Review – Two Paths Chosen in IDW’s The High Republic Adventures #5
The High Republic Adventures continue, with the Jedi and Nihil headed toward another conflict. While the Padawans search for their new friend Zeen, she’s gone looking for her lost friend Krix, who’s joined the ranks of the Nihil. Krix is still uncertain he’s on the right path and his inundated fear of the Jedi drives him to the Nihil leader Marchion Ro. Meanwhile, Master Yoda and the other Jedi may have learned a small part of the Nihil’s masterplan to destroy the Jedi and unleash chaos on the galaxy. SPOILERS AHEAD….
Krix unintentionally shoots down Zeen, thinking she’s a Jedi come to capture him. In the previous issue, Krix questioned whether joining Marchion Ro and the Nihil was a wise decision. The terror he expresses in possibly harming his friend seems to move the needle a bit on this uncertainty. Meanwhile, Marchion Ro deploys the Nihil forces to eliminate the indigenous population of Junk Mavens, once again demonstrating his intent on keeping his every movement a secret.
I love how fearless these Padawans are, especially Lula. As they search for Zeen, none of them hesitate to help the Junk Mavens under siege. Lula picks up Zeen’s signal in the distance and the rest of the Padawans give her cover as they deal with the Nihil.
The Jedi have also arrived, in search of their Padawans. As they prepare to aid their students, an unlikely ally reveals himself. Elder Tromak, who made a pact with the Nihil and betrayed his people, offers to help the Jedi. The Jedi are obviously skeptical, given his prejudice against Force-users. Yoda feels trusting him may be worth the risk, especially since he’s been in such close contact with the Nihil.
The elder offers to take Yoda to what the Nihil seek, part of an artifact Marchion Ro is repairing. Yoda is concerned about the artifact and the possibility of it being weaponized against the galaxy. Curious why someone with the elder’s harsh disposition toward the Jedi would help him, Yoda inquires. Elder Tromak says they’ve met before, long ago, on a planet called Dalina. It’s intriguing to think there might be a connection between these two. Perhaps Yoda was a part of an event which caused the elder to feel mistrust towards Force-users. Maybe it was a misunderstanding Yoda can clear up. The Jedi Master considers Tromak’s offer.
While the Padawans offer support against the Nihil, the Junk Mavens brought in some of their own. A hungry Savrip breaks up the party, picking up Nihil soldiers. While the Padawans regroup and figure out their next move, Lula continues her search for Zeen.
Lula comes upon the reunion between Zeen and Krix. Zeen believes Krix tried to kill her. She wants revenge and the anger, coupled with fear of Krix hurting her new friends, drives Zeen to a dark place. In a shocking demonstration, she begins Force-choking Krix. I don’t imagine this is will shift Krix’s fear of the Jedi.
Luckily, Lula intervenes and Zeen comes out of her descent. This is definitely something to note, as we’re still unsure if Zeen is willing to join the Jedi. Force-users who exist outside the orders of Jedi and Sith are popping up more and more in The High Republic. It’s entirely possible this will be the beginning of Zeen’s story as a Force-user who doesn’t bind herself to an order. Unfortunately, Lula’s arrival coincides with Marchion Ro’s shuttle dropping in to fetch Krix. Krix eagerly jumps aboard but the rest of the Jedi and Padawans arrive to stop the escape. Together, they pull against the thrusters of the Nihil shuttle, hoping to prevent its return to the mothership.
The shuttle is able to get away. With the Nihil gone, the Jedi and Padawans return to their outpost. Everyone escaped the conflict unscathed but they realize Master Yoda isn’t among them. He left a message behind and the Jedi must trust Yoda knows what he’s doing.
Yoda and Elder Tromak arrive at Vrant Tarnum, where the artifact is located. Quickly, they fall under attack and are shot down. We won’t know their fate until the next issue but it doesn’t look good. And they’re not the only ones who’ve arrived at Vrant Tarnum.
Though Marchion Ro has been described, this is the first time we’ve seen his face. Great work by artists Harvy Tolibao, Pow Rodrix, Manuel Bracchi, and Rebecca Nalty! Definitely better than I imagined. Any remaining trust Krix had with Zeen has sadly been decimated. Marchion Ro swoops in to offer the boy friendship, noting he’s sees a lot of himself in Krix. Not only does he offer trust, he presents Krix with one of his very own Eye helmets. It looks like Marchion Ro has a new apprentice. Zeen remains undecided if she will stay with the Jedi, but the paths she and Krix will take have widened considerably.
Other than Ro’s reveal, not a huge issue. The arc overall was excellent, and this appears to be the conclusion. Having read the forthcoming High Republic novels, these characters stories are continued there. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of them in the comics but I imagine there are bigger plans for them. Especially since Krix will be working so closely with Ro. I’m very excited to see where Zeen’s story goes, too. Writer Daniel José Older did a great job introducing these characters. This issue served the conclusion well and set up plenty of questions for the next arc to answer. It’s easy to forget The High Republic is still just getting started…but what a start!