Mark Hurliman is back with another comic review. This week Mark covers the recently released stand-alone Purge- Seconds to Die. Is it worth the slightly higher price? Keep reading to find out!
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jim Hall
Inks: Alex Lei & Mark McKenna
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Travis Charest
After the seeming final defeat of the
Sith, the Republic enters a state of
complacency. In the waning years of
the Republic, the Senate rife with cor-
ruption, the ambitious Senator Pal-
patine causes himself to be elected
Supreme Chancellor. This is the era
of the prequel trilogy.
The events of this story take place
approximately nineteen years
before the Battle of Yavin.
PURGE Seconds to Die
Order 66 triggered the era of the Empire. As the Republic secured a victory over the Separatists, Jedi on every battlefield of the Clone Wars were attacked by their own troops. Those few who escaped the purge were forced into hiding.
But one young survivor of the attack on the Jedi Temple is through with hiding. She decided to act.
If she can kill Vader and take his place beside Palpatine, there is a chance to live—but if she fails, she will have only seconds to die…
So if you missed the first Purge one-shot you missed out big. So now is the time to catch this installment of the Purge story before it’s too late.
This story starts from the point of view of Sha Koon, Jedi on the run, and the niece of none other then High Council member Plo Kloon. She starts out viewing the world through the Force, and taking the reader on a kaleidoscope of events and times as she struggles to place the events in a semblance of order. We watch as her Padawan falls in the Clone Wars, and how it scarred her both physically and emotionally. We witness her years later in a fierce battle with the Dark Lord, Vader.
She then focuses on an encounter with her uncle after Dooku’s death during the events of Revenge of the Sith. In this scene he asks her to seek out the hidden enemy in the Senate, to follow the leads to the Sith Lord. She accepts readily since it will keep her out of the war longer.
This task leaves her in the Jedi Temple during the events of Operation: Knightfall. As chance would have it- her uncle’s death overwhelms her due to their strong telepathic link causing her to black out. As she comes to; smoke fills the Temple. She comes across some 501st troopers who open fire and engage her, forcing her to flee. And as she flees she runs right into the Library room as Anakin Skywalker cuts down Jocasta Nu. (At this point I wasn’t too sure how much I was going to enjoy this one; seems like everyone finds out about Anakin being a traitor these days.) Once more Sha Koon flees- and explains a secret set of passageways that few Jedi in the Temple knew of. Knowing everything she knows in life has been destroyed she goes into hiding.
The Comic takes on a second half feel here; time has moved forward, and Sha Koon has been continuing her uncles task and researching the Sith and Sith Lore, she sets out to join Palpatine, and offers to kill Vader, Palpatine clever as ever pits her against her Apprentice and agrees to send Vader to her as planned.
As Vader heads into the confrontation Sha mentions that as she knows who Vader is, and so too does he recognize her presence in the Force. Vader sees through her lies, knowing she has no intention of joining Palpatine, but of killing him. Sha though is just as content to further cripple Palpatine’s rule by simply killing Vader and finishing what (we the reader and movie goers know) Kenobi started.
Their fight is, as comics go, epic; both sides delivering blows and as the fight comes to a deadly end the beginning comes full circle. And as it does; as Sha Koon passes into the Force, she sees what the future has in store. She witnesses Luke and Leia’s impact on Galactic events, and the events above Endor. And just as she thinks all is lost as Palpatine crisps Luke with Sith Lightning; Anakin Skywalker atones for his evil by killing his Master and bringing the Balance. (I enjoyed this series of pages the most; We get the feel that Anakin was critical in wiping out both Orders while leaving things a clean slate for Luke, we are even treated to a scene with Cighal, Corran, Kyle, Luke, Mara, and Saba as long after Vader’s death his son leads the Return of the Jedi to the galaxy.)
So as Sha Koon passes into the Force, she dies at Peace, knowing that despite Vader’s taunts, she was not the Last of the Jedi. And the Sith shall not rule forever.
The story ends with Vader being debriefed by Palpatine. Vader tells his Master of the feeling he had from Sha Koon in the Force. Palpatine dismisses it all since his vision of the future holds the Empire in power to no end. But as we know; the future is always in motion…
For a one shot I gave this one a 3½ of 5; it was a good story to be sure, but felt like one more of those“Jedi who knows Anakin” stories. But the second half of the story definitely makes up for that “repeat” feel. All the way to the end, I wondered how it would end. I knew Sha Koon’s story couldn’t end well, but the way the battles played out I was tricked into false assumptions so kudos to the Dark Horse team for once more telling a tale that keeps the reader wondering “What‘s next?” Which, with the lack of editor and publisher comments in the back, I am curious too; what is next? Time will tell.
Written by EUC Reviewer Mark Hurliman