||A very mixed bag, in terms of art,
story and characters.
A lot of
this comic was very confusing, especially when dealing with the
chronology of the plot. There are several storylines, and they are all
mixed, sometimes with panels from all of them on the same page.
The main storyline is about a coup
attempt against Vader and the Emperor. There is no motivation, except
Vader's use of stormtroopers as target practice. Grand Moff Trachta
apparently wants more power for himself. He coerces Moff Kadir and a
bunch of other senior officers into this plan. Unfortunately for Trachta,
once the plan is set into motion, the Imperial officers turn on him,
eventually removing him from the chain of command -permanently.
The Emperor seems unaware of the
developing mutiny, which is unlikely, but is also pleasantly amused when
the trap is sprung. Even when the troops loyal to the mutineers come
into the throne room, he is unconcerned, and lets his Royal Guards take
care of most of them. He uses Force lightning on Kadir, but keeps the
Moff alive because of his resourcefulness. However, when he finds out
that Kadir was not the mastermind behind the coup attempt, he kills the
One of the conspirators appears to get
away. The guy with the stripe down his face, whom I take to be Gauer, is
the one who actually killed Trachta. But when the plan failed, and he
heard the stormtroopers being massacred, he ran away. We don't know what
happened to him, unless it is dealt with in a future story. Gauer doesn't
seem to be a Moff, or even in the real chain of command. In the author's
note at the end, he is called an assassin. Why, then, would he be
included in the coup? Why would Vader ask that Gauer go on the mission
the Emperor wants him to take?
At one point, the Emperor's shuttle
explodes, and it seems as if the Emperor was waiting for this to happen.
Nothing comes of it, which seems to be typical of this story.
Vader's mission to Dargulli also takes
on a strange and confusing context. The mission is diverted because of a
Rebel ship, and I was led into believing that this was a trap by the
that's how the authors wanted the readers to think. As expected, the
Rebel ship explodes in the docking bay of the Star Destroyer. But
although the captain (who is a conspirator, too) seems relieved that
Vader was expelled into open space, Vader doesn't sense any duplicity
when he comes back on board, protected by his suit and the Force. They
work together to destroy the actual Rebel ship with a procedure that was
really too technical to work in a comic setting, but shows a bit of
And speaking of Anakin... is there any
reason that Vader would be going through an identity crisis at this
time? He thinks back on his first meeting with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, his
discussions with Padmé (who is drawn terribly), and various other
discussions with his former Master. I see no purpose to this, and I
seriously doubt that Vader was wondering about the path he took twenty
years in the past just before he comes across Ben Kenobi again in
A New Hope.
Revenge of the Sith left it unclear
about whether the Emperor knew that Anakin's child (or children)
survived -or even if Padmé survived. His discussion during
Strikes Back makes sense, because Luke was discovered before that. But
for the Emperor to entice Vader with the idea that the
lightsaber-wielding person on Dargulli might be his offspring does not,
at this point in the timeline.
I would think that the Emperor would have spent a lot of energy trying
to find Padmé and the child if he knew that they survived.
In the end, Vader chooses the Dark Side
again, and kills the woman (who just wanted to become a Sith Apprentice,
after all...), and fends off a bunch of thugs, with the help of Boba
Fett. When he returns to the ship, he kills all of the stormtroopers
sent to kill him in the real trap.
The artwork was mainly good, but
degraded into featureless blobs for people at times. There was not much
in the way of interesting backgrounds or colors. The best artwork comes
on the cover of the trade paperback.
Despite my many complaints about this
book, I was intrigued by the story. I wish it could have been presented
much better, perhaps removing a lot of the extraneous stuff and filling
out some detail. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to the plot to help
decide what was filler and what should have been kept.