Script: Randy Stradley
Art: Gabriel Guzman
Colors: Garry Henderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Douglas Wheatley
Dark Times, indeed. The danger of the refugee camp is discovered by our group of fleeing Jedi protagonists as they make their way out into the Arkinnea wilderness. But their absence doesn’t go unnoticed by the Arkinnean authorities, and now the hunt begins.
Randy Stradley’s story slows as most second issues tend to do. The Jedi leave the refugee camp in the night’s darkness, rediscussing why they must flee and what they’ve fled from before. When the Arkinneans learn of the missing refugees, Captain Relik wants them found immediately, which is relayed through lots of yelling. On the Darth Vader side of things, the changes in Falco Sang’s “training” take effect, and includes one funny exchange between the prisoner and an Imperial officer. Stradley just gets the story moving toward a chase and not much else.
The art continues to impress, however. Gabriel Guzman has several large panels detailing the Arkinnean landscape, transport vehicles, and just normal Vader ruthlessness in combat. One of my favorite moments from the issue is the “silent” panel where an Imperial officer smirks following an example of Vader’s ruthlessness, which captures the entire Imperial image of power and fear. Guzman also has a couple pages with little dialogue, allowing him to tell the story through art alone, even if it’s for something as simple as a ship landing or K’kruhk looking for a form of transportation. You’ve gotta love the Star Wars equivalent of horse and buggy.
Overall, the story was stale for me, but now that the pieces are in place, the chase will likely heat up quickly. This kind of chapter works well in a collected volume, but not so well in a monthly periodical. The art work will keep fans interested as we wait for next month’s issue.
Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.