Rebellion #12 (Empire #52)
Small Victories Part 2 (of 4)
Story: Jeremy Barlow
Art: Colin Wilson
Coloring: Wil Glass
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Colin Wilson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/20/2008)
A strike againt the Imperial fueling depot Bannistar Station by a lone group of Rebels, led by Leia and Luke, goes bad when they find the Imperials waiting for them. The whole group is captured by Commander D'vox, except for Basso who secured an escape shuttle, and Deena Shan who disabled the station's fire safeties. But unfortunately for her, she is discovered by D'vox's cruel right-hand man Rishyk.
The Rebel fleet, led by Admiral Ackbar aboard Home One, has been waiting 6 hours for Princess Leia's ship to join them after they separated while fleeing an Imperial attack. They receive a holographic message from Tungo Li, from just before he blew himself up last issue, revealing to the Rebels the mission he and the others gave themselves and not to come after them because there is no hope of escape. Ackbar agrees that they should not risk the fleet in a dangerous rescue attempt, but Lt. Pollard (a character from Strikeforce: Shantipole, more on that next issue) and Captain Dantels (last seen in Empire #34) have plans of their own.
After that interlude, the story gets back to the different teams who are about to complete their missions. Everyone's in position, but as we found out last issue the Imperials are aware of the infiltrators' presence. The first to get captured are Leia and Able the clone trooper after they planted detonators on empty fuel tanks. Then two brave Rebels sacrifice themselves so Luke and Deena Shan avoid capture. But Luke is soon overtaken by stormtroopers, managing to hold them back while Deena escapes through a security door. But Luke has no intention of going with her; he trusts her with the job and stays behind to slow down pursuit. Luke is captured and reunited with his sister (and Able and three other dudes) as they wake up bound to chairs in the station's command center. Commander D'vox reveals to them that he knows Skywalker's identity and how valuable he is to Palpatine. He plans on using Luke as bargaining chip to secure himself a promotion off this station. Rishyk, who seems to be in charge of the stormtroopers, also says that another Rebel team (Basso's) was killed in the hangar, and that he knows Luke was with another woman. He is determined to find her (and any other Rebels that could still be around), so D'vox puts Rishyk on the job.
Meanwhile, that woman has problems of her own. Deena Shan struggles with the enormous responsibility that has been given to her. Luke trusts her to do the job, but she doesn't believe in herself. She is not hero material, but nonetheless she comes upon the control station to the fire retardant systems and stuns the lone Imperial engineer sitting there. In a moment reminescent of when Artoo plugged into the Death Star's computers, Deena discovers three important facts: Luke, Leia and the others have been captured and are held in the command station; Basso is still alive and secured a transport; but more importantly, that the Empire is planning a massive attack on a civilian planet which they believe is harboring Rebels, much like what happened to Alderaan. This discovery strenghtens Deena's resolve, but unfortunately this is the moment when Rishyk finds her and wants to have some fun before killing her.
For some reason, the story so far gives me the impression of looming dread. I feel like something bad is going to happen, like the mission will not be successful and important people will die. Of course I know Luke and Leia will escape, and Pollard's implied rescue plan offers some hope. But there is so much emphasis on Deena and how she doubts herself, that I feel something bad will happen. Of course no one cares about Able, Basso and the other unnamed Rebel dudes. The way the story is developping, it's just one bad situation after another, and I wonder why the destruction of Bannistar is so important for such key Alliance figures to risk their lives. Anyway, I am looking forward to the next issue, and I hope Rishyk doesn't mistreat Deena too much; I'm just starting to like her!
The art and the coloring are very dark in this issue, adding to the atmosphere of dread. The art style is very European to me, with a wild array of "camera" angles and lots of facial lines. Although I don't like the way Ackbar is portrayed, the art is very good overall and different from what I'm used to see.
Everything goes bad for our Rebels. Can it get any worse? Stay tuned.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended