The Clone Wars #4
Slaves of the Republic
Chapter 4: Auction of a Million Souls
Story: Henry Gilroy
Pencilling: Scott Hepburn
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Michael E. Wiggam
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Scott Hepburn, Ronda Pattison
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (08/22/2009)
With an undercover Anakin as her escort "Lars Quell", Zygerrian Queen Miraj is bringing back an old tradition and holding a slave auction. Bidders come from all over tha galaxy, including the Separatist leaders of the Techno Union and Commerce Guild. The bidding for the Togruta people of Kiros is underway when the auction is interrupted by a guard bringing in Obi-Wan Kenobi as prisoner. The Queen sends "Lars" to whip the Jedi, and this unexpected turn of events forces Anakin to reveal himself. With Rex and Ahsoka as backup, the Jedi fight off the guard, but are all captured despite their efforts to get to the Queen. The Queen still decides to keep Anakin as her servant, despite Count Dooku's order to execute the Jedi, using his captured friends as leverage. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan is shipped off to the labor colony on Kadavo.
The story so far has many flaws, but least it's consistent. First of all, the Jedi's whole plan doesn't seem to be well thought-out. Due to the utter stupidity and carelessness of the Zygerrians, the Jedi have managed to infiltrate the auction and even gain the trust of the Queen. So what after that? Even if Obi-Wan hadn't been captured, he was supposed to flee away with the rescued Togrutan leader Governor Roshti. So how were one Jedi, one Padawan and one clone supposed to overtake hundreds of armed guards and rescue millions of slaves? Were they maybe planning to just find their location and report it to the Republic, but how can the Zygerrians hide 8,000,000 beings? It seems impossible to be able to capture this exaggerated number of sentients, but we find out the Separatists did the work and gave them away to the Zygerrians in hopes they will join Count Dooku's movement with a place for the Queen on the Council. But maybe that won't happen since Dooku reprimends her for holding the auction and revealing their alliance too early. But what would it change if it happened later? And how come Wat Tembor and Shu Mai, who came to participate int he auction, never informed Dooku?
Speaking of the Queen, she must be the dumbest villain ever portrayed in a Star Wars story. Not only was she easily fooled by Anakin and his "slave girl" Ahsoka, after they reveal themselves as Jedi she still keeps Anakin in her private quarters. When she comes to join him after her briefing with Dooku, we find Anakin is not even restrained or guarded, and she even gives him back his lightsaber! How long does she think she can hold Ahsoka and Obi-Wan in a cage and labor camp respectively? Any positives? There is an attempt at a rivality when the Queen continually assaults Ahsoka and the disguised Padawan can do nothing but give her dirty looks. And the action scene is not bad but doesn't result in anything more than Anakin and Ahsoka's capture (we loose sight of Rex after that fight). All the inconsistencies, along with a dumb villains and the silly "whip the Jedi!" scene, make the story hard to enjoy. According to next issue's cover, Dooku and Asajj will be involved. I hope they come in and whip some sense into the Zygerrians!
Scott Hepburn returns after a two-issue/five-month break. I really like his art and this is the highlight of this issue since I'm not too keen on the story. He manages to create very interesting characters with realistic expressions but staying true to the tone of the TV show. I actually like that he uses his own style inspired by the designs of the show, as opposed to copy the show exactly. I think Hepburn and last issue's Marangon are perfect for this series, much more so that the Fillbach brothers (from The Clone Wars digest-size one shots).
It's getting more and more illogical and silly. Will this story ever end?
Rating: 5 / 10