Star Wars: The Lost Tribe of the Sith – Spiral by John Jackson Miller – Advance Review [Bane of Kings]

Star Wars Lost Tribe of the Sith Spiral

Bane of Kings writes an Advance Review of John Jackson Miller’s latest Star Wars graphic novel, part of The Lost Tribe of the Sith series, entitled Spiral and published by Dark Horse Comics.

“An entertaining Star Wars tale that unfortunately is probably not the best jumping on point to newcomers to this era.” ~The Founding Fields

Writer: John Jackson Miller | Penciller: Andrea Mutti | Inker: Pierluigi Baldassini | Cover Art: Paul Renaud | Publisher: Dark Horse Comics | Collects: Star Wars: The Lost Tribe of the Sith – Spiral #1-5

An ambitious Sith rebel, Spinner, is about to upset the balance of a lost tribe of Sith. When he is arrested for treason and sent away on a prisoner vessel, thoughts of overcoming his station, destroying the Tribe, and even finding a way to escape into the galaxy lead Spinner to a powerful, long-forgotten weapon. A rival stowaway Sith on that same vessel has her own ideas about the future of the Tribe. They don’t need eradication; they need a new leader—her! Collects Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #1–#5.

I’m a fan of Star Wars. I’ve seen all six films, and read more than ten novels. However, The Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral is my first graphic novel that I’ve read set in the Star Wars Universe, unless you’re counting the first two issues of Brian Wood’s current Star Wars series for Dark Horse, and if I’m honest, it probably wasn’t the best jumping on point for somebody who hasn’t read anything from the Lost Tribe of the Sith era beforehand, as I didn’t really have that much of an idea as to what was going on.

Star Wars Lost Tribe of the Sith SpiralIt turns out that the Sith featured here are not Sith that newcomers like myself know from the films – there’s more of them for one, and they don’t stick to the whole One Master and Apprentice act that actually, wasn’t really introduced  until Darth Bane’s arrival on the scene, many years after the end of this graphic novel in particular. But hey, it’s always nice to read about the Sith, right? I mean, whilst I’ll take the Jedi over their evil counterparts any day, the Sith are always entertaining to read and or watch from. This graphic novel itself set up the chance for a unique take on the Sith, but instead – we get Darth Spinner, called that way for reasons not quite clear to us, who is along the same vein as characters like Darth Maul. Darth Spinner’s character however was never one I sympathized with, or indeed, wanted to root for, and he didn’t stick out as being very memorable either. And he’s not the only character who didn’t make a lasting impression on me, for I fail to remember the names of every other character in this graphic novel that we saw, which is a shame. Then again, Miller is only given five issues to work with the characters in this trade paperback collection, which I think is far too small amount of issues to be included in a collection – the standard for me is probably 7, any less than that, unless of course the price is low as well, doesn’t really make me want to check out the trade itself. 

I wanted to like this graphic novel, I really did – but it didn’t just work for me, which is unfortunate as I love a good Star Wars tale. It’s unfortunate that I happen to be a newcomer to this corner of the Star Wars timeline, but I’m sure that if you’re a fan of either Miller or are more knowledgeable about The Lost Tribe of the Sith then maybe you’ll get more enjoyment out of the graphic novel than I did.

However, I still think the book has some strong points. It’s nice to see a Star Wars tale filled with lightsabers, Sith battling it out in a comic format and whilst the artwork isn’t too memorable there are some pretty awesome scenes contained within. Miller’s Spiral is also a fun read as well, with some well crafted action sequences and a fairly interesting story that as mentioned above, I’m sure I would have enjoyed more if I was more familiar with the setting.

VERDICT: 2.5/5

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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