Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Reads You Review: STAR WARS: CRIMSON EMPIRE III – Empire Lost #2


["Star Wars Central" review page is here.]

STORY: Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley
SCRIPT: Mike Richardson
ART: Paul Gulacy
COLORS: Michael Bartolo
LETTERS: Michael Heisler
COVER: Dave Dorman
28pp, Color, $3.50 U.S.

In the Star Wars Expanded Universe timeline, there is a period known as “The New Republic Era.” This period takes place between 5 to 25 years after the Battle of Yavin (ABY), the climatic battle in the 1977 film, Star Wars, in which Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star. This era essentially begins a year after the events depicted in Return of the Jedi (1983).

In this period, the Rebel Alliance tries to become a functioning galactic government, a New Republic. However, there are growing pains; imperial loyalists, as well as various insurrectionists and warlords, prove to be obstacles. Luke Skywalker also begins training apprentices in order to rebuild the Jedi Order. Star Wars: Crimson Empire is set in “The New Republic Era.”

Star Wars: Crimson Empire – Empire Lost takes place 13 years ABY (or 8 years into “The New Republic Era”). The New Republic’s power and influence is growing, with Chief of State Leia Organa Solo overseeing the government at Coruscant, the home planet of the New Republic’s government.

In Star Wars: Crimson Empire – Empire Lost #2, a hooded figure ferments hatred of the New Republic by speaking before large crowds, but a raid of a toxic weapons dump only hints at his larger plans. At the same time, Kir Kanos, the last remaining member of Emperor Palpatine’s Royal Guards, meets former high-ranking Imperial military officials, as they plot the birth of a new empire. Meanwhile, Mirith Sinn continues her job as Security Chief. She ensures the safety of Leia and her children, but Sinn reluctantly accepted this position. Now, her skills are about to be tested.

In his back page column to readers, Star Wars: Crimson Empire – Empire Lost co-writer and series editor, Randy Stradley seems proud as he talks about the purpose of Crimson Empire III – to tell stories from the part of the Imperials. Stradley and Dark Horse can indeed take pride in Crimson Empire III. This second issue has the requisite sci-fi action that is Star Wars, but, as will likely be the case with the entire series, it will be able to delve deeper into the political scheming and galactic intrigue that George Lucas only lightly touched upon in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

This looks to be a character driven series, and virtually every lead or major supporting character will be attractive to readers. The most intriguing are Kir Kanos, the former Imperial guard, and Mirith Sinn, the security agent with a dark connection to the Skywalker family.

The art by Paul Gulacy is good, both in terms of style and storytelling. He brings the mood and atmosphere necessary to make the story by Mike Richardson and Stradley work as something more than just science fiction action and violence. Over three decades of drawing comics, and Gulacy is still at the top of his game.

Consume Star Wars: Crimson Empire III - Empire Lost

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