Knights of the Old Republic #18
Nights of Anger Part 3
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Harvey Tolibao
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Colin Wilson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/29/2007)
Jarael, Camper and Rohlan are still guests aboard Lord Adasca's Arkanian Legacy. While Camper is being treated for an illness, Adasca reveals the reason he is holding them and his plan to control creatures called exogorths as the ship arrives in the Omonoth system. The giant, spacefaring slugs' discovery years ago is linked to Camper. Meanwhile, Rohlan is tasked in inviting an important person to witness Adasca's discovery, while other key figures are contacted by Adasca's aide.
This final part of "Nights of Anger" opens with Lucien Draay on Telerath. The Jedi Master was contacted by Admiral Karath who said that he captured Zayne Carrick and will bring him here. But, as Lucien learns from a droid, Karath's ship the Courageous was overtaken by Mandalorians so chances are slim that he will see Zayne (who is suspected to be either dead or a Mandalorian prisoner). Lucien will leave before the Mandalorians invade Telerath, but first he contacts Haazen for some news about his mother and the Covenant. Haazen reveals some clues that the seers have discovered, namely that a mindless, hungry evil is rising and it is somehow linked to Lord Adasca who has been trying to contact the Revanchist Leader., whoever he or she is (my guess: the future Darth Revan.) Since his father knows Adasca, Lucien is asked to go investigate and find out more about this evil force.
Then back on the Arkanian Legacy, Adasca comforts Jarael about Camper, keeping up the lie that the old man is in quarantine being treated for a rare disease, and invites her to dinner where he will reveal the details of their destination. Of course, since Adasca has been so nice to her and Rohlan, she agrees. Adasca then goes to meet his aide, and Eejee reveals that Camper finally remembers all the details about his project for Adascorp that he started decades earlier. Adasca asks Eejee to send invitations to meet at the rendezvous point, and to analyze Jarael's blood. Eejee suggests that one of the invitations would be better handled by Rohlan, who has been roaming about the ship and who knows the person to contact.
Adasca heads to the public labs where he meets with the Mandalorian defector. The reason Adasca has allowed Rohlan to walk about freely in the Arkanian Legacy is revealed. Apparently, Rohlan knows the truth about Camper and his "disease" and hasn't revealed anything to Jarael when they recently met in the ship's libraries. He has also been studying tutorials about feld medicine, pharmacology and genetics. Lord Adasca is extremely impressed with the Mandalorian, and asks him to do a task in exchange for his hospitality. Rohlan says he would risk revealing his location by contacting this person, but says he will do it if Jarael comes with him when Adasca drops him off. Adasca needs Jarael since she would never leave without Camper and he needs the old man to complete his work. But they come to an agreement when Adasca realizes he only needs Camper's knowledge, and he will let Jarel go "if the old man proves no longer necessary." They do not reveal who this important person is whom Rohlan has to contact, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
The story then cuts to a short scene with the escapees from the Courageous on their way to Arkania aboard Carth Onasi's ship filling in details of their escape after last issue. They receive a message from Eejee, showing that the ranking Republic officer of the Serocco battle group is one of the people invited to meet at the Arkanian Legacy's destination. And finally, the revelation: everything about Camper's past and his "project" for Adascorp is revealed.
After some talk with Jarael about how big a mistake it was for Arkanians to tamper with different species, especially their own (with the creation of offshoots) and how Jarael's blood may somehow allow offshoots to have pureblood children, he shows her a hologram of his plans for Adascorp. Thirty years ago, an Adascorp scientist named Gorman Vandrayk took his team inside a huge exogorth. These are enormous space-travelling beasts which fans will know as the space slug from The Empire Strikes Back. John Jackson Miller reveals a lot of details here that he created about the creatures, including their travelling, eating and hibernation habits, which were previously unexplained. Turns out that the scientist Vandrayk is now known as "Camper", and he found a way to communicate with the exogorths and control their minds to direct them anywhere in the galaxy using hyperdrive engine implants that Adascorp installed on the ones they found in the Omonoth system. And that's the Arkanian Legacy's destination, and has they exit hyperspace Jarael remarks that there a re dozens of the creatures floating about in the dead star system. Lord Adasca plans to use every one of them to further his plans of domination!
This issue answers a lot of mysteries that were set-up over several issues, and creates even more for the next story. I think the concept of elaborating on the little-known space slugs is nothing short of genius. These creatures begged to have some use within the Expanded Universe and now they finally have a chance to shine. Aside from also revealing Camper's real name and background, this issue centers a lot around Jarael and Adasca's developping relationship, or lack thereof. From what Adasca says to Rohlan, his interest in her is "strictly business" and the bit about her blood being able to "cure" Arkanians of the offshoots seems to be it. But from the way he treats and touches her, he seems to be a bit more taken, unless he's a very good actor. For her part, I think Jarael seems interested in the man. After years of seclusion on Taris, I think Jarael feels some attraction when she comments "the company's pleasant enough" at dinner. However, that comment completely goes over Adasca's head as he thinks she is referring to the Adascorp company. I don't know how she will feel about him though, after he revealed his nefarious plans on the last panel.
The issue closes out with a special "invasion edition" of the Taris Holofeed, with the reporter coming under fire as he is writing it. It is a very cool way to show what is happening elsewhere, without slowing down the main story.
This issue has a lot of artistic highlights, including the detailed design of the Arkanian Legacy (both interior and exterior), the very-cool looking exogorths (at last we see more than just the head!) and the beautiful renditions of Jarael. Page 5 has a very nice full-bodied portrait of her, wearing the very elegant dress from last isue. We get a good look at her Vulcan ears, as well as her... lower external organs. Let's just say that not many women can wear blue lipstick as good as Jarael does. Again, Tolibao is also creative with the panels' layouts, playing a lot with the blank spaces between them. The colors by Atiyeh are truly incredible and add a lot to the enjoyment of reading the story. I do have a beef with the cover (and it's even less relevant than last issue's) which shows Jarael in handcuffs with Rohlan ordering her captor, Lord Adasca, to release her or else. That's not at all the way it happens in the story!
A very revealing conclusion, and great set-up for the next story arc.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended