Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inks: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Jan Duursema, Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/26/2005)
Now deep undercover inside Dooku's inner circle, Quinlan Vos tries to gain the Count's trust. But a mission to Kiffu to eliminate his own aunt, Sheyf Tinté, who happens to be the leader of the Guardians, proves to be too much for Quinlan to handle. His cover is blown, but Dooku still gives him a chance by shoing him the truth about his past, and a way to save the Jedi from the corrupt Republic.
Despite the title, I find that this is as much a story about Quinlan Vos, a follow up to what was set-up in Republic #54. But it doesn't mean this isn't a good story, quite the opposite. Dooku gets the spotlight in some places, and we do find out a bit about his motives and machinations. Surprisingly, we don't see any mention of his master Darth Sidious, which shows how much freedom and independence Dooku has.
The story opens with a scene much reminiscent of A New Hope: a Republic troopship gets boarded and a Dark Lord strolls in to capture the survivors. Tsui Choi (last seen in Republic #50), the Devaronian Jeisel (last seen in Jedi: Mace Windu) and Kai Justiss. This is Justiss' first appearance in a story, but he's been depicted in several illustrations before by his creator Joe Corroney, in sources such as Star Wars Gamer, Star Wars Insider and the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook (read this interesting story by Joe to find out more).
Dooku is followed by the Weequay fallen Jedi Sora Bulq who also was last seen in Jedi: Mace Windu. Speaking of which, it's nice to see a reference to the novel Shatterpoint, since that book had in turn a reference from Jedi: Mace Windu. It's all connected! Later on, we discover two more fallen Jedi who are now Dooku's followers: Tol Skorr and Kadrian Sey. They are pretty much there to foreshadow what Quinlan might become, and to serve as cannon fodder enforcers, while Sora Bulq is more like Dooku's advisor, almost an equal.
Then the story continues on with Quinlan stalking over to meet with Dooku at his base on Antar 4 (the Gotal homeworld), superimposed with an important flashback that harkens back to before Republic #54. This sequence shows how talented a storyteller Ostrander is, as the narration from the flashback describes the actions of the present. Truly a joy to read. At that point, Dooku makes a little in-joke about the next comic story chronologically ("In the meantime, what do we know about Jabiim?") and the return of Khaleen Hentz, Quinlan's lover who was put in prison the last time we saw her. Master Tholme frees her so she can serve as liaison between Quinlan and the Council. Quinlan is happy to see her, but he does not want to compromise his mission and he sends her back, with information about Dooku's plans.
Next sequence is on Tibrin where Dooku dispatches a corrupt leader, and Quinlan is disgusted by the action but he understands the motivation. The last sequence carries a huge payoff with consequences that will have a big impact later on. Not only does Quinlan finds out the truth about his parents' deaths, but SPOILER WARNING!!!! he finally succumbs to the Dark Side after fighting it for most of his life. The one thing I didn't like is the way Quinlan suddenly goes from being a brave Jedi Master to an evil follower ("What is your will, my master?") literally from one panel to the next. But the story overall is far from disappointing.
Everyone who read my previous reviews knows that I am a huge fan of Jan Duursema's work. Who isn't? This issue, like the previous three Jedi one-shots, is a double-sized issue. So you get twice the goodness! Can someone else do a better likeness of Christopher Lee? But I can't forget to mention the great inking and coloring, which enhance the art tenfold. This issue is more on the somber side, and the somber colors of the characters contrasts real well with the colorful backgrounds of the different exterior locations. Again, truly genious work from all involved.
An essential addition to the Clone Wars period, and the overall Star Wars saga. Buy it for the amazing story or for the incredible art. Take your pick.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended