Knights of the Old Republic #4
Commencement Part 4 (of 6)
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Travis Charest
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/14/2007)
The fugitives Zayne Carrick, Gryph, Camper and Jarael finally get some respit when Camper takes his ship Last Resort into an asteroid field. But desire to contact his old Master on Dantooine has Zayne move the ship out into the open again while the others are sleeping. Jarael wakes up in time to take the ship back, but detects a personel transport getting closer. Despite this, Zayne insists on going to the surface of a rogue moon to find some clues about his Masters' betrayal. It is the same moon where he and his fellow Jedi did their final mission together, and the remains of droid they used back then may hold some answers. Unfortunatetely, the transport ship arrives and aboard is one of the Jedi Masters...
In this issue, the main characters finally have a period of respite from the endless chase that started in the first issue. Camper manages to restart his ship only enough to avoid fire from the Taris patrol ships and go inside an asteroid field. This gives an opportunity for the writer to have the characters reveal their feelings towards each other: Jarael hates Gryph and blames Zayne for their being in trouble, but cares deeply for Camper (whom she calls Perero). And Camper seems to be fearful that the "company" is after him. Speaking of those two, we find out in the back cover recap that they are Arkanians, but we still don't know if they are related to each other or what their past is.
So while they are temporarily safe from the patrols (which doesn't make sense to me... why the smaller patrol ships cannot go where the Last Resort is stationed is not explained), they take the opportunity to grab some shut-eye. But Zayne meanwhile moves the ship out of the asteroids so he can transmit better to Master Vandar Tokar on Dantooine, thus putting the ship in danger. Zayne has been determined to find out why the Masters killed his fellow Padawans and framed him, and he thinks the first step is to convince other Masters of the treachery. Unfortunately, Vonkar believes Zayne may have committed himself to the Dark Side and no help will be coming from this front. The Yoda-like Vonkar is a character from the game, and we even see him standing in the same Council Chamber with other Masters such as Zhar.
Fortunately, their discussion is interrupted when Jarael stuns Zayne and takes the ship back into the asteroid field. She mentions that a patrol personel carrier and some other ships have detected the Last Resort and Zayne has a feeling it's carrying the Jedi Masters from Taris. He also then realizes that they are in the vicinity of the same rogue moon where Zayne undertook his final assignement with his Masters and fellow Padawans before the infamous "ceremony". Realizing that he might find some clues, Zayne goes to the meteor-showered surface along with Jarael to the same spot where his Masters stood several days earlier while the Padawans crossed a valley using only the Force to guide them. Looking at some marks on the ground made by shield generator pylons, Zayne remembers the bulk-loader droid T1-LB who apparently had fallen off the cliff not so accidentally after all. But they don't have a chance to recover the remains and read the droid's memory, because a Jedi and some armed troops have caught up with them.
Admittedly, this issue (and series so far) has some inconsistencies. But it is gettng better and more serious with each issue. I can see potential for this series to be good at some point. So far for me only curiosity and the fact that I have to review them have kept me reading, and the story only has two more issues to get better (at least for this story arc).
Much like the writing, the art seems to get a bit better with each issue. I'm not a huge fan of the artist but I admit he has a distinct style that might appeal to some. The coloring job is excellent, as is the cover by Travis Charest. So far, his covers have depicted just a small moment from the comic, and this one shows three of the armed guys who arrive with the Jedi on the last page. A weird choice but it's innovative.
It might be too late for the story arc to get get better, but this issue shows a lot of potential for the continuing series.
Rating: 6.5 / 10