Empire #3 Betrayal Part 3 (of 4)
Story: Scott Allie
Pencils: Ryan Benjamin
Inking: Curtis Arnold
Coloring: Dave Stewart
Lettering: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Brian Horton
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/01/2007)
Inside the palace, there is double-crossing among the conspirators, as both Grand Moff Trachta and Grand Moff Bartam are killed on separate incidents. After the attempt on Palpatine's life, a new detachment of stormtroopers is assigned to Palace security. As Moff Kadir marches them to the throne room, his attack on the Emperor fails as the Royal Guard defeat the traitors, while Gauer manages to leave without being seen. Meanwhile on Dargulli, after Dezsetes killed Admiral Coy and took over his rank, Vader goes alone to the surface to root out the suspected Force user. But unfortunately, a group of thugs think they can take him down. Unfortunate for them that is.
We're starting to see a payoff to a couple of subplots that were set up in issue #1. Namely the whole conspiracy with the specially-trained stormtroopers and Vader's mission to Dargulli. I think Palpatine foresaw all this and that's why he sent Vader away in the first place. There's one thing that leaves me scratching my head. After Dezsetes kills Admiral Coy in cold blood, the next time we see him Vader calls him Admiral. I think the writer should have had Vader question what happened, or at least explained how Vader know Dezsetes is now an admiral. This is kind of ambiguous. Now we need to find out why Trachta and Bartam were killed, and by whom. It does look like Gauer is the one who killed Trachta, as we see him a few panels later wearing the same mask and costume, but who's the officer who killed Bartam?
Speaking of that scene, this is my favorite because it is kind of told from the point of view of a stormtrooper as he is he's telling a woman that he's going away on a mission. And then he calls secutiry while conforting the woman in his arms. I think it gives a very human side to the stormtroopers. And while the fight between stormtroopers and the Emperor's Royal Guards is very action-packed, the one with Vader and the thugs is expectedly quick and deadly. So now I can't wait to read the next issue.
After all the plotting and scheming, it's nice to finally see some action scenes in this series. The hits look painful, especially when the Royal Guard jump ont he stormtroopers, and when Vader Force puches a poor fellow in a concrete wall. But still I'm not a big fan of the artist's style. I especially don't like the one panel where we see Vader's TIE fighter with the top hatch in the back! I do love the coloring though; just take a look at that Coruscant skyline on page 1 or that starry background on page 3.
It is getting deadly now.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended