Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm #3 by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema (2012, Dark Horse)
The previous issue of Dawn of the Jedi set up a confrontation between three newly introduced protagonists and the mysterious armored Force Hound known as Xesh. The lion’s share of this issue focuses on that confrontation.
As an extended action sequence, this issue is very well done. The battle gives Jan Durrsema’s artwork a chance to shine, providing plenty of opportunity for dynamic, exciting panels.
The Jed’aii trio’s lack of familiarity with lightsabers makes the conflict interesting.
This demands that Durrsema not rely solely on swordplay or gunfights (as artists and writers often do in Star Wars comics), and as a result, the sequence takes on a sort of martial arts manga vibe.
After the battle, Xesh escapes and the three Jed’aii go after him. John Ostrander provides a fair amount of banter between the characters, which serves well enough to establish enjoyable, albeit somewhat rote, character dynamics.
The issue concludes with Xesh still at large, but unconscious, and a quick, one-page reminder that this dude, who appeared in the last issue, is still chilling on the dark moon of Bogan, with something decidedly not-good up those voluminous sleeves:
This issue is well paced, and while there are no enormous plot twists or revelations, the character work is decent and the action is fluid and kinetic. A few intriguing questions (Why does Xesh seem to believe the Jed’aii are evil?) serve as good hooks for the next issue. I reserve judgment for the series as a whole until it’s over, but it seems as though, at issue three, Dawn of the Jedi is beginning to hit its stride.