Hidden Enemy Part 3 (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)
Quinlan uses some lessons he has learned in the past to help him escape the clone troopers looking for him. After being wounded again, he is found by Chak the Wookiee. While Chak leaves him to get Villie, Quinlan attacks Commander Faie and is shot again in the process. When Villie arrives he finds the clone commander and Quinlan, both lying on the ground dead. Or so he thinks.
After reading this issue, I realized that the last two pages from last issue took place "in the future". In this issue we find out that Quinlan had already evaded the clones, and was found by Chak the Wookiee who left him in a tree to go get help. While waiting in the tree, Quinlan records his final thoughts and feelings in a holocron in hopes of passing this on to Khaleen and their child. That's where we left him last issue and the main narration picks up again on page 14.
But before that, we see what happened to get him there. It starts during a heavy rainstorm, where Quinlan has time to got into a healing trance and mourn for his fellow Jedi, especially Aayla Secura his former apprentice. In pure Ostrander narrative style, Quinlan flashes back to several events in his life and each one helps him in his present situation. First he remembers one of his first lessons from Yoda, of how to use the Force to feel the rain falling on moving objects and uses that to detect a clone trooper passing by. Then he remembers a lesson from Count Dooku where he had to take control of a dangerous creature or be killed by it and uses that to control an anakkonanake in attacking a couple more troopers. Then he remembers one of his early lessons with young Aayla and uses that to help mourn her passing. Then he remembers a lesson from Mace Windu and uses that to pass himself as dead to lure some troopers into a trap made of vines. But he gets wounded in the process and that's when Chak finds him.
While Quinlan is waiting in the tree, Commander Faie calls out to him making threats of an airstrike. That's when Quinlan has a final flashback, remembering his oath to Master Tholme to use his lightsaber for peace and justice because now he has to betray that oath because he has to take out Faie to save the village.He jumps on the clone and gets shot point blank in the process. Cut to a scene where a clone trooper finds Villie having a funeral for his Jedi friend. Then it custs to 8 months later on an unnamed planet where Khaleen, her newborn baby, Tholme, T'ra Saa and Chak are holed up in a cave watching Quinlan's recording on the holocron. Then Quinlan shows up with Villie, and they explain that he survived because Villie switched his body with Commander Faie's.
I must admit that I'm a bit disappointed with this issue. So far the Ostrander/Duursema stories have been amazing, but I just wish they would have let Quinlan die. Maybe it's their love of the character, or maybe they have some plans for the future. But eventually he and the other two Jedi masters have to die, so why not have Quinlan die now. Yes it would be a down ending, but it would be in keeping with the spirit of Revenge of the Sith. And I find the explanation of how he survived a bit too far-fetched. I mean we see him actually get shot in the chest point blank! Some details of the story are vague too, such as the scene where he passes for dead and entangles troopers with vegetation. I'm not too sure I know exactly how it happened. And what have they been doing for eight months? It's never explained other than they've been to Nar Shaddaa only to find Khaleen and the others gone. I think that whole coming back scene should have been left out, and have Khaleen raise her child with help from the two Jedi Masters.
Still more of the same quality from the artistic team. Duursema's ability to merge flashbacks and the present are seamless and never confusing, without needing some different panel frames or coloring. Some scenes are very dramatic, like the panel where we see the clone troopers head floating in the water receiving messages in his comlink, with Quinlan walking away in the distance. One minor gripe is the aforementioned scene of where the clone troopers find him. They says he looks dead, but we don't see him anywhere. I think it turns out he's in a tree but they are looking at the ground. And how do the vines move, is he using the Force or did Quinlan set some old-fashined snares? It just feels the art is not following the dialogue in this scene, and it's not on par with the quality of the rest of the story. When Quinlan shows up at the end, he is wearing his "undercover" outfit that he hasn't worn since issue #54. I guess this is to make clear that he isn't a Jedi anymore. And the baby has the same face paint as Quinlan. Did Khaleen paint that or is it some sort of birthmark?
Disapointing for me because Quinlan survives. I would have liked a more bittersweet ending.
Rating: 6.5 / 10 Recommended