With the rising popularity of issue #1 of Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren, I was curious to see what this limited series is all about. As a longtime comic fan, I have always loved the pop culture series, the ones that add stories to already beloved movie and television series. The Rise of Kylo Ren does just that and adds a backstory to a character favorite in the Star Wars franchise.
Right away, the power of Ren is significant. You feel it radiate off the pages as we get a look into the past, as we see two people get recruited into the Knights of Ren. They do not even call it “using the force.” Instead, they call it touching the shadow. It is seemingly the only requirement to be recruited. Already, the force is dark and strong. A lot like Kylo Ren, if you think about it. The knight we see is not called by his name, but instead called Ren. The lightsaber is called Ren. Talk about branding! People are definitely going to remember that name. That is, if they live to tell the tale.
Both the writing and art bring this comic to life. Charles Soule captures Kylo’s voice brilliantly. He helps create this conflict inside of Ben making you wonder which side he will choose in the end. He creates a narrative that keeps you turning the page. Every emotion makes its mark clearly with each word read. Likewise, Will Sliney’s art is truly stunning. From the glow of fire to the glow of lightsabers, it feels like a movie itself is unfolding page by page. The line work and colors are so intricate and realistic! It is honestly some of the best artwork I have seen in comics.
The whole premise of this mini-series is that Ben Solo will fall to the dark side, and with that, the rise of Kylo Ren will begin. You see that fight between light and dark in this issue. There is a scene where he is fighting Tai, Voe, and Hennix amidst Luke Skywalker’s temple burning. Ben admits to killing Luke after Luke tried to kill him in his sleep. Ben says he is more powerful and goes to prove it when they do not back down from the fight. This leaves Hennix injured. At first you see shock on Ben’s face before he composes himself and says, “I warned you.”
We see a lot of that pull in the movies, as well. However, it is nice to get this more in depth look at Ben and his struggle between light and dark. We get to dive in a little deeper. We see on the pages what the voices of the dark side are saying to him. We see what the dark side shows him. We see the innocence of Ben and the fierceness of Kylo unfold.
Supreme Leader Snoke also makes his appearance in this first issue. Your gut will clench as you see Snoke’s manipulation unfold. He is easy with his words and actions, giving Ben a hug and showing his concern for him. Snoke even tells Ben it will not be that easy to kill Luke, eluding to Luke still being alive. It leads Ben, however, to make a decision about his future. That future seems to include the Knights of Ren.
Issue #1 really packed a punch. It will leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. I honestly cannot wait for issue #2 and see how Ben’s decision unfolds. Stay tuned for our review of Issue #2 when it is released digitally and in comic shops January 8!