Knights of the Old Republic #37
Prophet Motive Part 2
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Bong Dazo
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Dan Scott
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (08/18/2009)
On the moon Metellos 3, Rohlan and Jarael have been captured by a Chevin who runs the Planetary Futures Exchange for the Raff syndicate. They are taken to a solar observatory to be executed. But Zayne and Gryph are not far behind, and in an effort to save their friends pass themselves and Slyssk as couriers for the Syndicate. The Chevin gangster is taken away, leaving his Chev slaves free to run the operation. As usual, Zayne, Gryph and crew, aboard their new starship, manage to turn this whole mess into a profitable situation.
After being captured at the end of last issue, Jarael and Rohlan are now being led off by their Chev captors led by Nunk Plaarvin to the Dustskimmer. In the excursion vessel, they are taken from the market complex on Metellos 3 to the "Negotiation Room", which we discover is used for very dark purposes. Turns out the gangster Plaarvin is just a pawn of the Raff Syndicate, who are really running the local market. Because Jarael, Rohlan and the elusive Griff, one of the Chev's auctions has been ruined and they risk loosing profits. To pay for that, Jarael and Rohlan are being taken to another building where Plaarvin and his slaves can get rid of them without leaving any trace. The execution is... death by sun. The building is an old solar observatory which has been modified with filters to amplify the heat from the local sun. Sounds pretty painful.
Thankfully, Gryph and his newly-arrived partner Zayne Carrick are following them and planning on resuing their friends. But first, they need a mode of transportation to take them across the moon landscape. It just so happens that Gryph appropriated them with a starship during Zayne's absence. And unfortunately, he sent Slyssk to choose and buy the ship. Accordingly, it is not in the best of shapes. Let's just say The Hot Prospect makes the Millennium Falcon look like a luxury liner. Thankfully the ship has an excursion vessel with which they use (off-screen) to get to the Negotiation Room. But first, they have to come up with a plan to go after a member of the feared Raff Syndicate.
When Gryph and Zayne come up with a plan, it's always creative and grandiose (and a testament to the writer's ingenuity). This time, they bust in as fellow representatives of the Raffs coming as courriers to pick up their shares. And since a Human and a Snivvian would not be believable as hardened syndicate captains, they brought along their Trandoshan friend. It's really nice to finally have Slyssk participate in one of the gang's ingenious little scams, and play a role as well. He looks totally the opposite of the scared, scrawny Trando we've come to know and love. They manage to con Plaarvin into leaving the moon to go meet the Syndicate in person, and leave the freed Chevs to run the show. After all, they came up with the idea of the market, they just happened to be owned by an incompetent Chevin.
But what about Jarael and Rohlan? Gryph and his associates came in a bit too late, but in the meantime the two prisoners managed to free themselves, supposedly with Jarael using the Force (?). That's going to be a cool plot point to explore in the future, unless of course we find out the hook that held them in chains just melted from the heat of the sun. In the end, the group went back to the market to resolve their original ploy (from last issue) in which they claimed the planet Italbos, that's been recently purchased, had intelligent life on it therefore negating the claim. Zayne announced that it was all a scam, but traders still insisted on re-buying the rights to it and the group leave with a large profit.
As usual, lots of humor and intrigue. I'm always surprised by the ploys Gryph comes up with. So now he bought a new ship (if we can call it that) and true to character it's a real mess (even mynocks don't like it, as seen in a very funny scene). The gang often get themselves into trouble, but always come up with great plans to get themselves out of it, and sometimes even come out richer. As mentioned, I love that Slyssk is used more this time, and the Jarael-using-the-Force bit is very intriguing. This series is very consitent in its quality and I still love every storyline so far.
As mentioned in my review of last issue, I thing Bongo's art is deformed and exagerated. But this time he gets to create two cool things and make a decent job of it. First, the first appearance of The Hot Prospect, an old gem mining ship which he manages to make look very raggedy with crane arms and tanks all over. It looks very much inspired by real-life ocean mining platforms. Plus as I said the joke with mynocks is pretty funny. Second, Slyssk's disguise as a Raff Syndicate representative. Bongo manages to make him look pretty fierce in an elaborate mercenary outfit (which incorporate parts of the aforementioned mynocks, a nice touch). The artist executes the impression very well, with the Trandoshan slobbering and growling all over the place. But overall, the look is pretty cartoony, which kind of fits the tone of the story now that I think about it.
Back to basics for Gryph and crew. If you enjoy a good scam and some action, read this.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended