Kanos proves his worth to Grappa, who has partnered with Black Sun to place a clone on the Imperial Council.
If you've been reading my online reviews of the various Crimson Empire issues, you'll know that I'm not exactly a "fan" of the series. When one settles into a strong dislike for a series, it's hard not to see the negative everywhere. This issue kept up many of my primary dislikes: the mystery man eligible for taking over the Empire because he's wearing a nifty costume, the cookie-cutter Grappa the Hutt, the unconvincing Imperial leadership and the shallow lead characters.
Despite these annoyances, objectively I was able to find this issue slightly more enjoyable than the last. I think it's because for the first time the plot has become slightly non-linear, with some of the subplots overlapping a little bit. Since I can't reasonably expect the team to change the series premise at this point, I'll take a slight improvement in the storyline.
My thoughts on the series art remain the same. The good color work is wasted on below average pencils, with the possible exception of some of the familiar alien species where the art is elevated to 'average'. (The familiar species seem quite overused, but the original species designs just don't seem to fit the SW universe... I'm torn on my preference on that issue.)
For the first five pages, I had to check the cover to make sure I hadn't picked up a Judge Dredd title instead. Also, Macus Kayniph held quite a strong resemblance to a tipsy Marlon Brando. I wonder if this was on purpose?
Normally the Dorman cover is the best part of the issue. Arguably, it may still be the highlight of this issue as well, but it is certainly the weakest cover thus far in the series. Not worth the cover price alone.
A slight improvement in the storyline is the right direction, but certainly not enough to make me recommend this title to anyone.
5/10. Not recommended.