Hidden Enemy Part 2 (of 3)
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Jan Duursema, Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/10/2006)
Yoda arrives on Kashyyyk and leads the Republic troops to victory against the Separatist droid army. But after the battle, the three Jedi are betrayed by their own troops. Luminara is killed, Yoda escapes with help from two Wookiees, and Quinlan is badly wounded and left alone to evade the clone troopers who are ordered to make sure he is dead.
Due to a typo on Diamond Comics' release schedule (which they fixed later), this issue was listed in place of #81 for January 11 release. Because of this, many comic book stores received copies of #82 and no copies of #81 until a week or two later. So like a good reviewer I waited to get #81 first, which I reviewed. Then I reviewed this issue but my computer crashed before I had a chance to save it... twice.
So here is my third attempt at reviewing this issue (on a new computer), and this 10 months later. This issue ties in with the Kashyyyk scenes from Revenge of the Sith, and the reader is expected to be familiar with them since they are referred to but not repeated here. Instead, we see what happens in between scenes and on the periphery of the main battle depicted in the movie.
So after Quinlan and Villie resolve their little dispute and the mystery of the Claatuvac guild hyperspace routes is resolved separately by Quin aboard the Inferno (Chak is a member of the clan and shared some of his knowledge with Villie but blabbered too much to strangers on one of their trips) and by Luminara Undulli (she recognized a Claatuvac symbol in one of the paintings in Palsaang village), Yoda arrives on the planet. Of course the discovery of the hyperspace routes and the fact that Commander Faie wants to appropriate them for the Republic is quickly put aside for some more pressing matters. The Jedi are here to defend the planet against Separatists, and the droid army is on the move. There are 5 pages of the battle, bookended between the reports from Yoda that General Grievous has been spotted on Utapau and then that Grievous has been killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Those pages show Luminara attacking the Seps' left flank astride a bantha, but focuses more on Quinlan aboard a catamaran with Tarfful and Chewbacca (right before they planted a bomb on a tank droid as seen in the movie) and then rejoining his troops aboard a Juggernaut tank where he saves Villie from another tank droid, thus returning the favor from last issue.
The page after that depicts Luminara's killing by her troops after taking care of the wounded. Then another page shows Quinlan's apparent death from a Juggernaut tank cannon blast (shown from a different angle than the movie comic adaptation). The page after that shows what happened between the time Yoda killed the troopers who attacked him and when Chewie and Tarfful brought him to a hidden escape pod (hint: there is an awful lot of clone trooper bodies). But that is the last we see of Yoda as he rejoins the events of the movie. So we move on to Quinlan badly wounded but still alive, which was a surprise for me since I was convinced he was dead because of the scene in the movie adaptation. Quinlan discovers that his own clone troops almost killed him, and probably succeeded in killing Luminara and Yoda (and maybe the same scene is repeated for all the other Jedi). He then tries to evade them in the forest using any mode of transportation available. He will have to use all his tricks and survival instincts, and maybe even the Dark Side, to survive this and get off planet. This will be depicted in the next issue, and I have a feeling Villie will play a hand in it too.
Lots of action, battles, explosions, chases... the art is so good it deserves a second look after enjoying the story. There are always some details in the artwork that I haven't noticed before and add flavor to the story. The inks are a little bit thicker in this one, and there is a lot of jungle scenery as Quinlan tries to evade his attackers. I love all the vegetation and animals that fill out the panels. The coloring by Brad Anderson is amazing, especially in highlighting Quinlan's wounds and the lighting on Yoda's face. I think the artistic team is a perfect example of complementing each other, backed by very strong layouts by Duursema.
This issue answers the question if Quinlan survived and how it happened. If you've followed his career so far, you have to see it through to the end, and you won't be disappointed.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended