Knights of the Old Republic #13
Days of Fear Part 1
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Dustin Weaver
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Brian Ching, Michael Atiyeh
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (08/05/2007)
In the backwoods of the planet Ralltiir, Zayne Carrick is parting ways with the two Arkanians Camper and Jarael before they leave with the Last Resort and the droid T1-LB. Then Zayne returns to the spaceport to find Marn Hierogryph who has made arrangements to get a ship delivered. But Slyssk the Trandoshan thief who stole the ship also brings with him the unhappy former crew. As the three companions lift off they come in contact with the Republic fleet in Ralltiir's orbit in preparation for an attack on the Mandalorians. It so happens that the ship they are on, the Little Bivoli, was expected by the fleet as it is a food supply ship. Meanwhile ,aboard the Last Resort, Camper's past catches up with him as someone snuck an assassin droid aboard to capture him.
The story starts out with a Duro named Eejee Vamm who seems to be plugged in to numerous broadcasts and recognizing Camper from his meeting with the banker from issue #11. Vamm then reports to someone named Lord Adasca that he has found what he was looking for. Then it cuts to a fight scene on Ralltiir (which is misspelled Ralltir several times) where Zayne is fighting with Jarael for practice. The reason is so Zayne can test his new vambraces, glowing bracelets than protects his forearms against even glancing blows from lightsabers. They were given to him by Camper as a parting gift, who made them from a tydirium/phrikite alloy. Sadly, after a few adventures together it seems that the action is too much for Camper's health, so Jarael decided that they leave to go lead a peaceful life somewhere. They exchange a few words but I got the feeling that Zayne and Jarael will miss each other.
When Zayne goes back to see Gryph, he finds the Snivvian "crime lord" sitting at an exterior restaurant table. He tells Zayne that he has made arrangements to have a ship delivered, meaning that he wants to own a ship instead of booking passage. When Zayne points out that he doesn't have enough money to buy a ship, Gryph says that he hired someone to steal one which is much cheaper. Zayne does not agree with stealing, but he has no choice but to follow Gryph's plan. Some time after midnight, Gryph and Zayne wait for the ship at landing pad 223. Unfortunately, Gryph's tendency to cut costs means that he hired someone not too competent for the job; Slyssk is something of a joke for a Trandoshan even among his own people. He has trouble landing the ship, and also didn't cover his tracks very well. But Slyssk now felt he owned the ship and was asking for selling price so the two start to bargain, and during the process Gryph apparently saves Slyssk's life which puts the odds in Gryph's favor. Slyssk ends up becoming part of Gryph's small crew, but the hugs and handshakes are interrupted when the former crew of the ship arrive with blasters blazing. But the two companions easily take off, having no choice but to bring Slyssk with them since the Trandoshan now owed a life debt to his ghrakhowsk.
Once in orbit, they see what Jarael saw when she left earlier aboard the Last Resort: the Republic fleet is stationed in Ralltiir's orbit preparing for an attack against the Mandalorians who recently invaded Taris. But to everyone's dismay, the Little Bivoli was actually on a supply run for the fleet when it was stolen! Now the fleet is hailing the ship to get to its position in the fleet behind Admiral Saul Karath's ship the Courageous as they jump to hyperspace.
Then it cuts back to the Last Resort where Camper finds an empty compartment. At first, I thought it would be Rohlan Dyre (who snuck aboard the ship back in issue #10) finally getting out. But when Jarael comes down to investigate some noise, we find out that it was in fact an assassin droid named HK-24 which is the same model as HK-47 from the video game. The droid was more than likely sent by this Lord Adasca to capture Camper for reasons to be revealed later. HK-24 doesn't have any use for Jarael so it determines that its best course of action is to "eliminate!", although I have a feeling that Elbee who is sitting behind the assassin is only pretending to be de-activated. The issue is rounded out by a variation on the Holofeed newsbrief called "The Admiral's List: The Official Communiqué From the Republic Navy". It's an internal news document addressed only to Republic officers, and this "Jimas Veltraa Memorial Edition" refers to some recent officer promotions including two familiar names: Saul Karath is now a Rear Admiral, and Carth Onasi has been promoted to lieutenant.
A lot of major developments seem to be in the making, with Zayne getting close to meeting with Saul Karath (who swore to track down the rogue Jedi) and a part of Camper's past getting close to being revealed. Who is this Lord Adasca, and what did Camper do to him? Aside from that, this issue is full of Miller's usual humor as well mostly in the form of the bumbling Trandoshan.
I think Weaver is my favorite artist on this title so far. His major strength is to put expressions on character's faces, whatever species they may be. I'm a major fan of Trandoshans and it is so cool the way he gave Slyssk some big-puppy eyes, so it makes him look very unthreatening unlike other members of his species. Also the way Weaver draws weapons and starships and technology in general is truly amazing. The only minor gripe I have is some of the angles he chooses for some panels. I won't get into specifics but some panels could have been better seen from a different point of view. But the two page dueling sequence at the beginning is pretty cool to follow.
A new major story arc begins for the second year of the series. Not to be missed.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended