Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire #3 (of 4)
Story: John Wagner
Penciling: John Nadeau
Inking: Jim Amash
Coloring: Brian Gregory
Lettering: Ellie Deville
Cover: Ken Kelly
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/27/2006)
At hermitage of the Ancient Order of Pessimists on Maryx Minor, Darth Vader and Boba Fett are fighting over the head of Queen Selestrine of the Icarri, who can foretell the future of any man who possesses her. The battle is long and almost evenly matched, but the power of the Force is far greater than any weapon. To escape Vader's grip, Fett kicks the casket containing the head over a cliff, distracting Vader long enough for the bounty hunter to make his escape. Once aboard his Star Destroyer, Vader is contacted by the Emperor who is asking for the head just as Selestrine predicted. Vader then decides to kill Selestrine, as she wished it before she told Vader of the perils of knowing the future.
Reading this issue, I realize that the first three were just a set-up for this confrontation. It was a nice set-up, and it is also a nice confrontation. I think the fight is well executed, and leaves it open for further association between the two. If anything, this proved to Vader that Fett is a man who's not easy to kill. It's pretty cool also how Wagner slipped in the origin of the infamous dent in Fett's helmet: a blast from his gauntlet is deflected by Vader's lightsaber back onto Fett's head. And after everything is over and everyone is on their way back, it's also cool to see that Fett had his chance to kill Vader, while he was concentrating on rescuing the casket from falling over the cliff. Fett had one clear shot, but he didn't take it fearing the wrath of the Empire. But it leaves the question: who really won the fight? I think Fett won, just by surviving. There is also a humorous/sad bit where the grand hermit of the Order of Pessismists decides to convert to optimism, right before the hermitage gets blastd into oblivion by one of the orbiting Star Destroyer's laser canon. I think this series is a fun read, one I will enjoy again and again over the years.
Probably due to some work not being done on time, John Nadeau is replacing Ian Gibson for this final issue. I would have liked to have the series done by one artist, but nevertheless Nadeau does a good job emulating Gibson's cartoony style, even though it ends up looking a bit more realistic. He's also better at drawing action poses, which is needed for a fight sequence. You can really feel the blows and the characters being pushed around. This means that I like Nadeau's art better. In the end, I don't think the average reader will notice the difference when reading the trade paperback collection.
I also want to say that Ken Kelly's covers have been a highlight of this series. I can't believe it's the same artist who painted covers for so many of my Robert E. Howard books from the 70's. He also did the covers for the first twelve issues of the Star Wars ongoing series, and his style is so perfect for Star Wars. Any one of these is worthy of being displayed at an art gallery.
It was worth the wait. The one and only fight between two of Star Wars' favorite villains.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended