Review: Marchion Ro Unleashes Terror in Marvel’s The High Republic: Eye of the Storm #2

There was never a doubt Charles Soule would nail this final installment of the Eye of The Storm miniseries and also the concluding piece to phase I of The High RepublicThe High Republic has been a renaissance of Star Wars storytelling and inclusion while also pouring on a tremendous amount of weight and depth to the Skywalker saga itself. This tantalizing time period wouldn’t be possible without Marchion Ro, the villain Soule himself first brought to life in his novel The Light of the Jedi.  The first issue gave us insight into Ro’s past, who his people were and where they came from. The second leapfrogs us forward directly after the events of The Fallen Star. If you have not yet picked up Claudia Gray’s novel or just want a quick refresher, check out Kyle Larson’s review of the tragic story. 

 

This final issue and conclusion to phase one of The High Republic is handled beautifully by one of the world’s premiere Star Wars authors. The art by Guillermo Sanna is, at times, mesmerizing. Sanna evokes the emotional weight of the turmoil surrounding the galaxy coupled with the ego of a victorious Marchion Ro through an incredible use of color patterns and imagery. I couldn’t have been more impressed. 

 

Spoilers Ahead

 

This gripping journey begins with Ro holding Jedi Master Obratuk captive. Ro triumphantly sits on his seat of power, gloating to the imprisoned Jedi about the destruction of Starlight Beacon. While trying to hide his inner terror, Master Obratuk stands up to Ro and refuses to believe Starlight Beacon could fall to someone so sinister and purely evil. 

 

 

As Ro arrogantly basks in his own glory (justifiably so, mind you) there is a much different tone at the capital. Chancellor Soh is desperately trying to maintain order amidst a room of bureaucrats who want answers and have a million different solutions. Soh is one of my favorite characters as she handles the responsibility of leadership with class, while simultaneously demanding respect. And how could you not love her twin targons?

 

 

While others remain unconvinced, Chancellor Soh is completely sure they now know their true enemy: Marchion Ro. While debating next steps there is a large faction who seem to focus on how this happened instead of the who behind it, which is exactly what Ro predicted. Soh confidently calls out Ro to the entire group, and you can feel the desperate desire to apprehend Ro radiate off her in this striking image — I would be remiss without saying how much it hurt to yet again be confronted with the reality of Stellan Gios death as Soh briefly mourns him in these pages.

 

 

This important meeting ends with the Jedi announcing they are pulling all Jedi back to the capital because of Ro’s weapon, the Leveler. With the meeting adjourned our story takes us back to Ro. Ro has riled up a group of revered Nihil warriors into a frenzy as they attempt to infiltrate a hostile planet to capture more of these Jedi conquering creatures. 

 

Ro’s family has guarded the secret of these creatures for generations, and Ro was not even sure the planet they were venturing to existed anymore. It would be a perilous journey for many, but of course Ro knew this. The planet’s atmosphere immediately begins to lash out in a ferocious storm and swallows up many of Ro’s pawns. Knowing the planet as he does Ro allows the planet to extract its toll before making his move behind the smaller vessels. 

 

 

Upon landing, Ro warns the remaining Nihil the planet will certainly react and defend itself once he makes his move, and react it did. The next few pages are spent with Ro and the Nihil fighting native creatures to the planet and then successfully being able to capture more creatures like the Leveler. However, I want to take a moment and simply give a standing ovation to Guillermo Sanna. The image below was my favorite of the issue. We go from an uber intense scene of destruction straight into something one might see in a Dr. Suess novel. The art here just screams at you.  Ricocheting back and forth from one extreme to the other visually had me completely entranced. 

 

 

After a daring escape from the treacherous planet Ro reveals the name of the creatures to his loyal Nihil, the Nameless. As we know, the Nameless are particularly deadly to our beloved Force-wielding Jedi, and Ro plans to unleash the full power of the Nameless upon them. However, for what may be the first time, some of the Nihil begin to question the ultimate purpose of this intense antagonization. What is Ro’s intention? While Ro refuses to deliver the ultimate truth of the matter to them, he perhaps doesn’t even know it himself. However, Soule writes what Ro would tell his subjects if he were not only being honest with them, but also himself, and it couldn’t be more perfect. 

 

 

With Republic reinforcements on the way to the outer rim, the time has come for Ro to unleash yet another weapon: Stormseeds. For those familiar with Chancey Yarrow, you will find it compelling this weapon is of her design. Ro intends to carve out a plot of space for the Nihil to be free of Republic interference. 

 

 

In what is a breathtaking image we see the power of the Stormseeds take hold as they lay waste to the entire Republic reinforcement fleet. No ships can travel through hyperspace into what is now Nihil territory. With this victory, Marchion Ro delivers yet another crushing blow to the fracturing Republic. 

 

 

Our last moments in phase one demonstrate the full villainy of Marchion Ro. Relishing in his victory over his enemies he decides he has earned a special treat. To indulge himself he unleashes one of the Nameless on Master Obratuk and gleefully watches as he is destroyed. 

 

 

Charles Soule started us off on this High Republic journey, and it seems fitting he close out the first phase. The High Republic has quickly become my favorite era of Star Wars, and Charles Soule was the first voice to bring it to life. In this final issue, he once again proves how dynamic and demonstrative of a storyteller he is. I cannot wait for October to arrive as we begin the Quest of the Jedi. Grab a copy of Eye of the Storm #2 and set your sights on phase two!

 

RATING: 9/10

 

 

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Finding ways to nonchalantly incorporate Star Wars quotes into his daily meetings at work, Tyler lives and breathes Star Wars. His morning tradition is sending the latest number in the countdown for different Star Wars projects and loves engaging in uplifting Star Wars dialogue. If you are passionate about  Star Wars you can follow him on Twitter at TyBrad5.

Tyler Bradshaw

Finding ways to nonchalantly incorporate Star Wars quotes into his daily meetings at work, Tyler lives and breathes Star Wars. His morning tradition is sending the latest number in the countdown for different Star Wars projects and loves engaging in uplifting Star Wars dialogue. If you are passionate about  Star Wars you can follow him on Twitter at TyBrad5.

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