Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Jan Duursema, Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (03/05/2005)
Two years after the Battle of Geonosis, a Confederacy transport carrying a deadly toxin headed for Naboo is intercepted by the Republic over the planet Honoghr. A group of Republic soldiers led by Jedi Rii'ke en is sent to find the Scientific Instrument Package, proof that Dooku was planning to poison a planet. But the native Noghri don't like to have intruders on their planet. When the initial group fails to return, Aayla Secura and clone commander Bly are sent to recover the SIP, located inside an ancient temple. But when Aayla meets her old master, fallen Jedi Quinlan Vos, will their old friendship prevail? And will Commander Bly disobey a direct order and let a wanted criminal go?
This issue is has a few landmark moments. First of all, it's the introduction of Commander Bly and the new clone trooper armor, both of which will be featured in Revenge of the Sith. And not only that, Bly is also the narrator of this tale. Another landmark is the starship that crashes on Honoghr, spilling a deadly poison (named Tri-Hexalophine1138) that will change the planet's environement for a long time and will bring about the story of how Darth Vader becomes leader of the Noghri. Anybody familiar with Timothy Zahn's "Thrawn Trilogy" of books will remember this event from the planet's past.
Another landmark, of course, is Aayla and Quin finally meeting face-to-face since his fall to the Dark Side. He tries to convince her (and himself) that he did all these horrible acts in order to maintain his cover, but aayla is not fooled. She finally realizes that her friend and mentor is gone. But the fact that she survives their battle reveals to her that there might be some good in him.
I also liked the little nod to the Knights of the Old Republic game, where Bly mentions that the temple is believed to built by the Rakata.
The title "Armor" represents Bly's comparison of the Force with his own armor. Since he doesn't understand the Jedi's powers, he imagines that the Force can protect them, but also can have flaws. Although a story told from a clone's point-of-view is nothing new, this is a clever angle that Ostrander uses to great effectiveness.
Another action-filled issue with clones and Jedi and Noghri fighting. And Duursema is up to the task, as usual. It looks like maybe she had a little more time to work on this issue, as every panel is almost perfect. This is what comic books are all about. Kudos to the artistic team.
A great action piece, with a new character from the upcoming movie.
Rating: 9 / 10 Highly Recommended