Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Leonard Kirk
Published by: Marvel Comics
Chronology Placement: Set before “The Force Awakens”
Captain Phasma is one of my favourite characters from the Age of Resistance era of Star Wars – not only is her stormtrooper armor awesome, but she represents the first instance of female in a villainous role. Sure, we’ve had Asajj Ventress in The Clone Wars TV series, but Phasma is the first real depiction of a female in a position of power within the Empire / First Order. Most of her background and characterisation was established in the excellent novel, “Phasma” by Delilah S. Dawson, and Tom Taylor builds upon this backstory to demonstrate Phasma’s determination to survive whatever the costs, which often involves betraying others. This issue shares some tonal similarities with the equally excellent “Captain Phasma” miniseries that bridged the gap between “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi”, which also highlighted Phasma’s disregard for others and her single-mindedness. She is such a fascinating character that it is quite disappointing that she was mainly used as background dressing for the movies.
Leonard Kirk captures the chaos and frenzy of those infantry skirmishes in his artwork, ably aided by Cory Hamscher on inks and Guru-eFX on colours. There is a gritty feel to the panels, and I love the little details such as the disheveled stormtrooper uniforms compared to Phasma’s sleek, stylish chrome armor. Kirk’s artwork, paired with Taylor’s script, manages to emphasis the “War” in Star Wars and highlights how disposable ordinary stormtroopers are, especially the scene where Phasma grabs an injured trooper to shield her from a thermal detonator blast. While Taylor’s script revisits key points we already know about Phasma, it does so against the backdrop of ground war – giving us an interesting view on these battles and how the ordinary soldier is used as cannon fodder whilst those with titles sit at the back unharmed. There’s a tragic inevitability to this tale, which is counterbalanced by the fact that Phasma does eventually does get her comeuppance in “The Last Jedi”.
Grim, gritty and violent, “Age of Resistance – Phasma” gives readers an uncomfortable glimpse to the front lines of future warfare that is rarely seen in the films themselves. This issue feels like a lost episode of The Clone Wars, but set within the Age of Resistance era of the timeline. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you enjoyed the previous Captain Phasma stories!
Score – ★★★★
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – “Captain Phasma” is available in a digital format from Comixology and Amazon, or collected in the trade paperback, “Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains”, which is also available from Comixology and Amazon.