Indomitable Part 2
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Omar Francia
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Douglas Wheatley
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (03/17/2008)
On a mission to steal an Imperial starship, the Galactic Alliance fleet is trapped between Mon Calamari's planetary defenses and an Imperial strike force. But Alliance Admiral Gar Stazi turns the tables on his nemesis, Admiral Dru Valan, and the Imperious is taken under the Imperial's nose. Then a courageous Alliance officer sacrifices himself and the flagship Indomitable in order for the Admiral and the fleet to escape, leaving Valan to face reprisal from his Sith superiors.
After a nice flashback to the Battle of Caamas that shows how Stazi and some Alliance ships escaped the slaughter, the story continues from last issue with the Admiral in a dire situation. Imperial Admiral Valan repeats his order of surrender, but Stazi surprises him by announcing he intends to fight back. At first, the defiance seems like a folly since Valan thinks he has full control of Mon Calamari's orbital defenses and of the almost-completed Imperious. But when the defenses start firing on the Imperial fleet (turns out Monia Gahan overrode and took control of them), and the Advanced Super Star Destroyer starts to move out with the Alliance fleet (ex-stormie Hondo Karr and his team were disguised as Imperial troops aboard the ship), Valan must admire Stazi's strategy. Instead, he is so obsessed by destroying Stazi that he lets the Imperious and the other Alliance ships escape, ignoring warnings from Captain Hoge. He even issues orders to fire on orbital docks in order to get to the Alliance flagship, destroying valuable Imperial resources in the process. The relentless attacks damage the Indomitable greatly, and Stazi's aide Jaius Yorub is wounded by an explosion.
At this point, Stazi communicates to Valan via holonet his intention of flying the Indomitable in the heart of the shipyards and blow everything up. Even though Stazi's intention is very noble, Yorub realizes that the Alliance needs the Admiral as a leader and symbol. So under protest (helped by a healthy blow to the jaw), Stazi is taken away aboard a Rogue Squadron crossfire fighter by pilot Jhoram Bey, and Yorub completes the self-destruct sequence. When the Admiral comes to, he is back at the rendezvous point. The Alliance casualties are high, but they still have their leader and a new prototype Imperial flagship which only needs to be equipped with weapons. Meanwhile aboard the Relentless, Admiral Valan contemplates a blaster while thinking about his report to the Sith.
This is an action-packed finale, to say the least. And amidst all this capital ship action, there is also a nice 4-page starfighter dogfight between Rogue Squadron and some Imperial "eyeballs". It is a story about valor, leadership and sacrifice. We learn a lot about Gar Stazi, who was only a minor character until now. I don't care much about the fight pilots, but the main hero and villain, Admiral vs. Admiral, are truly believable in their convictions. Of course, Valan is not the only one who expects Sith reprisals. The next issue is titled "Retribution" and Stazi is ready for it.
Omar Francia is a very good artist for this series. He has a very good handle of starship battles and military characters. I don't really like the "crossfire" fighters of the Alliance that form Rogue Squadron, but I'm not sure the artist can be blamed for their designs. You have to see Stazi's various expressions to believe them. Francia is able to manifest a whole range of emotions into a normally expression-less alien species. Stazi is certainly one determined Duro! The coloring is just amazing, especially in the starry backgrounds, space explosions and reflections off starship hulls. And what about the cover... simply a beautiful masterpiece.
This is a winner, and makes me forget all about the Jedi vs. the Sith vs. the Imperial Knights. If you love good old fashioned space battles this one is for you!
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Recommended