Republic #49 Sacrifice
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Coloring: Joe Wayne
Lettering: Joe Wayne
Cover: Ryan Benjamin
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/12/2004)
Shortly after the Battle of Geonosis, Aayla Secura is sent to The Wheel space station following clues of Quinlan Vos' location. Vos has been acting undercover for two years, and is now posing as a mercenary named Korto Vos. Secura arrives in time to help Vos rescue his thief friend Khaleen after she stole a data disc from a Falleen named Zenex. The disc contains information about the Separatists upcoming attack on Kamino, and the Jedi decide to return the disc so the enemy don't realize it's been intercepted, and then inform the Jedi Council. But it seems the whole thing was planned by a sinister figure known as Sidious.
We jump ahead by about a year from the last story arc. This one takes place "shortly after the Battle of Geonosis", is the first Clone Wars story, and is the last one to have the generic "22 years before A New Hope. The story mentions the Battle of Raxus Prime (from the Clone Wars video game), and is a prelude to the Battle of Kamino, so it's pretty well time-locked at about a month after Geonosis.
The last story arc, "Honor and Duty", was also written by Ostrander and featured Senator Simon Greyshade, a character from the "Wheel" saga from the old Marvel series. This issue conitnues using references from that tale, as it takes place on the Wheel space station.
We find that Quinlan Vos has been spending the last two years setting up a spy network among the Separatists, with the help of Master Tholme. I don't know if Quinlan will take an active part in the Clone Wars, but seeing that the upcoming issues feature the major characters such as Obi-Wan and Anakin, and that Vos "works best in the shadows," but he serves as a perfect link between the previous issues in the ongoing series, and the upcoming Clone Wars stories. It is also a nice prelude, with mentions of Jedi having to become army generals and an upcoming assault on Kamino's cloning facilities. Also, since Ostrander and Duursema created him, and Aayla as well, in the first place, it's only natural that they would show what they've been up to.
The story has a lot of fast-paced action scenes, as well as a well thought-out plot and dialogues, which is typical of Ostrander's work. There are some familiar characters, as well as new ones, such as Khaleen the lady thief who seems to be infatuated with Vos. Also on page 5, we see an alien Jedi with Master Tholme. She is not named yet, but I 'm sure we will see more of her in upcoming issues.
The script has a few typos; misspelled names (Raxis Prime, Lord Tyrannous) and syntax errors ("...and not has responded to my inquiries," "He must by hypersensitive or something"), but this is more of an editorial oversight. Maybe that will be fixed in the collectied edition (speaking of which, this issue is collected in Clone Wars Vol.1: The Defense of Kamino and Other Tales.)
Who is not a fan of Jan Duursema's work? Readers will be familiar from her work on several DC titles, as well as three story arcs of the ongoing Star Wars series, the Darth Maul miniseries, as well as the Attack of the Clones adaptation. She displays her incredible talent here once again with her excellent artwork and plotting, superbly enhanced by Wayne's coloring work. Duursema mastered the art of rendering Quinlan and Aayla at this point, but other characters such as Yoda and several alien species are expertly faithful to their original sources. Duursema has a very dark style, with lots of blacks and shadows which represent the grimness of the underground where the story is set very well. I cannot compliment the art more. Duursema is signed on to illustrate several upcoming issues, so I just hope most of them will be backed up by good stories.
The cover by Benjamin is very nice and is faithful to the interior art, except Quinlan is missing his face paint. Also, I thought the cover had too many captions. "The Clone Wars Have Begun!" is okay, but "Jedi with a Gun!" and "Will the Clone Wars change everything?" is just stating the obvious and a bit over-the-top.
While it's not essential and it's not the greatest story ever told, this issue is enjoyable and will get you geared up for the darkness of the Clone Wars.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended