Knights of the Old Republic #11
Reunion Part 1
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (07/29/2007)
Marn Hierogryph has money in a bank acount, but it has been frozen because of his status as an outlaw fugitive. So he goes to the bank planet Telerath to rectify the problem. Camper disguises himself as Gryph's alias "Baron Hyro Margryph" and with Jarael disguised as his aide "Chantique", they meet with banker Arvan. Unfortunately, Arvan is the target of the Moomo brothers, a pair of Ithorians who were hired to watch him but instead decide to grab the banker. Zayne goes to the rescue, and so he comes face-to-face with someone from his past.
I really love how Gryph always has a plan. Not only that, but in this story he instructs his "employees" via comlink. It so happens that Gryph has money in an account under one of his many aliases, Baron Hyro Margryph. Unlike his other alias Baron Hieromarn (in issue #0), this one is not publicly known to be a Snivvian. But Gryph is, and he is also wanted by the authorities. The reason his account is frozen in the first place is because the "Baron"'s and Gryph's names are so similar. It makes perfect sense, then, to send someone else under that identity to the bank and sort this all out. In this case, it's Camper, in one of his clear-headed moments, who dresses up as the Baron and he goes with his protector "Chantique" (Jarael is quickly becoming a master of disguise herself).
The banking planet Telerath is new, although a nod is given to the old Marvel series by mentionning Aargau another banking planet that has resufarced more recently in many sources. But Telerath has a different approach: it treats its customers on a more personal level, transactions are made outdoors amid the many beautiful parks, and there are no visible armed guards, making it look more like a vacation resort than a traditional banking planet.
After being greeted by GG-36 "Gigi", Camper and Jarael are introduced to newly-arrived but experienced banker Arvan. At that point, we are introduced to Dob and Del Moomo, Ithorian brothers who are hired to keep a watch on their target. At first, we are made to think that they somehow recognized Camper and Jarael and hope the two fugitives will lead them to the big catch, Zayne Carrick. But that is a bit of a red herring as they then change from being observers to a more hands-on approach and run out to grab the banker Arvan, who is really their target for some reason that will hopefully be revealed in the next issue. Jarael fights back, and then she runs after the two hunters along with Camper. Meantime, Zayne and Gryph know that something is wrong and get out of the Last Resort where they were hiding to go investigate. They find Jarael taking care of Camper who slipped back into one of his mind-freezes, and by learning that the kidnappers are two Ithorians Gryph deduces who they are. Form what he knows about the Moomo brothers, Gryph says there is nothing to worry about: even Valius Ling (RIP, see issue #6) fired them for their incompetence. Zayne then rushes to catch up with the kidnappers.
In issue #8, Zayne said about his parents: "My mother's a gardener. My father's got a dead-end job at a nowhere bank." Well that was a clue. When Arvan is physically grabbed by two stumbling Ithorian hunters and Zayne gets out from hiding to go after them, the last thing he expected was to be reunited with his father. That is where the issue ends, kind of a cliff-hanger. This is full of Miller's typical humor and good characterization, and this story seems to be less about major galactic events and more on a personal level with the main characters. We don't see many stories where characters go withdraw some funds at the bank, and this is what makes this one interesting as it deals with an aspect of everyday life in the Star Wars galaxy. But of course, there is still a lot of action mixed-in as in any good Star Wars tale.
I like Ching's art more than usual in this story. The backdrops of Telerath, the Ithorian brothers and the costumes are all very cool. The coloring is amazing. At least, this series has been pretty consistent so far where art is concerned. The cover by Hoon, who last did the incredible Jedi: Yoda one-shot, is great and makes the Ithorians look way more menacing by giving them more weapons than they have in the actual story.
A new story arc dealing with more personal aspects of the main characters' lives.
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Highly Recommended