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Empire #32 In the Shadows of Their Fathers, Part 3 (of 5)

Story: Thomas Andrews
Art: Adriana Melo
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Tomás Giorello
Released: 07/07/2005

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (07/10/2005)

SUMMARY:

The Nationalists and Imperials are attacking the Loyalist stronghold, and the Rebels are trying to fight their way out. Dantels and Leia manage to escape, but Luke and Nolan are captured. Meanwhile in space, Wedge and Hobbie are evading TIE fighters and discover a fleet of slave ships. The slave ships are here to take away local workers to work in mines as part of the deal the Nationalists made for the Empire to leave the planet. The other part of the deal is to hand over the Rebel leaders to the Empire.


[final cover]


[preview cover]


THE STORY

After a sort of fill-in issue, this issue makes up for the lack of action in the previous installment in a big way. I hardly had time to catch my breath between the attack on the base and the escape on speeder bikes and the starfighter dogfight. A lot of good people die, some are captured and one Loyalist, Hesz, turns out to be a traitor, as I predicted in my review of #30.

All three parts of this story arc so far have had the first page or two showing a flashback to the Clone Wars period, which I think is a good way to illustrate Nolan's thoughts about his father. In this issue, I really loved the sequence where Leia is riding her speeder bike into a minefield to evade the Imperials. It shows that Return of the Jedi wasn't her first time riding this type of vehicle. I also like her relationship with Dantels, who acts as her bodyguard but still follows Leia's lead.

Speaking of relationships, I thought it was a nice change to have Hobbie being right this time around instead of Wedge. Hobbie insists on going to rescue their friends planetside, and makes the most decisions on how to evade the Imperials. It's sort of a role-reversal from what I'm used to read about Wedge, showing here that he was not always a squadron leader.

I think it's an interesting idea from the writer or artist to use Republic destroyers for the slave ships. There are already a lot of prequel references in ths story, but those ships were made to carry troops and it makes perfect sense that the Empire would use them to carry slaves.

I was a little confused about the dialogue between Governor Thorne and Nolan about an assassination attempt and some virus and antidote. It seems to be some event of the past that involved Nolan's father, but could have benefitted from more details. But this is minor, and I really enjoy the story so far. So much is revealed in this one it's hard to believe there are two more parts to come.


THE ART

Melo is a lot better at depicting characters than non-Humans. I think the stormtroopers and Artoo and Threepio need a little more work. She is also good at showing X-wings, TIEs, Star Destroyers and speeder bikes. However, there is one panel on page 18 that has an AT-ST shooting down a ledge at the droids, and the angle is not good. The walker seems way too big, and it looks like it's leaning over the edge and should be falling down. But overall I really enjoy Melo's artwork.


CONCLUSIONS

Trust me when I say that this story arc will make a very good collected edition TPB.

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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