Into the Core
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Omar Francia
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Omar Francia
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (10/26/2008)
Darth Wyyrlock goes to the fortress of the ancient Sith Lord Darth Andeddu on Prakith to uncover secrets that can save his Master Darth Krayt from his inevitable downfall.
This all-Sith story begins right after Cade's escape from the Sith Temple on Coruscant in issue #19. During the fight, Darth Nihl lost his right arm and Darth Talon was fatally injure, but we find out here that they both survived. Nihl's punishment is to loose his position as Darth Krayt's Hand (to be replaced by Darth Stryfe) and to get a Yuuzhan Vong implant to replace his lost limb. The Emperor denies Talon the benefits of a bacta tank, instead letting her fight for her own life in a healing meditation. The fight with Cade has also left Krayt drained, so he asks his confident and most trusted aide, Darth Wyyrlock (the third to bear the name) to put him in his stasis chamber.
Afterwards, Wyyrlock studies ancient Sith texts and consults Darth Andeddu's Holocron (last seen in issue #5 again to find out how to preserve one's body after death. But the image of the ancient Sith Lord refuses to impart that information to a pretender Sith, so Wyyrlock informs him that he learned about Andeddu's real resting place was not the tomb on Korriban but his ancient keep on the Deep Core planet Prakith (coincidentally, the same planet that housed the Citadel Inquisitorius during Darth Sidious' Empire). Once he navigated the dangerous hyperlanes of the Deep Core, Wyyrlock locates the crumbling fortress. Inside, he finds a degenerate band of Sith followers who name themselves the Malevolence and have been guarding the secrets held within for over a century. It goes without saying that their meager powers are no match for a real Sith, who uses his powers of illusion to confuse the untrained humans. Wyyrlock kills all but one, named Gerlun, who leads the Sith down a spiral staircase to the real tomb of Darth Andeddu.
Wyyrlock brought Andeddu's Holocron with him, and the ancient Lord's image tries to manipulate him to place it on the withered corpse. Wyyrlock doesn't fall for it and starts to read the ancient Sith scrolls founds within the chamber. But Gerlun sees his chance for revenge: he seizes the Holocron and places it on the corpses chest, resulting in Gerlun's life being drained from him and the corpse to be reanimated, now reunited with its spirit. Turns out that the "Holocron" was in fact a repository for Andeddu's intellect, proving that the ancient Sith Lord did in fact discover the secret of preserving his life after death. Then a powerful battle of Force illusions ensues, and although they appear equally matched Wyyrlock wins in the end when he figures out Andeddu's weakness is to loose his source of power. In the end, Wyyrlock grabs several old tomes and goes back to his ship and his Master.
This is one of my favorite issues in a long time, mostly because it deals with the Sith and explores the differences between the old and new orders. We also discover some new Sith lore and explore the planet Prakith for the first time in comic book form. Since I'm not entirely fond of the future era of Legacy, I love it when a story deals with an aspect of the more familiar past. Also, the story is very well written and the lies and deception of the Sith are well represented. This one is top-notch.
At first glance, I thought the cover was done by the great Dan Brereton (of Nocturnals fame) as it ressembles his style very much. But on close inspection and a look at the credits revealed that it is by the same artist who did the cover for last issue (and several upcoming ones) as well as the interior art for #20-21. Omar Francia is also the interior artist for this issue, and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. His use of digital paint on his cover artwork, and a dark, realistic style in the interior art (some of which you can see on his comics blog) almost matching Jan Duursema's is just amazing. He is perfectly suited for this type of dark, dirty underground story and is just as good at depicting outfits and shelves full of ancient mouldy tomes as he is with aliens and starships. I will be watching for this artist's future work (including two covers for the upcoming conclusion of the "Vector" storyline).
A nice interlude-style story dealing with ancient Sith and their secrets. I haven't enjoyed a Legacy story that much since issue #4.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended