Broken Part 2
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Adam Hughes
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (06/28/2007)
Seven years after the fall of the Jedi at Ossus, Master Wolfe Sazen, his Padawan Shado Vao and two other Jedi meet on Daluuj. Sazen tells them the time has come for the Jedi to rally together and find Cade Skywalker to help them defeat the Sith. But their meeting is interrupted by attacking Sith who kill two of the Jedi. Meanwhile on Lok, Cade Skywalker and his associates Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue come to Brogar's place to capture Naxy Screeger, a snitch who owes bail money to the bounty hunters' boss Rav. While there, they accidentally come upon a Bothan Jedi named Hask and also capture him and plan to deliver him to the Sith who have placed a bounty on all Jedi. And across the Galaxy at the Sith Temple on Coruscant, Darth Talon passes her final test by killing her master Darth Ruyn and is sent on her first mission to catch up with Princess Marasiah at the Imperial Mission on Socorro in order to find her father, former Emperor and Imperial Knight Roan Fel.
[1st & 2nd printings]
This issue is pretty clearly divided in three different parts, each one telling a bit of catching up to the seven years that have passed since the last issue. The scene with the Jedi pretty much tells us that Sazen is still going to try to find Cade Skywalker since he seems to think the descendant of the Skywalker line is the first step to overthrow the Sith. Of course for dramatic reasons the Sith have to attack and kill two of the Jedi to show how urgent the task is.
The biggest revelation is to find out Cade's new profession. I'm sure the writers thought of ways to make Cade as different as possible from Luke. Why not make him a cold-hearted bounty hunter? Well, it works but I think he is a little too cold. There is apoint in the bar scene where he stops Syn from killing the Jedi, preferring to capture him alive. I really thought he was doing it in respect of his father and his former vocation. But the dialogue that follows shows that he has no mercy, even after the Jedi practically begs him not to deliver him to the Sith. Very heartbreaking.
The Zeltron woman Deliah Blue seems like a typical hard-ass who uses her charms to get close to her targets and then strike without mercy. Jariah Syn looks similar in appearance to Quinlan Vos, but is very different in attitude. He seems like the kind of guy who shoots first and asks questions later. How those three met and came together would be an interesting story to tell, and hopefully we will find out soon. Although we don't actually see him, the bounty hunters mention that they are collecting the bounty for Rav, a former pirate for whom Cade and Jariah used to work. Do they still work for him, or just collect bounties for him? The owner of the cantina/safe house, an Advosze named Brogar, has to make an arrangement with Cade to allow him to capture people in his establishment.
We must not forget about the Sith either, and Ostrander does so by introducing a brand new one (well two actually, if you count the brief appearance of Darth Ruyn). Darth Talon was featured on the covers of #0 and #1, but makes her first appearance here. She passes her final test and is christened by Darth Krayt who makes her his personal assassin. Krayt is quick to send her off planet after his old enemy Roan Fel. But first Talon tracks down Fel's daughter Princess Marasiah and brings her out first by burning down her hiding place, the Imperial Mission on Socorro maintained by missionary Astraal Vao, and then by killing her personal bodyguard and teacher, Imperial Knight Elke Vetter. But the Princess seems to escape alive... for now.
All those new characters are interesting, even if some don't stay alive very long. The dialogue is pretty believable, in pure Ostrander fashion. As I mentioned, I especially like the scene in the speeder on the way from Borgar's. The dialogue between the captured Jedi and Cade is just so dramatic. I just didn't like to see Jariah utter the swear word "frakkin'" a couple fo times. What, is he from the Battlestar Galactica? Another Ostrander trademark is his knowledge of the EU and throwing in little references here and there. In this one, we see Jariah pull out a thud bug, an item dating back to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. Of course as a nostalgic fan, I love seeing a Zeltron in a modern comic. They were one of my favorite species from the old Marvel series (along with Hoojibs and Nagai of course). Also, the planet Daluuj is where Luke Skywalker met Admiral Ackbar for the first time in the "Revenge of the Jedi" newspaper stip (now available online for Hyperspace members.) This is a very enjoyable story and has almost unlimited potential to go in any direction. It can also be very dark and gritty since we don't know how any character will turn out later. It's just weird to see all these events unfold at the same time, just as if nobody had done anything in the last seven years and now all decided to act. But I guess it is called suspension of disbelief.
Duursema's art is always a treat for the eyes. Some scenes just keep my attention for a long time while I follow the action through the character poses. For example, my eyes kept dragging on some panels during the Jedi fight on Daluuj. There's just so much information in the poses and movements that it pays to check out every detail. I thought it was a weird idea to have the Jedi meet at a place surrounded by droid heads impaled on poles. Who puts droid heads on poles anyway, and why would they meet at such a creepy place in the first place? Much like Ostrander, Duursema also loves to add little references; during that fight, there is brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by a red-skinned Rodian Sith! That's the first and probably last time we'll see that. In the cantina, the guy who arranges passage off planet for Hosk looks very much like Kelbo from the Star Wars Holiday Special. I always love that Duursema draws a lot of aliens and they look very convincing.
The covers by Adam Huges are just fantastic, and this one in particular is very appropriate as it features the three main characters of this issue.
The "Broken" story arc is truly begun. Action and intrigue aplenty.
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Recommended