Review – Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #5 of 5

Script: Haden Blackman
Art: Agustin Alessio
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Dave Wilkins
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The stage is set and the retaliation is at hand, while Gentis prepares for his final move in this overthrow we see the Sith master plan come together and all hell breaks loose. Tohm, Trachta and Vader are hell-bent on stopping this event with their new recruits  and no betrayer will make it through their vengeance for what has been done. The race is on to grip the future of the Empire and the Death Star in this battle and everyone is getting involved in the slugfest.

For those hoping for a tense moment, you get a ton of them and it’s a rough ride as Vader tries to get his army to the front line before it all falls apart. Gentis is on his toes trying to rush this along, Tarkin becomes bait in a larger game and a transport full of unruly prisoners is ready to burst. The length of the issue is no different from before but yet it still feels like a blip in time because of the pacing, everything is on the verge of failure unless perfect timing is obtained. With the Emperor still returning to health as well it’s just a sketchy situation with no room for error.

Vader does what he’s become known for, acting as a pure force of power in the battlefield, slaying anything that gets in his path and taking no prisoners at all. His power extends well beyond the battlefield into his training and daily interactions though, just because you fight with the man it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from his wrath. So no, Vader doesn’t use the force on a jug of milk but he does make it known that no one will upstage him either and with that swoop we go off into oblivion waiting for the next Sith tale to come our way.

Blackman and Alessio do a great job bringing this story to life with highly active panels and story timing, we got in late with the series coverage but it’s so worth the read. The art is crisp and detailed and showcases all of the combatants and future fodder in vivid attention to gesture, emotion and their situations. Let’s hope the duo gets together again in future projects.

Release date: September 19, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Star Wars – Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral #2 of 5

Script: John Jackson Miller
Pencils: Andrea Mutti
Inks: Pierluigi Baldassini
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Paul Renaud
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The adventures on Kesh continue with Spinner and Takara, the duo are left fighting for a way off the south pole only to stumble into powerful company. Given the numbers and toll taken on them from being in the sub-zero climate it’s fair to say they weren’t going to put up much of a battle.

Issue 2 takes off as they move into the home of their captors, finding rich diversity within and a strong sense of the force to go with it. With so many neutral members occupying the city it’s puzzling to both of the new visitors on why this is. Unfortunately, it only takes a few scuffles to draw down the real force and get the story moving. New information is brought forward about the Sith on the planet and so much of the folklore that has been written to this point.

Ultimate weapons, rituals and betrayal are all on the table and Spinner gives readers a chance to see behind his usual troublemaker ways into something much more defining and dangerous. For me I went from not a fan to wanting to slap him around for being ignorant but that’s just me. Miller does a great job developing character traits, I hate being in the middle on characters and the latest issue swept me right into a single decision. The back story on the world and battles that took place and the current state of affairs does help give greater understanding of the situation that culture faces and why they have focused on being in such a harsh climate. The little ends and pieces are all there to help channel where this is all going to wind up while also using a massive cliffhanger to torture people.

Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral #2 is a solid read and a fast one at that, Spinner and Takara really draw a line in the sand in this issue and all hell manages to break out during the process. Let’s just hope our warden can get her prisoner and his latest blunder under control before it’s too late.

Release date: September 12, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview (Coming Soon)

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Star Wars – Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral #1 of 5

Script: John Jackson Miller
Pencils: Andrea Mutti
Inks: Pierluigi Baldassini
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Paul Renaud
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

On our latest journey across the stars we come across the planet Kesh. A world cast into darkness 2000 years ago when a freighter for the Sith Lord Naga Sadow came upon it in an unexpected manner. Instead of falling to ruin, this group stood up and forged their will and became survivors or even better as the Tribe.

Naturally it’s not all so dramatic, we take a focus on Officer Takara and two youth seeking to make some drama out of a celebratory event and the events that lead them into a grander situation. The thing is, Kesh is still divided among natives and Sith as they were the ones to enslave the natives and use their intellectual and engineering superiority to plant themselves above the rest so there’s a bit of anger and general rage sitting around still.

In the story we see a build up of this tension and around Takara who stands on the Sith side as an enforcer or supporter of the law. Her upbringing has never left her to question much until meeting a person who defied all she knew and that’s where our story picks up. Breaking out of the bubble and challenging a new world we see these two crash skulls and take off into the unknown even if the other isn’t exactly crazy about the idea. Did I mention the primary city that both of these guys reside in is pretty much the only main establishment and they know absolutely nothing of what they’re getting into? Well there’s that also.

It’s a bit of a relaxation from the current Star Wars story lines that have been going on lately, everything always so dead serious and tense. While you can feel for the characters in Spiral you don’t sense an immediate danger to their well-being to ponder how they’ll get by or if they’ll even be alive in the next issue. Miller has a fun story coming out and I hope it stays just as entertaining for the next 4 issues.

For those curious about the art, Mutti develops interesting atmospheres that lend themselves to the Star Wars universe but more importantly to a world that would inhabitable to Humans as well given they were able to survive this long. Atiyeh develops color in the world that varies not only from climate to climate but throughout the general moods shown in the panels as well, although I’m still in awe over the palette used to develop Takara’s red hair as it just glows.

Release Date: August 8, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆