REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: Crimson Reign,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Star Wars Crimson Reign #1 - But Why Tho

Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1 is written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Steven Cummings, colored by Guru-eFX, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham.  It is published by Marvel Comics. After the events of War of the Bounty Hunters, Qi’ra-leader of the criminal syndicate known as Crimson Dawn- intends to kill Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. To do so, she gathers a collection of characters including the Knights of Ren, the mercenary Ochi of Bestoon, and bounty hunter Chanath Cha and her orphans. Qi’ra then sends her allies on various missions, which sews conflict among the other crime syndicates in the galaxy.

Though I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I loved Qi’ra’s character and how Emilia Clarke portrayed her. So it was definitely a welcome surprise to see her return in War of the Bounty Hunters. And this issue only continues to showcase her cunning and intelligence, as she deploys her allies with surgical precision and in a way that would put Batman to shame. Clarke is well known for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, and both Dany and Qi’ra share a lot in common (other than being played by the same actress).

This series also features Soule on writing duties, and I can say without hyperbole that he is fast becoming my favorite Star Wars writer. Soule is willing to dive into the deep corners of the Star Wars mythos, including the old Expanded Universe; there’s even a shoutout to the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire novel. Soule also wrote War of the Bounty Hunters, and Crimson Reign acts as a sequel to that storyline; it also features characters and concepts from his runs on Darth Vader and The Rise of Kylo Ren. Soule also constructs a framing device that paints the story as being told to a mysterious audience, which fits perfectly with the mythic aura of Star Wars.

Cummings, who previously illustrated Wayward for Image Comics and Champions for Marvel, has refined his style so that the book looks very sleek and polished; it still manages to have his manga-inspired flair, especially when Cha recalls how Vader murdered her parents. Cummings also perfectly captures Clarke’s likeness while drawing Qi’ra, and draws her sporting the elegant yet functional dresses that one would expect a character like her to wear. And he also gets to draw classic Star Wars characters including Darth Maul! Guru-eFX’s color art lends a vibrant element to the proceedings, with red and black obviously being the primary colors. Qi’ra is often shown wearing red-and-black dresses and Maul’s signature red-and-black visage appears in flashbacks.

Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1 delves into the criminal underworld of the Star Wars universe, and adds depth to its leader. With this series and The Book of Boba Fett, we’re getting to see a darker side to Star Wars and I welcome it. If you loved War of the Bounty Hunters or Soule’s previous Star Wars work, this is the comic for you.

Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Rating: 5/5


Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1

TL;DR

Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1 delves into the criminal underworld of the Star Wars universe, and adds depth to its leader. With this series and The Book of Boba Fett, we’re getting to see a darker side to Star Wars and I welcome it. If you loved War of the Bounty Hunters or Soule’s previous Star Wars work, this is the comic for you.