Writer: Mick Harrison
Penciller: Doug Wheatley
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Cover Artist: Travis Charest (#11), Doug Wheatley (#12)
2008’s groundbreaking Star Wars comic book crossover Vector continues in Dark Times #11, Vector part 5. Aboard the Uhumele, the contents of the mysterious cargo crate are revealed, and Captain Heren gets the crew into yet another bad situation, this time involving stormtroopers, Celeste Morne and Darth Vader.
When Heren decides it’s time Bomo learned what was in the crate, we are told the story of the mysterious Jedi Box, which was found under a kilometer of ice on Jebble and fought over by antique collectors for centuries. Now, with the artifact aboard the Uhumele, Heren has set up a meeting on Aridus with someone wishing to buy the artifact.
When the buyer turns out to be Fane Peturri, a historian in league with Darth Vader, things take a turn for the worse. After being taken prisoner, the crew watches Darth Vader and Fane Peturri open the box to find Celeste Morne, a Jedi Knight who has been in stasis for more than four thousand years. After awakening, Celeste learns how long she’s been in stasis and is told the Sith have taken over the Republic. After learning that Vader is a Sith, Celeste attacks Vader in a lightsaber duel, vowing to kill him.
Dark Times #11 was a great issue. Not only does it have an interesting story with great art, but it goes back and explains some missing story points of Dark Time’s last arc, Parallels. We now know why the mysterious box is so important in that arc.
Douglas Wheatley, who pencils this issue, is undoubtedly the most talented artist to ever grace the pages of Star Wars comics. I really enjoy Wheatley’s un-inked, refined penciling style, which is perfect for this issue. Vader, who artists usually mess up when drawing, is spot on in this issue, and seeing Celeste drawn in a non-cartoony way was refreshing. My only problem with this issue’s art is the fact the colors are so mute and depressing. Of course, that might have been what they wanted for this issue because this is such a dark plot.
Overall, this was a really, really good issue. I’m interested in how they’re going to tie this all up in just one more issue.
While Celeste Morne duels Darth Vader, Captain Heren and the crew of the Uhumele make they’re escape. When Muur Karness’ spirit attempts to convince Darth Vader to use the Talisman, Celeste finds a way to control the Muur Talisman’s power. Morne harnesses the device’s dark powers and turns Vader’s platoon of Stormtroopers into rakghouls. The former stormtroopers turn on Vader, who then flees the planet out of fear he’ll be defeated. Celeste Morne and Muur Karness’ spirit are left marooned on the moon with they’re army of rakghouls
As the Uhumele’s crew approach they’re ship, Crys Taanzer falls under the Talisman’s plague and turns into a rakghoul. Heren guns the rakghoul down as they escape aboard the Uhumele, leaving the planet and yet another devastating ordeal behind.
In the aftermath of the dramatic events of Dark Times #12, we are left with a very bored, marooned Celeste Morne controlling an army of rakghouls and a very dead Crys Taanzer. I can’t really see Vader fleeing so easily. The death of Crys was just more un-needed tragedy in an already depressing comic book. In Parallels, we see the possibility of a reunion between Crys and her son, who was with K’Kruhk’s Jedi survivors during Parallels. It’s almost like the writers forgot about that.
Doug Wheatly and Dave Ross pencil this issue. Personally, I don’t like it when the art in one issue switches between two artists, and I wish Wheatly had done all the art for this issue. But both artists do a very good job with the art in this issue. Once again, the colors are the only thing that disappoints me. They seem very dull and flat, compared to some of the gorgeous color work done on Wheatly’s work in the Old Republic comics. Doug Wheatly also does the cover art for this issue, with which he does a fantastic job.
In my opinion, the story wasn’t very good in this issue, and the issue in it’s entirety was just mediocre. The art is what saved it. It ended as it had to. The entire duel with Vader and Celeste was boring and un-exciting, since we know both live. Killing off Crys was just a way of adding something shocking to the story. I’m glad Vector is moving on.
Summaries & Reviews by Chris Pence
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