Vector Part 11 (of 12)
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Omar Francia
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/23/2009)
A Sith Lord changes into a rakghoul in front of Emperor Darth Krayt after reporting he saw Cade Skywalker on Had Abbadon. Then, Krayt receives a personal call from Karness Muur, inhabiting a talisman worn by Celeste Morne, to come meet him or Cade will die. Dying from an incurable disease, Krayt has nothing to loose except his only hope for a cure: Cade's Dark Side healing power. The Sith Emperor arrives with three of his underlings, against Muur's wishes, and he quickly discovers the ruse as Cade and his friends attack them, hoping to but an end to Sith rule.
The Devaronian Sith that escaped last issue is named Darth Reave, we discover right before he changes into a rakghoul and is beheaded by Darth Stryfe. The fact that he managed to hold back the transformation during the trip to Coruscant is pretty amazing. Before he died, Reave reported meeting Cade Skywalker on Had Abbadon when the ex-Jedi and his friends raided the Imperial garrison there. But it turns out this scene is useless, as right after Karness Muur/Celeste Morne contacts Krayt directly via the HoloNet and reveals that he has Cade captive. Knowing about Krayt's deadly affliction, Muur threatens to kill Cade whom he also knows is the only one able to cure the Sith Emperor. The ancient Sith orders that Krayt come alone, but of course he brings reinforcements in the form of Darth Stryfe, Darth Talon and Darth Maladi.
Before they leave, however, Krayt consults Darth Wyyrlock to find out more about their new enemy. Wyyrlock proceeds to tell a tale that he cobbled together from Sith scrolls he recently aquired from the fortress of Darth Andeddu (in issue #27): Karness Muur's earliest recorded appearance is woven into the existing story of the Hundred-Year Darkness, the ensuing Battle of Corbos and the exile to Korriban that was chronicled in the recent book Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force. Turns out that Muur was one of the Dark Jedi who survived and came to Korriban where he and others were worshipped by the native Sith people. He was essentially one of the first Sith "Lords". Wyyrlock also reveals that Muur had found a way to preserve his mind inside a talisman, and that he discovered ways to heal the body with Sith magicks. He could possibly be able to heal Krayt. Armed with this knowledge, the Sith Emperor goes to meet his fate on Had Abbadon.
It turns out that all this was a ploy to lure Krayt into a trap (as we knew from reading the previous two-issues). The fact that the ancient Sith Lord Karness Muur agreed to go along with Cade's plan is a bit hard to swallow. Even when we find out he has his own agenda and plans to take over Krayt's ailing body (!), it's hard to believe he would go through this trouble and not try to take over Cade instead. What would be more believable would have been if Celeste pretended to speak as Muur; though the HoloNet, Krayt would not have known the difference provided that Celeste used a low, raspy tone as represented by Muur's distinct red word balloons. It's even more unbelievable that Muur did not detect the presence of the other Sith that came with Krayt until they actually meet face-to-face. The fact that Muur doesn't kill the shackled Cade right away as he threatened to do should have clued in Krayt that he was walking into a trap.
But this doesn't make much difference as Cade soon reveals his shackles are not secure, and his associates begin their surprise attack. Muur had started to work his healing power on Krayt, but when the attack begins Celeste regains control and sicks a bunch of rakghouls on the Sith Emperor. Meanwhile, Cade takes on Talon, Shado Vao takes on Maladi, Stryfe tries to save his Master, and Antares Draco takes the opportunity to attack Celeste to take possession of the talisman. But Muur takes over and easily defeats Draco, not willing to give his power to the unworthy Roan Fel. This is when Krayt decides he has enough and proclaims "It is time for an ending."
This issue has a lot of action, obviously. If you are not too philosophical about the story it is enjoyable for what it is. There's a lot of fighting, a bit of Sith history, and the "Vector" storyline is almost at its conclusion. There are a couple of cool moments, such as the banter between Cade and Darth Talon (they had a bit of a fling in issue #17) and Draco fighting with Azlyn over who's the leader of their group. It all boils up to what promises to be an explosive conclusion to this year-long crossover.
I really love Duursema's action poses and fighting stances. And here she can really shine. She also is good at illustrating the flashback to the origin of the Sith, down to the Jedi costumes and Sith people from Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith and a leviathan of Corbos straight out of Jedi Academy: Leviathan. I'm happy to see Darth Stryfe again (from issue issue #16) and the scene on page 10 where the four Sith are walking towards the "camera" as they arrive on Had Abbadon reminds me of those slow-motion group shots seen in movies like Reservoir Dogs.
Krayt is not happy, Muur wants to control him, and Cade and his friends are caught in the middle.
Rating: 6.5 / 10 Recommended