Claws of the Dragon Part 6
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Pencilling: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Travis Charest
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/09/2008)
Cade Skywalker engages Darth Krayt in a lightsaber duel. Cade escapes the Sith Temple and jumps in the Mynock. His mother is no longer aboard, but Cade finds his friend Jariah Syn, and also Chak and Kee. Meanwhile, Morrigan Corde says goodbye to her son and returns to her secret life.
In relation to the big 5-issue build-up, the finale happens rather quickly. During the duel Cade reveals that the sessions he endured in Krayt's "embrace of pain" device and the short talk he had with his father's spirit (both seen last issue) have shown him how to use his healing ability to its full extent. Cade is now able to see the damage caused by the Yuuzhan Vong coral eating away at Krayt's body and how close to death the Sith Lord really is. Cade knows that without his healing powers Krayt will soon be taken over by the implants growing inside his body, so by escaping he ensures Krayt's downfall just as much as if he struck him down with his lightsaber. The long-awaited fight is short, but it ends much like the Luke/Vader duel in The Empire Strikes Back, with Cade jumping out a window. The difference this time is that the ship who rescues him is already underneath. Once aboard the Mynock, Cade and Jariah quickly forget their recent feud and embrace each other like the brothers they used to be. Cade finds out that Deliah is mad at him for chating on her with Darth Talon and that Chak is now the owner of his ship, although both facts are probably temporary. But the big revelation is that Cade finally meets his mother. Well, sort of...
Morrigan Corde is the one who engineered the whole plan to rescue Cade from the Sith. Over the last 5 issues, the plan was put into place, and now the results show. During the face-off between Cade and Krayt, Corde flies up to the window using a jetpack, distracts Krayt and yells to her son to run. She then goes her own way, but still briefly talks to her son aboard the ship via comlink. Cade tells her he will find her, but she doesn't want to be found. The final scene is another big revelation: it shows Moff Nyna Calixte in her quarters, changing her eye color and looking at a holo of Kol Skywalker and Morrigan Corde holding a baby Cade... the same holo that Corde herself had back in issue #10. So Nyna Calixte and Morrigan are one and the same, although it is not clear which one is her real name. She was known to Kol as Morrigan when she gave birth to Cade, but then she went back to the Empire and was known to them as Moff Calixte, but which "persona" came first? I never saw it coming, but it all makes sense now; Corde being a "retired" agent only receiving direct orders from Moff Calixte and never being seen in the same room together. I'm sure reading back the entire series would reveal some clues, but the one that comes to mind is the scene in issue #17 where Calixte insists in delivering a cargo to Corde in person instead of Grand Moff Veed, and the actual transaction taking place off-panel. Looking back, Calixte/Corde had a baby with Kol Skywalker, another with Moff Yage, is now involved with Veed and flirting with Jariah Syn! She certainly has been around.
Obviously Krayt is very unhappy about Cade's escape and orders Darth Wyyrlock to search the galaxy to find him, the only hope to heal his ailment. Darth Nihl survived his own fight with Cade, although it cost him an arm. There is also a subplot involving Skull Squadron, who attack the Mynock as it approaches the temple, but are called off by Grand Moff Veed (another part of Corde's plan). Speaking of which, Gunner the captain of Skull Squadron is Moff Calixte's daughter. So that would make her Cade's half-sister! The two haven't even met yet, but even if they did they wouldn't know they have one parent in common. The Legacy series is very good at creating its own characters and having them involved in great revelations. Those surprises at every turn certainly make the series exciting, moreso than the stories themselves. I'm disappointed that "Claws of the Dragon" was just a big origin story for Darth Krayt, with another revelation about Cade's past at the end. These were really the highlights of this 6-parter. The whole reason Cade got captured, rescuing Horsk Fey'lya, turned out to be fruitless but it was kind of forced in the first place. The actual fight scenes with Talon, Nihl and then Krayt were too brief to be rewarding. However Krayt's backstory makes the read certainly worth it.
Duursema certainly has a great handle on the characters she helped create. Krayt, Nihl and Cade look great visually. Perhaps this is because her dual identity is now revealed, but now I can see a ressemblance in the features of Morrigan Corde and Moff Calixte. Great move to keep this hidden for so long! The action scenes are dynamic. The brief starfighter battle is cool. This issue also contains the only shower scene in any Star Wars comic, as far as I can remember. And the "face off!" cover is certainly very effective.
Cade escapes from the clutches of the Sith, and finds out his mother is still around. Plus an extra revelation! The culmination of this story arc is full of surprises. IF you haven't done so, go back and read the entire series.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended