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CE Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood #3 (of 6)
Story: Mike Richardson, Randy Stradley
Pencils: Paul Gulacy
Inks: Randy Emberlin
Colors: Dave Stewart
Cover: Dave Dorman
Editor: Diana Schutz


While Grappa's pirates turn up the heat on the Rebel cargo routes, the Interim Council sinks to unprecedented depths under the leadership of Xandel Carivus. Mirith Sinn finds herself the victim of the greatest deception of all when an old "comrade" finds her amidst Grappa's thugs. Meanwhile, where has Kir Kanos gotten himself to?

EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 12/30/98

The rehashed story elements that annoy me so much about this series continue. This new Hutt not only has a little monkey-lizard sidekick theoretically providing comic relief, but his lair in inhabited by zealots who lurk around in the shadows performing rituals. There's yet another man in a costume trying to seize control of the Empire. * sigh *

On the upside, when I suspend disbelief on the story premises I don't care for, the plot of this issue is slightly better than the last issue (which was slightly better than the first issue). It hasn't reached the point where I find reading the book a positive experience, but the general trend is in the right direction.

The characters themselves remain uniteresting to me, but there were a few glimmers of hope. It was nice to see Carivus clean house on the council, thus hinting that his master's plan might possibly be more involved than just killing everyone like a 'B' horror movie. Carivus realizes that as a pawn he may be sacrificed and Sinn's attempt to save her friend gives her the first sign of reasonable motivation.

Aside from Gulacy's style (his artistic style and I have agreed to disagree so that we can both move on with our lives), the over-used SW cliche choices in the art are getting on my nerves. This Hutt palace is like one of those Star Trek: Deep Space Nine parallel universes to Jabba's. The species composition and count is virtually the same as at Jabba's, though the occational being has swapped roles with another.

This is conceivably forgivable, but then why do these beings have to be wearing the exact same outfit as their Tatooine counterparts? Sure, we see identically dressed Rodians in the films, but do we have to repeat that budget limitation here? Are humans the only ones who haven't adopted a species-wide uniform?

What's the deal on the Tuskin Raider walking by?

If you can accept the style and the subjects chosen, I'd say the art is improving as well. Certainly the color work on this series has been great the whole time.

Basically the same as last month: there is improvement here, but the fatal flaws remain.

5.5/10. Not recommended.

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"EnsViews" are copyright ? 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

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