What is Coaxium Ultra? And why is everyone trying to get it before Mace Windu does? Your Major Spoilers review of Star Wars: Mace Windu #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
STAR WARS: MACE WINDU #1
Writer: Marc Bernardin
Artist: Georges Jeanty
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Andrew Dalhaus
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 7, 2024
Previously in Star Wars: Mace Windu: One of the greatest Jedi must stop an incendiary secret from falling into the wrong hands. Even in the years before The Clone Wars, Mace Windu was known for his discipline, determination, and combat skills. When a scientist’s discovery threatens the balance of the galaxy, Mace is led down a treacherous path, opposed by both the forces of the Republic and the criminal empire of the Hutts.
THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG MACE
In a time long before any of the prequels, a young Mace Windu is traveling the galaxy as a peacekeeper, which is to say “starting fights for arcane reasons using authority that is never 100% clear.” It is, after all, the Jedi way. After an action-filled mission on the ocean moon of Devshi (which takes up the first quarter of the issue or so), Mace is tasked by Master Yoda to travel to a moon in the Vergara system, in search of answers. A new formula that would allow for the synthesizing of an incredibly powerful fuel has gone up for sale, thanks to a mysterious young woman, and the Jedi want to secure it before it allows the criminal element to outrun their patrols in super-charged ships. (Gotta be honest, I’m not sure that’s how fuel works, but it’s Star Wars, so…) Upon making his way to the ice moon, he seeks out the mysterious Azita Cruuz, only to find he’s not the only one chasing her. Worse still, the Coaxium Ultra is incredibly unstable, meaning that when the locals shoot at her, there’s a chance the whole moon could be blown to bits. Fortunately, young Master Windu is on the case!
MIDDLE-AGED YODA IS KIND OF A HOOT
First and foremost, this issue’s art shows off an incredible feat by Georges Jeanty. Mace Windu has a face that is clearly and obviously a young Mace Windu, while looking NOTHING like young Sam Jackson, the actor who portrayed Mace Windu. It’s an impressive, seemingly impossible feat, but it works, especially on the final page. That said, our Jedi hero’s youthful face isn’t the only one, and it feels like every character in the issue is also right about 21 or so. Round faces and long, youthful necks abound, and the only character who feels older is Yoda, who kind of resembles Larry David. The design of new character Azita Cruuz is nice, but her “goggles on the forehead, makeshift clothing” aesthetic is reminiscent of Jannah from Rise of the Skywalker, an unfortunate parallel. There aren’t enough Black women in the Star Wars galaxy for two of them to have such similar optics, if you ask me. Then again, I’m a little bothered by the fact the solicits and the tone of this story make it seem like there’s romance brewing between Mace and Azita, and that the character is Black because Mace is.
BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD FIRST CHAPTER
Those questions aside, though, Star Wars: Mace Windu #1 sets up its premise and objective effectively, using Yoda’s longevity as a barometer for the setting, giving us a young Jedi of action in the prime of his life, and playing well within the rules of Star Wars tales, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’ll be looking out for issue two, but whether I come back after that is going to depend on what twists they put on these elements next time.
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STAR WARS: MACE WINDU #1
An interesting start to an undercover thriller in the High Republic era, with young Mace meeting his match, with art that doesn't quite fit the tone.