Knights of the Old Republic #21
Daze of Hate Part 3
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Bong Dazo
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Chris Warner, Michael Atiyeh
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/17/2008)
The bidding for control over a fleet of exogroths comes to an end, but the way Lord Adasca was hoping for. Jedi escapees Zayne Carrick and Lucien Draay create confusion by starting a brawl between Mandalore's warriors and the Republic's soldiers led by Admiral Karath. During the diversion, Zayne frees Jarael with the help of Rohlan and Squint. No longer held back by the fact Jarael was being held hostage and threatened to be harmed, Camper steals away the controls for the giant slugs that he created, and directs them to attack Adascorp's main ship the Arkanian Legacy. Everyone aboard scrambles to escape the damaged ship, while Camper bids farewell to his friends and accomplishes a very noble act.
An explosive finale for "Daze of Hate". While Adasca is still negotiating, and almost leaning towards selling the controls for the exogorths to Mandalore, Carth Onasi meets up with Lucien Draay and Zayne Carrick. The three of them share what they know of the current situation. But when Lucien suggests to kill Jarael, thus freeing Camper to remove control of the exogorths from Adasca, Rohlan arrives and pledges to protect her with his own life. So they come up with a plan B: create confusion among the Mandalorian warriors and the Republic officers currently in the Arkanian Legacy's observatory dome. With major players from opposing sides of the Mandalorian Wars in the same room, how else could it have ended?
Zayne puts on the red armor Mandalore gave to Rohlan last issue, and passing as a Mandalorian he bumps into Carth Onasi. The two start shoving each other and start a major brawl. In the confusion, Zayne frees Jarael and informs Camper via her comlink bracelet. Meanwhile, Master Draay joins the fray, cutting down several of Adasca's HK-24 assassin droids and joining on the side of the Republic along with Squint (who was also present all along). As soon as he hears all this, Camper calls the Last Resort to him on the control station, which he leaves with the controls for the exogorths. What he does then is have the space slugs attack the Arkanian Legacy!
Admiral Karath and the Republic officers retreat to their ship, while Carth intentionally ignores a command to bring Zayne along as a prisoner. Then Jarael, Zayne and Rohlan find the Last Resort's droid Elbee who projects to them a live message from Camper. He announces that he wants to jump several times to hyperspace, leading the space slugs away from any civilized system and evade any pursuers at the same time. A very noble act, but it leaves Jarael very sad and feeling guilty. It also leaves the heroes in a bad situation, when Squint announces that there are no more ships to escape. That's when Master Lucien Draay arrives, fresh from dispatching dozens of assassin droids, and offers to bring them all aboard his ship as long as Zayne will come back with him to Coruscant. Zayne is about to surrender in order to save his friends when the timely arrival of Dob Moomo aboard the Moomo Williwaw offers him an alternative. The Ithorian mercenary brought along Slyssk as a messenger from Gryph who is leading the resistance against the Mandalorians on Taris. Zayne is happy to hear that Gryph is still around (he thought the Snivvian was dead since issue #15). And while unable to catch up with them, Master Draay still overhears the group talk about their destination. The two ships leave separately, flying away from the exploding Arkanian Legacy and the presumed death of the 8th Lord Adasca.
This issue resolves a lot of plot lines that were started several issues ago, and promises to resolve even more in the next 3-part arc that concludes this massive year-long epic story. After a temporary truce, fighting alongside each other for a common goal, Lucien Draay is back to running after Zayne and they are both headed to Taris where it all started way back in issue #1. Speaking of Taris, this issue has a HoloNet report from Cassus Fett announcing that he is the new leader of Taris. The heroes will probably meet him in the following issues. The Camper storyline is also resolved satisfyingly, to Jarael's chagrin. Speaking of Jarael, she did not have a major role in this story arc, mostly playing the damsel in distress all along. But I can't wait to see her back in action. And will Rohlan let Zayne wear his red Neo-Crusader armor that was bestowed upon him by Mandalore? Will Gryph be happy to be reunited with his friends? And since Squint is not seen aboard Lucien Draay's ship, and is assumed to be aboard the Moomo Williwaw, what will he do on Taris? I guess Miller still has a lot of ideas up his sleeve.
I'm kind of glad this is Dazo's last issue. I don't think his art is bad, just not the best I've seen in this pages. This issue seems a bit more rushed, with lots of big panels and full-page illustrations. On the other hand, this could be done intentionally to represent the huge disaster that is happening all around the heroes. Dazo handles the big brawls very nicely, but is not as good with individual characters. I don't really like some of the characters' faces and postures in some panels. The technology is handled properly, and again the whole package is greatly enhanced thanks to Atiyeh's amazing coloring work. About the cover: while I like the two close up panels of characters talking to each other laid over a shot of the main action (very Art Adams-esque), I don't like the depiction of the space slug. It doesn't look at all like the flat-nosed, brown-grey monster we know from The Empire Strikes Back. It looks more like an actual slug, and it has a tongue!?!
An explosive (literally!) ending, and the promise of a great sequel.
Rating: 8 / 10 Highly Recommended