Trust Issues Part 1
Script: John Ostrander
Art: Colin Wilson
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Dave Ross, Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (08/19/2007)
Cade Skywalker is the object of a quest by Darth Krayt who sends his agents to capture him alive, while Moff Calixte and Grand Admiral Veed plan to get to him first. He was last spotted on the Wheel space station. Meanwhile, Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg who are sent on a mission to escort Captain Mingo Bovark to a meeting with Galactic Alliance Admiral Gar Stazi on the Wheel. This is their punishment by Roan Fel for their disobediance.
Cade Skywalker has taken a backseat in this story, which follows two separate storylines that will undoubtedly converge on the Wheel space station. First off, we find out what happened to poor Bothan Jedi Hosk Trey'lis after Cade and friends captured him back in issue #2. He is being held prisoner in the Sith Temple on Coruscant and being interrogated by Darth Maladi, the head of Sith Intelligence (formerly known as Imperial Intelligence). The Sith lady finally breaks the serene Jedi, and in a very touching scene learns about Skywalker's associates (Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue), on which planet they captured him (Brogar's safehouse on Socorro) and to whom they sold him (Rav the pirate). That information is also relayed to Moff Calixte who is put in charge of capturing Skywalker alive by Darth Maladi. But information like that can be dangerous when placed in the hands of such an ambitious Moff, especially when she is the lover of the one who desires to be Emperor, Grand Admiral Morlish Veed. They both plan to get to Skywalker first before the Sith kill him or turn him to the Dark Side. By monitoring the security cameras there, Calixte has learned that Skywalker was last seen on the Wheel in the Besh Gorgo system.While the Sith have their own agent Jor Tolin on the case, they are not aware of a former Imperial spy named Morrigan Corde and that's why Calixte wants to hire her to capture Skywalker.
Then the action cuts to Bastion. Last time we saw Roan Fel in issue #7 he told his two finest Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg "we'll speak later," referring to their rushing off to save Princess Marasiah on Vendaxa against Fel's express orders. But instead of punishing them and reveal himself as a flawed leader, he surprised them by saying he planned a medal ceremony where the two would be rewarded publicly for saving Fel's daughter. Still, Fel is very angry that he is being put in that position and whispers to Draco that he can forget about marrying Marasiah.
While we don't see the actual ceremony, we do see the two on their first dangerous mission (which is Fel's form of punishment) on the Wheel. They escorted Nimbanel Captain Mingo Bovark to a meeting where he would negociate an alliance with the Galactic Alliance Admiral Gar Stazi, a famous Duros leader who participated in the Battle of Caamas (depicted in last issue's flashback story). The two are introduced by the Wheel's owner, a Kel Dor named Pol Temm, who then leaves the two military men alone to discuss for two more pages. At first, Stazi doesn't see the advantage of the Galactic Alliance teaming up with Fel's Imperial Remnand even though the two groups have the same goal of fighting against Darth Krayt's Empire. But when Bovark mentions that Fel has taken back Bastion, he changes his mind and is now interested in discussing the possibilities. Meanwhile, Draco and Krieg are waiting outside complaining that they had to smuggle their lightsabers aboard the station and that they don't trust the Galactic Alliance guards standing next to them.
Then it cuts back to the search for Skywalker which happens somewhere else on the Wheel. While Moff Calixte thinks the Sith agent Jor Tolin would start looking around Socorro, Tolin is one step ahead of her and is actually on the Wheel where he learned of Skywalker's visit from a Chadra-Fan informer named Haako. But Morrigan Corde is on to Tolin, and stages an attack by thugs on him, which he foils pretty quick. But Corde wants to have a conversation with the dangerous Sith agent, and the only way to do it is to gas him and make sure he is secured when he waked up. I can only assume that she wants to discourage him of his mission while she herself captures Skywalker for Moff Calixte.
Although Cade doesn't have an active part in this issue, it is nice to focus on other characters and learn more about them. After what we learned about Moff Calixte and Grand Admiral Veed's motivations in the last issue, which was a flashback to the events that started the division of the Empire, we find out that they still very much have their own ambitions while suffering under the rule of the Sith. And the repercussions of the "Broken" story arc are felt in the form of the two Imperial Knights' "punishment" and I am starting to really like those guys. It's cool to have them almost star in their own issue. On top of that, Ostrander brings back the Wheel which he previously used in Republic #49 but harks back to an early storyline in the Star Wars Marvel series. I really love Marvel references, and this is the third one so far in this series after Zeltrons (Deliah Blue) and Nagai (Darth Nihl).
I was not very familiar with Colin Wilson's work (aside from last issue's cover) but he seems to be pretty well-known in the industry. He draws in a sort of caricature-style that has a lot of lines, which somehow reminds me of the X-Men comics of the early 90's era. Familiar characters are easily recognizable, while most of the new characters introduced in this issue are heavily inspired by existing characters. Morrigan Corde reminds me a lot of Mira from the Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords video game, as they wear the same exact outfit. Only the hair is different. The Duro General's look is directly based on Mouse from the cover of Empire #37, and his first closeup on page 11 is an exact replica of that cover (check it out here and here). And having a Chadra-Fan informant on The Wheel is very reminescent of Tookarti from Republic #49 and #54 (but his name is Haako, like Rune Haako...).
Editor Randy Stradley, in the letters page at the back of the issue, explains that issue #7 had a coloring error which made us think that Cade was sleeping with Princess Marasiah instead of Deliah Blue. Then he goes on to rectify that mistake by including the corrected page which will probably the one included in the collected TPB of "Broken". (btw, he also mentions that Darth Krayt's identity will be revealed in issue #15...)
Intriguing story, interesting new characters. Bonus points for the Marvel reference.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended