Star Wars #31
The Hunt for Aurra Sing Part 4 (of 4)
Scripting: Tim Truman
Pencilling: Davidé Fabbri
Inking: Christian Dalla Vecchia
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Jon Foster
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/05/2010)
Aurra Sing has come to the Dark Woman's planet on a job to kill her former master. When her other bounty, Quarren Senator Tikkes, arrives on the planet, Aurra finds even more victims in the Senator's three Jedi companions. Adi Gallia is the firt one to strike, launching a rock at Aurra with the Force. Ki-Adi-Mundi goes to find the Dark Woman who had been injured by one of the Senator's bodyguards, while Adi Gallia inspects the result of her attack on Aurra Sing to find her gone. That leaves Padawan A'Sharad Hett, tasked to take the Senator back inside his ship, alone to confront Aurra Sing when she closed in on her target. The two duel, and A'Sharad skirts the Dark Side as a result of Aurra's taunts about killing his father. In the end, A'Sharad wins the fight and when his companions arrive they see Aurra's unconscious body. But a sudden meteor shower forces the party to leave the premises quickly, leaving no time to take Aurra Sing with them.
I really didn't expect that A'Sharad would be the one dueling Aurra Sing, but I guess it's a good turn of events. First, the other two Jedi are cleverly led away from the Senator. Ki-Adi finds his former Master on the spot where she was shot, but her wound is superficial. The Jedi are then further delayed when Adi Gallia steps on some landmines, prompting Ki-Adi and Dark Woman to go look after her (don't worry, Adi is fine). Then Aurra moves in for the kill only to find the Padawan in her way. She remembers killing A'Sharad's father, the famous Jedi hero Sharad Hett (back in the "Outlander storyline). And A'Sharad also remembers her, but told himself that he would be able to control himself thanks to his training. It feels like he was almost testing himself when he insisted on coming on this mision. Now we get the pay-off, and A'Sharad sadly ins't strong enough to resist the Dark Side. He doesn't kill her though, but gives in to his anger. He is so shamed by his actions that he asks his Master to accept his resignation from the Order. It's the Dark Woman who pleads him to stay on the Jedi way, offering to use her vast experience with the Dark Side to become his new teacher. Ki-Adi agrees, seeing that they both need to redeem themselves. It's all a bit tragic, and moreso the fact that they end up leaving empty-handed with Aurra escaping into the jungle. The whole "Hunt for Aurra Sing" story might feel unrewarding, but there is still an important development in the characters of A'Sharad and Dark Woman. Plus, having Aurra still on the loose is good potential for future stories. Bravo, Mr. Truman for an entertaining story. This storyline is a winner, unlike the previous two ("Infinity's End" and "Starcrash" which were terrible).
NOTE: The story continues in Dark Horse Extra #35-37 "Heart of Fire" before going on to next issue's "Darkness" storyline.
The highlight of course is the duel between A'Sharad and Aurra. It starts with his two lightsabers vs. her one. Then she pulls out a second one, then it gets down and dirty with headbutts and getting hit in the face with metal bars. The Dark Woman has also been very well represented in this series. She sometimes has a haunted look that says much of her character. And here I like the little touch when Ki-Adi is concerned about her wound and we visually see she is using the Force to heal it. The covers by Foster have been great so far, but I find this one not as good. It just has a surreal look to it.
Aurra Sing dueling with A'Sharad Hett.
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended