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Republic #80

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Republic #73 Trackdown Part 2 (of 2)

Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: David Michael Beck, Brad Anderson
Released: 02/09/2005

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/19/2005)

SUMMARY:

Two individual quests find their answers: On Coruscant, Quinlan Vos finds out from the Anzati assassin Saljé Tasha that the Sith Lord might be Sora Bulq; and on Saleucami, Master Tholme finds out that Sora Bulq is hatching a plan that might tip the balance of the Clone Wars in favor of the Separatists.


[final cover]


[preview cover]


THE STORY

Every clue points to Sora Bulq. After "reading" the Anzati assassin lady, he is convinced that the Sith Master is Sora Bulq, finally finding the answer to his personal quest of redemption. But this story centers more on Master Tholme.

Tholme is one step ahead of Quinlan, although he seeks Sora Bulq for different reasons. Now arrived on Saleucami (without Aayla who was called away to Trigalis last issue, just in time for Obsession #1), Tholme meets up with his old friend and food expert Master Zao (who was mentioned in Republic #69 but not seen since the "Darkness" story arc of #32-35.) Apparently he was believed dead all this time. After a funny exchange about the Velkoid's skills as a chef, Zao serves as informer, confirming that Sora Bulq's presence has been felt in the magma caverns. That's where Tholme heads out, after a very abrupt jump-cut. It does feel like there is a page missing, but we still get the story.

Ostrander once again shows his skill at linking scenes together as we see what Tholme discovers while he is reporting to Aayla in the future. What he finds is that the Separatists are building an army of Morgukai clones, who are trained by Anzati masters in the arts of fighting and assassination. If last issue's Anzati master sounded like a monk out of a kung fu movie, these guys here sound like they are trained as ninjas.

Of course, the inevitable meeting between Sora Bulq and Tholme happens in spectacular fashion. In flashback, we see the rest of what happened after last issue's flashback. How they both managed to survive after their encounter with Dooku after Geonosis. But now old friends are true enemies, but the duel comes to a draw when Tholme slips away, preferring to fight another day, but to cause a lot of damage in the meantime. The Republic has to send their army before the Separatists are driven away, setting the stage for the upcoming Outer Rim sieges, the first step of Sidious' plan to draw the Jedi away from Coruscant, leaving it open for an attack by General Grievous. In the final panel, Darth Sidious announces that the Sith shall have their revenge.


THE ART

This issue has a lot of cool-looking characters in cool-looking scenes: the Anzati assassin lady and her brief fight with Quinlan and Khaleen; Master Zao in all his wisdom; Master Tholme and Sora Bulq dueling it out. Lots of eye pleasers. The cover Beck is nice as the one last issue, but the Nikto warriors don't look much like Nikto.


CONCLUSIONS

Once again, this is mostly for fans of the series, who will totally love this issue.

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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