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CE Crimson Empire #6 (of 6)
Story: Mike Richardson, Randy Stradley
Pencils: Paul Gulacy
Inks: P Craig Russell
Colors: Dave Stewart
Editor: Diana Schutz

Summary

Kanos and Jax face off at the squall in a dual to the death.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 05/22/98

This one has SPOILERS, folks...

Story
This is the exact showdown that has been unmistakenly telegraphed from the first panels of issue #0. However, for a sixteen page fight scene it's pretty well done. Most extended action sequences in comics merely display brute force, wisecracks and trash talking. This is much more of a display of skill against equals. The most surprising aspect is not only the amount of dialog, but the advancement of character and plot that it provided (more than any other point in the series).

Given that Kanos had made up his mind to kill Jax, it doesn't make much sense that he wouldn't finish him off on earlier chances. Of course, this shows his pride and honor and makes the story more interesting... I just have the feeling this happens more in fiction than it would in real life. (Not a criticism, per se, just an observation.) Here's hoping that Jax stays dead.

The discussion of the ruling council gives me some hope for CE II. I think the dismantling of a corrupt council is more interesting than this confrontation with a man who never convinced me why he should have any power at all. The vendetta of Sinn has potential for tension in the sequel as well... making her something other than a Leia-wanna-be.

The brief appearance of Wedge (who looks a lot like Tarkin with hair) turned out to have absolutely no impact on the story in the end. This makes his appearance seem even more like a cheap name dropping device. Since he couldn't completely disappear, it would have been nice to have him do something of consequence.

Art
While I'm not willing to call it great, this is the best art in the series. After the first few issues of rigid poses I would have never guessed that Gulacy would be up to this fight choreography with varying camera angles.

The fact that most panels had faces covered with masks keeping those giant eyes covered up probably helped my opinion. The faces from page 20 to the end were all fine, though. Go figure.

Most exciting is the pencil art on the CE II preview page. This is the best work we've seen the entire series.

Lettercol
Mike Hansen proved me wrong and printed my review of #2. In it, I complained that Sadeet was green which Mike took to mean that I didn't think Trandoshans should have varying skin color. I just wanted to clarify that I feel green makes him look too much like the aliens in "V" or the cheesy lizard Captain Kirk wrestled with. I would be happy with a different skin color (say, red or orange or anything), just not green.

Conclusions
My praise for the issue is based mainly on the disappointment of the first five issues and the promise it gives of something better in CE II. It's an improvement, but not enough to make it worth picking up if you've already stopped buying this series. The story and art still fails to live up to other titles. 6.5/10.

Cover Image

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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.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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