Broken Part 4
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Adam Hughes
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (07/14/2007)
On Korriban, Darth Krayt fails in obtaining secrets from some ancient Sith Lords. On Vendaxa, the crew of the Mynock and their passengers get help fighting an acklay: the missionary Astraal Vao's twin is a Jedi named Shado Vao, and he brought along Cade's former Master Wolf Sazen. They all meet and plan to get off planet when Darth Talon attacks them. The group temporarily puts her out of commission, but they need to repair the Mynock before they can get off planet, since the Jedi's ship was destroyed. Astraal communicates with her superior Moff Konrad Rus to ask for some help. But unknown to her, Rus is allied with Darth Krayt and she just gave them her and Princess Marasiah Fel's location.
Last time we saw Cade and friends (in issue #3), they were on the way to Vendaxa in their ship the Mynock and carrying two passengers which they were planning to collect a bounty on. In this issue, they are already arrived. When I read they were going to Vendaxa, I should have remembered that it's the homeworld of the acklays, but I was soon reminded as the first panel where we see the crew they are being chased by one. They also find out why the missionary Astraal Vao chose this planet to escape the Sith with Princess Marasiah Fel (or Princess Sia according to the inside cover blurb): it is a meeting point for her and her twin brother in case one of them is in danger. But how would one know that the other is to meet there? Is there some sort of communication device inside the Vao twins' parents' crashed ship which is where the group was attacked? But sure enough, the brother shows up and turns out he's Shado Vao, Cade's former Padawan friend and he brought along his Master Wolf Sazen. The two Jedi and Cade recognize each other (they last saw each other seven years earlier in issue #1) but none of them says or does anything about it. After the Jedi help the crew of the Mynock defeat the acklay, they see their own ship blow up in the distance. Shortly after, they find out who is reponsible as Darth Talon literaly jumps on the two Jedi. But the fight is fierce and both Marasiah and Cade have to reveal their own Force talents to assist.
They don't kill Talon, but they push her away which buys them some time. The only way off planet now is the Mynock, but it needs some repairs (why the Sith didn't also blow it up is brought up but not answered.) Astraal offers to check the comm system, but she hides the fact that she wants to actually use it to contact her superior Moff Konrad Rus. Shado catches her in the act but nonetheless lets her proceed after she convinces him that the Moff is trustworthy. But surprise, surprise! Never trust a Moff. The first thing Moff Rus does after Astraal tells him her location is to report personally to Darth Krayt. But is he really such a traitor? After all, he doesn't reveal anything that Krayt doesn't already know. If Talon is on Vendaxa then the Sith know as well, and Krayt already plans on the Princess getting in touch with her father anyhow. I guess we still have to find out where Moff Rus' loyalties are. So why does Krayt put so much importance on him and the Imperial Mission?
Speaking of the devil, this issue opens with a sequence on the Sith homeworld of Korriban with Krayt visiting the ancient Sith Lords' tombs once again in order to find out how to keep his body from slowly being consumed. We find out his armor is actually made of Yuuzhan Vong lifeforms who feed on him and threaten to overtake him. He summons three from their respective Holocrons, using the Sith Code from the first Knights of the Old Republic game. Darth Bane is contacted because he was afflicted with a similar plight (the orbelisks), Darth Andeddu (created by Ostrander back in Republic #63) because he knows how to preserve one's body after death, and Darth Nihilus (who maintains his incomprehensible speech from the Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords video game) for having had his consciousness containted inside his own armor after death. But all three don't seem to want to help Krayt as they consider him a pretender to the Sith Order. They show him a glimpse of his future when he is temporarily transformed into some form of spiky beast. But Krayt states that he will not give up his search of knowledge.
In this issue, the slang speech Ostrander has been implementing up to now is more evident and maybe a bit overused. It consists mostly of using some words in Huttese much like the crew of Serenity in the Firefly series using chinese exclamations (Syn: "Chuba! Her brother's no missionary, he's a sleemo Jedi!"; Deliah: "Loz noy jitat! That shutta slagged a bunch of systems...") or some other invented expressions to replace more offensive swearing much like characters in both versions of the Battlestar Galactica series (Cade: "E chu ta! You try putting down in this murgling jungle!"; Deliah: "Kark!!"). True, only the three bounty hunters talk like that but it gets a little annoying. Are you reading this, Mr. Ostrander? It's constructive criticism...
Duursema's artwork definitely raises my rating by one or two points every time, otherwise I would not rate them so high as I find this series pretty bland so far. But wow! That giant panel with the acklay attacking on page 6, and that breathtaking 8-page fight with Darth Talon... not to mention the amazing architectural details on the planet Korriban and the cool ancient Sith lords. Note that Duursema chose Bane's look from the Secrets of the Sith book over the one in the Jedi vs. Sith comic series. All this makes it worth buying this issue for the artwork alone! Could I give more praise? Well the inking and coloring are also very noticeable, and the cover by Hughes is still incredible as usual.
More revelations about the main players, a reunion for some of them, and the introduction of a new ally of the bad guys.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended