The Battle of Jabiim Part 4 (of 4) - Floodgates
Story: Haden Blackman
Art: Brian Ching
Inks: Victor Llamas
Coloring: Joe Wayne
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Jan Duursema
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/20/2005)
As Anakin reaches the camp at Monsoon Mesa, he is forced to make a decision between evacuating the Jabimi rebels who have been allies during the whole battle, and the remaining clone troopers which will serve in the other battles ahead. His decision makes the Jabimi regret ever helping the Jedi. Anakin then arrives on New Holstice to help heal the wonded and honor the fallen. Meanwhile, we find out that Obi-Wan is still very much alive, but held captive by his nemesis Asajj Ventress...
The cover caption says "Anakin's Decision!" and this issue certainly hinges on that concept. What if a Jedi is forced to make a decision that will make betray a people's feelings? Anakin thinks of the Republic, first and foremost, and he can't please everybody. This is a very strong plot device that foreshadows what type of leader Anakin will become down the road. But I am not clear why the Jabimi are so mad at him for leaving them on the planet. It is their planet after all, and they've been living there before. Were they depending on the Republic to leave? Would they have liked the clones to stay instead? This is kind of ambiguous.
I have to mention that this sequence also shows Anakin's first use of the infamous Force choke, as the Jabimi leader Captain Gillmunn needs a little convincing. This action will probably leave a mark in the minds of the Jabimi for years to come (in fact, this is going to be revisited in Empire #29) and also in the minds of the fans. Remember when Vader choked Admiral Motti in A New Hope? Well now we know when he started doing that.
The second half of the issue takes place off Jabiim, on a planet where Republic forces have a base. Bariss Offee is there, and A'Sharad Hett, Ki-Adi Mundi and a Nikto named Bhat Jul. There is a touching scene where Anakin sheds a tear for his fallen comrades, then it's off to a new mission to Aargonar. This, along with the return of Ventress (which Obi-Wan last fought in The Cestus Deception) sets up the next storyline nicely.
I'm starting to get used to Ching's art by now. He doesn't do the greatest-looking characters, and the set-up of the panels and the pages is pretty basic, but overall the backgrounds and starships and all is passable. Nice cover by Duursema, even if the scene is more dramatic than the way it actually happens.
Very nice conclusion to an epic, and equally nice segueway into the next story.
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Recommended