Review by Frank Plowright
Spoilers in review
General Grievous is a strange project in hindsight, and ultimately not very satisfactory. It’s a prelude to events detailed in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, but Grievous had already been introduced in the animated Clone Wars series, so this isn’t a case of artist Rick Leonardi not having access to the designs and having to conceive his own version, as has happened with other Star Wars comics. To go by the artwork alone the impression is given of this being a thrill ride as Leonardi brings his A-game to the pages, really sparkling when Grievous is centre stage. Unfortunately that’s not often enough.
Chuck Dixon’s focus is instead on three rebel Jedi who consider it’s worth disobeying orders and attempting to kill Grievous themselves. When originally published as comics, this still retained an element of suspense, but once Revenge of the Sith was released, that evaporates. Any Star Wars fan knows what happened there, and it means they also know the mission being put together is destined to fail.
Hindsight is no fault of Dixon’s who produces a creditable enough plot, but then skims through the scripting. A bunch of Padawan feature, but Dixon writes them as if adults, as their dialogue needs to move the story forward and offer explanations. The result is a vocabulary and understanding beyond their years unless your preference is to concoct the fudge that as aliens their intellectual development is faster than human children despite resembling them.
Leonardi is a wonderful artist, the complete package of style, substance and storytelling, yet for some reason under-rated. He’s on top form here, elevating an otherwise by the numbers adventure.