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CE Crimson Empire #1 (of 6)
Story: Mike Richardson, Randy Stradley
Pencils: Paul Gulacy
Colors: Dave Stewart
Editor: Diana Schutz

Summary

Kir Kanos is a former Emperor's guard who's on the run from Carnor Jax -- another former guard who controls the Empire's ruling council. Features a cameo from Vader and Palpatine.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 12/21/97

Story
The web preview for this series had me quite excited about this series on two fronts: another series featuring a new story in an established timeframe (Dark Empire) and the chance to see the workings of the "secret service"/"navy seals" of the Empire.

We are given some insight into the training of the Emperor's guards in a flash back sequence featuring a cameo by Palpatine and Vader giving the group a lesson. The scene is there both to anchor the series with characters we know as well as to show the brutality of the training. While it accomplishes this, it feels a little shallow somehow...

Tie-ins to Dark Empire are all but gone, however. While issue #1 may be too soon to judge, it looks like we're going to be getting yet another story of an Imperial attempting to grab the reigns of the Empire. I had high hopes for a highly-skilled character with the depth of Baron Fel whose motivation was something other than political aspiration. If a president were killed, I don't think his top body guard would be in line for the position.

I expect that an upcoming shift in focus to the Kanos character will breathe some originality to the story.

Art
Some nice design work was done for this series. I liked the Phaeda architecture, the squall on Yinchorr and the cross between Vader and a Red Guard costume of Jax. (Though that costume was also a peeve for me since Vader and the Emperor - both force adepts - were the only Imperial officers who wore non-standard uniforms.) Most aliens were species we've seen before, which is a nice change from some titles need to make everything up.

The skies in this issue were beautiful... from the first page backdrop, to the Phaeda landing site to the great shot of the Star Destroyer hanging in front of the purple nebula. The color throughout was well done, and the new glossier paper stock adds to the look.

That said, there was something about the art in this book that I just didn't like. I don't know if it was the overly large eyes, the way all of the characters faces were either looking directly at the reader or at 45 degree angles (almost no variance), or the seemingly off body proportions in places or exactly what. The style is fine but the execution just seemed sub-par.

Summary
This is a disappointing start to what could be yet another story about a want- to-be Emperor. The colors are good, but the art is below average. There is potential here, but it hasn't been met yet.

6/10.

Cover Image

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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