Fight Another Day Part 1
Script: John Ostrander
Art: Omar Francia
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Omar Francia
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (08/20/2009)
As retaliation for some Mon Calamari to assist in stopping one of his plans, Darth Krayt has declared the entire species to be exterminated to set an example to the galaxy Somewhere nearby, a sinister plot is underway. Extermination camps have been established in the depths of Dac and survivors are being hunted down by Imperials. A group of Mon Calamari Rangers are succesful in stopping an attack from an Acklay Battle Fortress with the help of their new associate, an Imperial Knight. But nearby, a sinister plot is underway. A Sith scientist, who created an ancient Leviathan monster, awakens it with the Sith Lord in charge and they order it to attack the Mon Calamari who attacked the Acklay Base earlier.
This story takes place in the wake of the events of issue #22 in which Darth Krayt ordered the Mon Calamari people to be exterminated or put in camps. Weeks later (during the events of "Vector" in #28-31), some groups who managed to survive are hiding in the depths of their home planet Dac fleeing the Imperial forces hunting them down. The story starts with one such group, unarmed civilians of all ages, being attacked by Shark Squadron and its mobile Acklay Battle Fortress Sea Lion under the command of Commander Sturves. Then a group of Mon Calamari Rangers come to the rescue, and they have an Imperial Knight with them. After defeating a squad of Sea Troopers, Master Treis Sinde infiltrates the base and the resulting firefight causes a fuel cell to explode. Before he leaves, Sinde is confronted by a Sluissi chief mechanic named Bor Alsek who used to serve under his command on the Intrepid. Unfortunately, they both now serve different emperors and their loyalties will not allow them to co-exist.
The death of Bor Alsek by his own hand deeply marks Master Sinde. After the Imperials retreat and the Rangers rendezvous in a grotto bringing along a lone female refugee with her infant, Sinde gives them all a speech about no hope of victory and only fighting to buy time until someone else comes to defeat the Sith. The Ranger leader, Tanquar, decides to escort the woman and her child to another location after Sinde makes him realize the Rangers won't be able to feed refugees. At least, Sinde then tells Tanquar that he would never betray or abandon them.
Somewhere else, at the Imperial Extermination Camp 28, Sith scientist Vul Isen is planning to start his project in earnest. He has adapted an ancient Sith Leviathan for underwater use, and with the help of Sith overseer Darth Azard (returning from issue #22) wakes up the creature with orders to hunt down and kill Mon Calamaris. It starts by absorbing the life force of the prisoners at the camp, therby learning more about the species it's about to hunt. Then Azard suggests to send the Leviathan after the Rangers who attacked the Sea Lion earlier that day. Vul Isen is only happy to oblige, and they follow the creature aboard their AT-AT swimmer. We can only imagine that Master Sinde is going to have his hands full.
After the events of "Vector", this is a nice change of pace. I like the occasional non-Cade stories that explore other parts of the galaxy. This one is a simple story expanding on a loose plot thread and delves into the cruelty of the Sith Empire. There is still the issue of loyalties that has been addressed several times in this series. And I love the choice of aliens this time: we get a Givin scientist, a Sluissi chief mechanic, a Quarren Sith Lord (who first appeared in issue #20) and of course, a Sith Leviathan that has been adapted to live underwater. I also love the appearance of the little-used AT-AT swimmer and modernized seatroopers. The story overall is very tragic, dealing with issues of mass genocide, and there is time for some action as well, with the implication of lots more to come next issue.
Once I got past the beautiful cover by Francia and read the story, I didn't really mind that Duursema is taking a break. Francia is just as good doing the interior art and every panel is filled with beauty and detail. I love the panel layouts, sometimes very creative, and the designs of the Imperial Knight and Mon Calamari Ranger underwater armors are very cool. All the characters are full of expression of face and movement, the Sith look very sinister and the Sea Leviathan is truly a frightening sight. And Francia depicts each of them masterfully.
A good old-fashioned good vs. evil story and the set-up for a great confrontation.
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Recommended