Star Wars: Kanan 2: First Blood

star wars kanan volume 2 first blood cover trade paperback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Star Wars Rebels expanded

Underuses Star Wars Rebels and series ends before it feels it really begins

Comic Info

Comic Name: Star Wars:  Kanan

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Greg Weisman

Artist: Pepe Larraz/Andrea Brocardo

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2016

star wars kanan #10 cover vs general grievous

Star Wars: Kanan #10

Reprints Star Wars:  Kanan #1-6 (December 2015-May 2016).  The Rebels mission has gone sideways, and Kanan now fights for his life in a bacta tank as his grave injuries try to heal.  Kanan recalls his childhood as Caleb Dume and his apprenticeship to Depa Billaba as the Clone Wars raged.  Unfortunately for Kanan, the Rebels aren’t out of the woods, and the forces coming for them means Kanan recovery might not be quick enough.

Written by Greg Weisman, Star Wars:  Kanan Volume 2:  First Blood is a Marvel Comics Star Wars spin-off title.  Following Star Wars:  Kanan Volume 1:  The Last Padawan, the Star Wars Rebels accompanying title features art by Pepe Larraz and Andrea Brocardo.  Issues in the collection were also included in Star Wars:  Kanan Omnibus.

I liked Star Wars:  The Clone Wars and I liked Star Wars Rebels, but with Dark Horse’s loss of rights to Star Wars and Disney’s ownership, I wasn’t sure what would happen to all the history of those characters.  Fortunately, Marvel opted to further cement Rebels as part of the revised Star Wars canon…I just wish it had lasted longer.

The stories for both volumes of Kanan weren’t the most compelling, but I do really enjoy the character.  This volume has Kanan recovering from the events of the previous collection and remembering his childhood at the Jedi Temple.  What is odd about the collection is that this is Kanan’s first venture into being a Padawan when last collection was about his last adventure as a Padawan.  While it may have been more generic telling, it kind of feels they should have just kept the two stories in order to build Kanan’s relationship with his master Billaba.

star wars kanan #11 cover

Star Wars: Kanan #11

The series then dovetails back into the bigger mission which involves Kanan’s past and wraps up the storyline.  It uses the previous entries to draw parallels between Kanan and Ezra, and it demonstrates that though Kanan has given up being Caleb Dume, that he still has plenty of Jedi training and tricks up his sleeve.

What is unfortunate about this volume and the last volume is that it doesn’t utilize Star Wars Rebels enough.  The supporting cast of Rebels is there as Kanan fights for his life, but they are largely just set pieces.  I feel that Rebels has enough depth that it could carry its own comic book, and it stinks that Star Wars:  Kanan didn’t continue on into more of a Star Wars Rebels tie in series (while dipping into more of Kanan’s past and perhaps other members of the Rebels).

Star Wars:  Kanan 2:  First Blood is a disappointment simply because it is the end of a series that never really got a chance.  With only two storylines, the characters of Kanan still feels largely underdeveloped (in the comic book world) and fans of Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars comic books deserve a bit more…especially since there was a ton of potential.  While I’d still recommend Kanan for fans of Star Wars Rebels, I hope that Marvel’s Star Wars line doesn’t give up on tying in more mediums than just the movies.

Related Links:

Star Wars:  Kanan 1:  The Last Padawan

Star Wars Rebels—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Star Wars Rebels—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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