Star Wars Comic Pack ULIC QEL-DROMA & EXAR KUN
Two fallen Jedi resurrect the golden age of the Sith...
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Hasbro's Star Wars Comic Packs have provided an interesting look into the "Expanded Universe" (books, comics, games, etc.) of the Lucas-created saga since their inception a few years ago, and sadly the line is about to end later this year. The Packs have had their ups and downs, with many sets appealing only to those familiar with the source material. Crazy repaints and weird looking characters are fine for the main film line, but don't exactly jump off the shelves when no one knows who they are. Thankfully, in the final waves of Comic Packs Hasbro is getting to some great characters, including two fallen Jedi who together spread the dominion of the Sith across known space: Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun!
Immortalized in the comic series Tales of the Jedi ("Dark Lords of the Sith" and "Sith War" storylines), Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma were both Jedi Knights during the Old Republic. Kun, arrogant and headstrong, believed he could investigate the Dark Side with no ill effects, and promptly turned evil. As he grew in power and influence Kun was opposed by the Jedi including Qel-Droma. The younger Knight too infiltrated a cabal of Dark Siders and fell under their influence, eventually confronting Kun in a fierce battle. Before either could gain the upper hand, a gathering of Sith spirits appeared and pronounced the two former Jedi the new Dark Lords of the Sith!
The packaging for the Star Wars Comic Packs has evolved over the years, with the final version a tall card and bubble holding the two figures, their accessories, and a reprinted comic book (in this case Tales of the Jedi Dark Lords of the Sith #6). The packaging is white with a subtle background pattern, similar to the packaging on other current Star Wars toys. Branding and titles are done in yellow and red including the title of the pack and the names of the characters. There are also nice illustrations of each Jedi under figure. This package has a sticker front and center for the current Star Wars Celebration V ticket giveaway promotion.
The back of the package has a grayscale background image pulled straight out of the pages of the included comic book, which is a really nice touch. There's a photograph of the two figures along with a brief bio of the characters. At the bottom are images of the other Comic Packs: Clone Trooper & Clone Commander from Republic #83, Clone Trooper Lieutenant & Clone Trooper from Routine Valor, and Tholme & T'ra Saa from Republic #65.
The Old Republic was a simpler time for the universe, and what Jedi like Obi-Wan would call "a civilized age." In many ways the clothing was more ornate, with layers and padding, interesting textures, and lots of decoration. Both of the figures in this Comic Pack are perfect representations of this, and are visually striking. But do they really represent the characters from the comic series?
Exar Kun, the more experienced of the two Sith Lords, is here given a distinctively older appearance. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really jive with the way he looks in the comics, suggesting either an oversight by Hasbro or a representation of the character from a different time. He would, after all, continue to plague the Jedi throughout the eras as a spirit. Getting back to the figure, Exar is decked out in a very interesting outfit. He wears quite a few layers, including boots, pants, a kilt, shirt, jacket, gauntlets, and necklace, all under a heavy cloak and shoulder pads!
Kun stands at right about 3 ¾ inches, and has a very good sculpt. There was a lot of attention paid to the variations in clothing, with different textures on different parts. The jacket and pants have general creases, while his shirt is vertically lined and the kilt covered in a hexagonal pattern. There is a bunch of great little details all around, like the patterned belt, knee pads, ornate necklace, gauntlet designs, etc. While it's a bit old for my liking, Exar's head sculpt is really good. There’s a lot of personality there with sharp features, furrowed brow, and frowning mouth. There are also two crucial features that were correctly captured on this figure: his forehead Sith brand and the triple scars across his right cheek.
A dark-hearted Jedi from the beginning, Exar never dressed in particularly bright colors. By the time he turned to the Dark Side he appeared in this somber palette, mostly browns and grays. The dark earthy tones are contrasted by the bright metallics on Kun's gold belt and necklace and bronze gauntlets. He's got a final splash of color in his jaunty green shirt. His face and hands have a light skin tone, while his eyes are blue and hair gray.
Exar Kun has great articulation with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, waist, hips, ball-jointed knees, and ball-jointed ankles. He has a handful of accessories including a long brown soft goods cloak complete with gold neck strap, shoulder pad piece that plugs into a hole in his back, and two fairly nondescript blue lightsabers that connect at the hilts to form the character's trademark double-bladed lightsaber.
While Exar is the staid old man in this set, Ulic is the scruffy-looking youth. Appearing as young as Kun is old, Qel-Droma is relatively shrimpy at three and a half inches tall. He has a really fantastic sculpt with an almost bizarre array of clothing elements.
At the bottom appears to be a pair of pants lined like corduroy and a heavily creased long sleeve shirt, but that's only the beginning. Gloves and boots are covered in wire-like banding and end in ragged edges. Around Qel-Droma's shoulders is a collar piece of connected squares. It looks as though there used to be a red outer garment attached to the collar piece, but it's now a frayed mess held up on one side and wrapped around Ulic's intricately sculpted belt. All in all it's a great presentation, and the Jedi has an equally detailed head sculpt complete with Jedi forehead brand.
Ulic Qel-Droma's excellent sculpt is matched by a solid paint job, done mainly in earth tones (though warmer than Exar's palette). The former Jedi's shirt and pants are light gray and brown respectively, with a lighter brown on his gloves and boots, which also have a darker shade. The wrapping on both is light silver. Ulic's collar piece and belt are painted brown with details in gold and silver, while what’s left of the outer cloak or robe is bright red. The newly minted Sith Lord has dark eyes and light brown hair with lighter accents. His articulation matches that of Exar Kun's, and he comes with a simple blue-bladed lightsaber.
If you're familiar with the story from Tales of the Jedi, you'll definitely want to check out this Comic Pack. Both characters are icons in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and while I wouldn't call these figures perfect representations of them, they are very good. On their own merits, these are two excellent figures with fantastic sculpts. Their unique look will definitely stand out in a Star Wars collection. I do have one issue with this set, though. In the Tales of the Jedi Old Republic stories the Jedi and Sith wield ornate, complex lightsabers frequently tipped with claw-like protrusions. Unfortunately, the figures come with really basic lightsabers, which is a shame since there have already been cool clawed sabers like the one that came in the Vader's Secret Apprentice Evolutions set.
For even more photos of this comic pack, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin