Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith
Note: Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith is a comic book released in trade paperback form in 1997. It was re-released in the Tales of the Jedi, Vol. 1 omnibus in 2007. This will be my first comic review, and my format will simply be fifty points for story and fifty points for art. These two broad spectrums will cover many different sub categories, and should provide a very comprehensive review.
Odan-Urr's part in the main story is minimal, though he does factor into a barely mentioned sub plot concerning the unification of the Koros system. This sub plot does little but set the stage for the next book in the series, though it does provide some glimpses of early Coruscant and Jedi Knights. Be aware that this book does end on a cliff hanger, as Naga Sadow's forces prepare to follow Jori to the systems of the Republic, setting the stage for war in the next comic "The Fall of the Sith Empire." Overall, the story isn't the strongest, though it would've been much better with more likeable characters. Nonetheless, it does a good job of showing the ancient Star Wars world, and offers some great action scenes to boot.
Another flaw is the ridiculous looking characters added for no discernible reason. In the prologue, a Jedi that is essentially a giant brain in a crystalline tank has a conversation with Odan-Urr. Later, in the Sith Empire, we are introduced to a Sith Lord that has been decapitated, but lives on through his mastery of the Dark Side. He is essentially a head in a jar, and he accomplishes next to nothing. In fact, neither of these characters is important to the story, but their inclusion makes it hard to take seriously.
The art design isn't all bad, however. The ship designs were good, and the Sith Swords were an interesting touch. Overall though, the design itself just felt too derivative.
The actual execution of the artwork is much better. It is a shade/pencil heavy style that isn't quite realistic, but is quite effective at conveying actions and emotions, and adding a bit of depth to the shallow environments. I really enjoyed the various expressions and action scenes due to this. The style stays consistent throughout, and it is probably one of my favorite aspects of the work. The colors are very subdued. Mostly consisting of natural colors-brown, white, grey- it contrasts sharply with the vibrant colors in the twelve page prologue. I think I would've preferred the vibrant colors for this story, but the natural colors fit the motif well and definitely are more suitable for the designs. I have no complaint with the execution here, it never detracted and often added to the other stuff, so it earns above average marks.
An average story with below average design, The Golden Age of the Sith had potential, but is ultimately just another middle of the road Star Wars comic, artwork excluded.