Knights of the Old Republic #41
Dueling Ambitions Part 3
Script: John Jackson Miller
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Dan Scott
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/26/2009)
While Zayne, Rohlan and Goethar Kleej are fighting to protect Goethar's son Aubin in the Tandem Final, Jarael and Gryph sneak a datacube to the arena's musician. When ordered to play music, the musician unknowingly plays a recording incriminating the Franchise who have been dealing with slavers. During the commotion, Zayne and his friends manage to sneak Goethar and his son away from Jervo's World. But when Goethar meets Jarael for the first time, he recognizes her tattoo marks which prompts her to reveal a dark secret about her past.
The storyline is resolved satisfactorily, and in true Miller fashion with unexpected surprises. The Tandem Final is finally here, and the finalists have to compete against each other. Aside from Zayne, Rohlan, Goethar and Aubin, the other team consists of duelists from the previous issues: the Togorian sisters astrice mosgoths, a Tyluun Night-soarer and a Mandellian Giant (those last two species from the old Marvel series). As promised last issue, Jervo Thalien is arranging a little "accident" by arming the opponents with deadly means. The fight is short and brutal, the min goal being to protect the helpless Aubin. They manage to escpae into the stands and sneak away during a major commotion.
Gryph's secret plan is put in motion, and it works perfectly (for once). He gets his revenge on Jervo Thalien when the recording of his conversation (from last issue) is played to the crowd over the P.A. system. He enlisted Jarael to disguise herself and pretend to be interested in the arena's head musician, switching his music datacube for one with the incriminating recording. To distract the crowd from the announcement, Bardron reveals Rohlan as the winner. But unbeknownst to all, this creates a rift between Lhosan Industries' Franchise and the Crucible slaver organization. When Jervo reveals that to the Crucible representative Bardron, someone else appears in the room and is not happy with the situation. A red-skinned woman strangles Jervo with her whip, and announces that she wants to find Jarael.
Meanwhile, the group have smuggled Goethar and his son in a trash bin (thanks to planting Elbee among the trash droids early one) to Pantolomin where they can taste their new freedom. But when Jarael removes the blue makeup she wore to pull the switch on the musician, Goethar recognizes the marks on her face as the ones from the people who enlaved him. He leaves the group in a fury, saying that Zayne is a traitor if he knows one of the slavers. Zayne confronts Jarael about this and she does confess that she was once a slaver.
Tons of questions! Now we find out some clues about Jarael's past before she met Camper. And also someone who is after her, this red-skinned (Zeltron?) slaver lady with a mean streak. How with Zayne and the others react to Jarael now that they know? Miller creates lots of excitement and intrigue, and as usual I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Ching is the mainstay of this series, so I'm used to his depictions of the main characters. The new characters, like the musician and the Zeltron lady are very well designed with elaborate costumes. The Tyluun night-soarer and Mandellian Giant are also pretty good, but not 100% faithful to their previous appearances (although the cover is a lot more faithful, and represents an actual panel from the story). The mosgoths on the other hand are look more menacing and more realistic than the only other depiction of the creatures in Alliance Intelligence Reports from West End Games. Aside from that, Ching's art is as good as ever with the panel composition, and the coloring by Atiyeh is astounding as usual.
Clues about Jarael's dark past! And someone who knew her in that time looking for her!
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended