History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Comic Book Review: Captain Phasma

Covers for Captain Phasma comicWarning: herein be spoilers for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi!

Today’s quick comic book review is my first requested comic review. While at Norwescon, I moderated a panel on Star Wars, and I talked a little bit about the recent Star Wars comics. I’m woefully behind on most of them, but one of our audience members came up afterward to ask what I thought of Captain Phasma, whether she was underutilized, and whether I’d read her comic run. Since I hadn’t yet, I read them soon after getting back home.

The comic run in and of itself covers the period between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. After lowering the shields on Starkiller Base, Phasma wants to cover her tracks. She discovers that someone else has been in the records, and sets out to ensure that he doesn’t reveal what she did to anyone. She winds up recruiting a young Stormtrooper to be her pilot and sets out in pursuit of the potential snitch.

What follows is a tantalizing look at Phasma’s backstory, without actually going into enough detail to tell much about her. She shows a little bit of potential softness, but then covers it right back up and returns to being the no-nonsense, stone-cold arm of the First Order that she always has been.

After I read it, I had to do a little poking around about her backstory. Wookieepedia has some great information on Phasma, which answered most of the remaining questions I had. And now, I’m just a little meh about the whole thing. I think I was hoping that there would be a sympathetic side to Phasma, and there’s the faintest glimpse of one, but then it’s gone again. I find villains much more compelling when they feel more sympathetic, and here, that was definitely lacking.

I’m still hopeful that we’ll see a bit more of Phasma in Episode IX. (Yeah, I know she fell into a fiery crack in a spaceship in VIII, but hey, there’s no body, and that means she’s not definitively dead.) If we do, I really hope that she gets something more than she’s had in the movies and in this comic run, because right now, I do very much feel like she’s been underutilized. Granted, I haven’t read Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson yet, so I might change my tune after that book. But I make no promises that I’ll get to it any time soon!

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