Rebellion #4 (Empire #44)
My Brother, My Enemy Part 4 (of 5)
Story: Rob Williams
Art: Brandon Badeaux
Coloring: Wil Glass
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Brandon Badeaux, Dan Jackson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (06/30/2007)
Luke and Deena manage to rescue Janek Sunber. But when they return to the Rebel fleet they are met with disapproval for their actions. At the same time, Jorin Sol is interrogated about his murderous actions. So now the Rebel command ship has two potential traitor aboard, each with their own part to play to bring about the end of the Rebel Alliance.
Last issue, Luke disobeyed a direct command from Princess Leia (who seems to be the leader of the Alliance. Where are Mon Mothma or any of the other leaders?) and put the fleet at risk by going to meet with Janek "Tank" Sunber, with Deena going with him. This issue picks up with the two Rebels fighting their way out of the abandonned station to their shuttle, with Sunber is tow. Sunber is wounded during the escape, making his defection more convincing. There is a small homage to a sequence in A New Hope when Captain Roshuir orders his stormtroopers to "open the door!" only to shout "Close the blast doors! Close the blast doors" when he finds out there is only vacuum on the other side in the wake of Luke's shuttle departing. When they return to the Rebel command ship, Luke only receives the silent treatment by Leia, a debriefing and a severe rebuke as punishment for his actions.
As I was hoping, this issue continues the Jorin Sol plot, but the Rebels still don't handle him properly. Sol is interrogated by Wedge (?) who judges that "a few days' rest" should be enough to forget that he almost killed Deena Shan. At least Rebel spymaster Tungo Li seems to disagree with that assessment although he doesn't act on it. So the Rebels let him wander freely in the command ship, smiling at him and welcoming him back until of course he pulls out a gun and shoots Leia, wounding her right in front of Luke's eyes. Was it all a big mistake? Now that Sol has sent the location of the fleet to Vader and disabled the navigational computers, will the Rebels finally put him in the brig?
Another big mistake is the fact that they let Imperial lieutenant Janek Sunber also wander the ship freely. Of course he is first put in the brig and evaluated by Tungo Li, then he is followed at all times by armed guards which makes it more believable. But where are those guards when Sunber puts a blaster to Luke's head? I guess this being the cliffhanger I'll wait until the next issue to pass judgement on that. The problem is, it shows Luke (and the Rebels) as being way to naive. I mean Luke even lets Sunber hold his lightsaber! Tungo Li says in his report that the Rebellion has accepted defecting Imperials before, but he points out that Sunber could have voluntarily submitted to torture to make his wounds more convinving. So if there is such doubt, why let him in so early? Of course the reader knows more than the Rebels, since we can see Sunber's dream about Vader ordering him to bring Luke to him alive, and we can read his thoughts about Luke being an inconsiderate butcher and enemy of the Empire. But still, there are enough hints that they should at least hold him in custody for a while.
Even if this issue is better than the previous one, I still think it has a lot of plot holes and lapses in logic. The Rebels just don't act like a group of soldiers on the run from the Empire, taking every precaution and avoiding unnecessary risks to insure their survival. They seem to throw caution to the wind, and especially Luke who is way too trusting of his former friend after what happened in their last encounter.
Badeaux is back after a one issue break. His artwork seems a bit rushed this time. A lot of the characters' faces look similar to one another with a narrow faced, sunken cheeks style of his. The stormtoopers' helmets also seem a bit too narrow. What I find most weird is his artistic choice of making the inside of the command ship hangar look like it has walls carved out of ice just like in Echo Base on Hoth! And also Luke and another officer wear the cold weather gear seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Does it mean that they are on their way to Hoth, or is it just trying to bridge the gap style-wise between A New Hope and its sequel? In any case, I think this type of dress would be a little hot for a climate-controlled starship interior. The one piece that impressed me is the double-page spread on pages 20-21 showing Vader on the bridge of a Star Destroyer (the Executor?) looking out the viewport at the rest of his fleet coming upon the Rebel fleet. This one must have been a lot of work.
Looking forward to the end of this story arc. And not for good reasons.
Rating: 6 / 10