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CE Crimson Empire #2 (of 6)
Story: Mike Richardson, Randy Stradley
Pencils: Paul Gulacy
Inks: P Craig Russell
Colors: Dave Stewart
Editor: Diana Schutz

Summary

Kanos meets the local New Republic who disagree on whether to trust him, while Jax discovers his whereabouts. Local Imperials launch an attack on the rebel base.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 02/06/98

Story
I expected that focusing on Kir Kanos would be help this story. Where issue #2 showcases Kanos, it's not a bad book. He isn't as interesting as Baron Fel (in the XWing series), but he's got his own brand of appealing motivation. The flashback sequence (the weakest point of #1) was also a marked improvement. The problem is that everything else about the book is a disaster.

We know that Jax is a master in hand-to-hand combat and that people are afraid of him... but I just don't see why he has any power. Even the greatest secret service agent wouldn't be able to seize control of the senate and command the army. It's clear from the flashback that the Royal Guard were trained for loyalty and submission... not ambition and free thinking. Does this guy have some power in the Force that I'm not aware of? So far we've got a bureaucrat hunting down a former co-worker who knows a secret.

I find the dialog to be unimaginative and shallow. (It doesn't help that it came out the same day as LC#3 and XWing#27 for direct comparison...)

Art
The art is this book is not growing on me. The giant eyes and exclusive use 45, 90 and 180 degree camera angles. The faces don't advance the story, they simply tell us who's talking.

The first picture of Mirith Sinn (a last name in the fine tradition of Solo and Skywalker?) gave me an impression of the character. All of her dialog for the rest of the issue tries to contradict the image I was given. The caring, local head of the New Republic shouldn't be wearing a superhero costume. Her character reminded me why I stopped buying Catwoman.

I'm not sure if Sadeet is supposed to be a Trandoshan, but this is perhaps the least original alien I've seen in a while. I've seen him before... wrestling Captain Kirk, eating mice in "V" (along with Mirith as 'Diana') and his larger cousin walking through Tokyo. (Did he have to be green?)

The work on color was marvelous once again, but it's wasted here.

Conclusions
Mike Hansen's question in the lettercol makes me worry that a negative reaction to this title will be a vote against titles without the main movie heroes. I think that a focus on other characters is wonderful... but no idea can be carried out with poor writing and poor art.

4/10. Not recommended.

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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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