Empire #2 Betrayal Part 2 (of 4)
Story: Scott Allie
Pencils: Ryan Benjamin
Inking: Curtis Arnold
Coloring: Dave Stewart
Lettering: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Brian Horton
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/01/2007)
Darth Vader's mission to Dargulli is interrupted by a distress signal coming from a Rebel ship near Yorn Scot. When the Star Destroyer Mathayus brings it aboard, the empty Rebel ship expodes. Vader doesn't know it, but it was an attempt on his life from a group of Imperial officers and Moffs back on Coruscant. Meanwhile, another attempt is made on Emperor Palpatine, right before he boards his shuttle to go oversee the final preparations on the Death Star. However, the Emperor doesn't fall into the trap.
I was a little confused with all the officers and names, so I had to go back and read #1 again. The story goes that Vader deviates from his mission to capture or kill a suspected Force user on Dargulli to almost fall into a trap. But is it a trap set by the Rebels, or by the backstabbing Imperial officers? There was another Rebel ship in the vicinity which Vader proceeds to destroy. Also, there is an officer aboard who is part of the plot to kill the Sith, Captain Dezsetes, second officer of the SD Mathayus, and he is with some 50 stormtroopers who were specially conditioned to not listen to Vader or the Emperor.
Speaking of the devil, he is on his way to his shuttle with his Royal Guard, and then suddenly stops. A bit later a bomb goes off in his shuttle, that was set by some stormtroopers. Apparently, he was supposed to not fall in the trap, this is part of the plan. While all this is happening, the scene with the conspirators continues from where it left last issue (in fact, the first dialogue Trachta says is repeated from there). The cut-away back and forth from the actual story to the conference scene with Trachta, Bartam, Gauer, Moff Kadir and General Skosef is a little bit confusing. It interrupts the flow of the story. I think there should have been some other way to insert the conspirators' plans into the action, maybe by using more text balloons (although there is a good number of them already). I wonder what's going to happen next issue when the Emperor and Vader find out about the conspiracy...
Benjamin's pencils are a little rough, and like I mentioned last issue he is good at depicting the new characters, but has some trouble with existing likenesses, like Vader and stormtroopers. The ships and backgrounds, everything that has to do with technology looks better than living characters. Not my favorite, but it does the job, and the coloring adds a lot of details as well.
Always fun to have a Palpatine & Vader story.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended