists was a pilot who got wasted, so Luke borrowed his X-wing on the fateful day the Death Star was done blowed up. Jedi Academy: Leviathan was, to my knowledge, the only time I've ever fallen asleep reading a comic series. Jedi vs. Sith, which brought us Darth Bane, had pretty ugly art and was really dull. And today? Well, today it's Knight Errant.

I don't keep up on fan reaction to comics much, basically I just read it all and whatever I like, I like. I liked Legacy, I thought Tales was a wonderful series of diversions, and even though I never really got into the New Jedi Order books, the new Invasion comics are fun. Knight Errant is not. It's another "let's tell a story about Jedi thousands of years before the movies" thing except this time there's not much in it to make me care up front.

Tales of the Jedi benefited from a strong group of characters, plus the fact that the backstory for the entire series was given away in the back pages of Dark Empire. You knew where it was going, but it was a great ride. Knights of the Old Republic had a good sensibility which helped drive it along-- it felt like a video game script, but the designs and personalities of the characters made up for any shortcomings. Knight Errant has people fighting with lightsabers, I guess, sort of.

One complaint I don't make enough is that Dark Horse's many reboots tend to squeeze the Star Wars out of Star Wars. There were many times recently where the stories included essentially no movie characters, which, while not a deal-breaker, really does suck out the fun. As a kid, I was reading these for more tales of Luke, Han, C-3PO, and R2-D2. Now I've got some other "new" Jedi fighting some other Sith empire and blah blah blah. It's the same damn struggle with new characters, and it's just no fun after a while.

Granted, it's my fault for buying every issue. I'm buying those The Old Republic comics based on the MMO but they're slightly more engaging as of late. It's rare that I immediately don't give a crap about a series-- even if I hate it, I want to know where it'll go-- but I'm considering giving Knight Errant he heave-ho.

Panel after panel of fighting close-ups and clumsy exposition with several characters and I don't know who's who or why. Comics aren't cheap-- you get about 10 minutes of entertainment for $3-- so shouldn't I be having some fun? Can I get something with Young Yoda or old Lando or some other post-prequel story about the survivors of the Jedi Purge? Please? And don't say Dark Times, that's going nowhere and it's taking years to get there.

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