Star Wars #33
Darkness Part 2 (of 4)
Scripting: John Ostrander
Pencilling: Jan Duursema
Inking: Ray Kryssing
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Jon Foster
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/12/2010)
Quinlan Vos, his former Master Tholme and smuggler Vilmarh Grarhk reach the town of Deadend on the prison planet Kiffex. Once safe at Villie's place, Tholme reveals to Quinlan another part of his forgotten past about the death of his parents. They were killed by Anzati, the same species which attacked them earlier at the compound. The group then goes to the Black Hole cantina where they come to the aid of another Jedi, Master Zao, who has been accused by the town's new leader Gorto Zaga. As they fight off Zaga's underlings, the Jedi are unaware that an evil force is coming to town, in the form of Quinlan's former Padawan Aayla Secura who is now doing the bidding of Volfe Karkko.
I'm pretty impressed with this story so far! We not only get a look at Quinlan's backstory, but it's a big build-up for the villain Volfe Karkko. Last issue, Quinlan met his former Master Tholme while investigating an attack at a Guardian outpost on Kiffex. They fought off a group of Anzati, unwittingly saving the life of smuggler Villie. Now Villie leads the pair of Jedi to the town of Deadend, which even though it is run by hardened criminals is apparently safer than staying in the wilderness after dark. What is new is that somehow the Aqualish Gorto Zaga (misspelled Draga at one point) got ahold of the blasters from the Guardian outpost and took over the town by force. The group is attacked at the gate, as Zaga's orders are to let no one in after dark, but the criminals did not expect Jedi (this scene is a good excuse for another action scene).
Once inside, Villie leads the Jedi to his infested "hidey-hole" and Tholme finds an excuse to make the Devaronian leave so he can be alone with Quinlan. Tholme makes him touch his mother's old Guardian emblem so he can face his fear once again. This makes me wonder, is this really a good idea? Since Quinlan lost his memory and doesn't remember, why make him remember the fear and take him closer to the Dark Side? After all, this is the whole reason why Tholme was sent by the Jedi Council, to prevent Quinlan from getting closer to the Dark Side. Anyway, the images Quinlan pulls from the emblem and the conversation that follows reveal much about his childhood and how he became a Jedi. When Quinlan was young, the Kiffar Guardian Sheyf was Kurlin Vos and Tholme was the sector's Watchman. Tholme saw the Force potential is Quinlan, but Kurlin, encouraged by his sister Tinte, did not want the boy to leave Kiffu but agreed to have him begin his Jedi training under Tholme's wing. Some years later, Quinlan's parents, Pethros and Tinte's cousin Quian, were killed and their ship crashed on Kiffex. Quian's badge was found and Tinte forced the boy to use his psychometric power on it to find out who killed his parents. Seeing his parents' life energy drained by Anzati sent the boy into a screaming fit that lasted for three day, prompting Tholme to bring him to the Jedi Temple to continue his training.
Tholme is a new Jedi character that was introduced last issue, and this issue introduces two new ones. When Quinlan, Tholme and Villie arrive at the Black Hole cantina, they find the blind Veknoid Jedi named Zao serving as cook for the local leader Gorto Zaga. Apparently, the Aqualish did not like the food so he accused Zao of trying to poison him (creating another good excuse for a fight scene). Tholme recognizes the old Master and he and Quinlan help him fight off Zaga's heavily armed men. Another Jedi introduced in this issue isthe Baragwin Astaal Vilbum, the caretaker of the Temple of First Knowledge on Coruscant. He brings a bad omen to Mace Windu's attention, which was revealed when a long-dormant Holocron activated itself after Quinlan already left. Apparently, the message from the Holocron says that Quinlan's mission is now in jeopardy, prompting Mace to call on the current Watchman of the sector, Tra'Saa (although not seen, she has been mentioned last issue as well and may very well make an appearance next issue).
That ancient evil that is dangerous to Quinlan's life is arriving in town at the end of the issue. It is Aayla Secura herself, Quinlan's long-lost Padawan who is now under the Dark Side influence of Volfe Karkko and is now commanding a band of degenerate Anzati. She is planning to capture the Jedi to feed her master. This is very promising for next issue and it seems like this cool story is just getting more and more interesting.
This issue has a great amount of aliens, both Gorto Zaga and his men, the new Jedi and the Anzati themselves, and Duursema handles them extremely well. The two fight scenes are simpy amazing and there are so many little details that sometimes enhances the story. For example, when Quinlan and Villie are talking at the bar, Villie has a woman with him and after he reveals he has no possessions so he had to steal Quinlan's cloak, the woman is seen walking away in the next panel. The coloring is once again amazing. I love the Kiffex sky with the twin plant Kiffu seen in orbit and all the lightning charges seen in the orange sky. This is truly outstanding work, as is Jon Foster's painted cover.
Three Jedi are now joined together and evil is coming to meet them.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended