You’re the one who thinks you’re such a great seer. So prove it. Open your eyes.
*So, here we go, Nights of Anger, you guys. Follows right on Days of Fear and takes up three issues of the series. It’s available in the first KOTOR omnibus.
*So, this one starts with Raana Tey, the scariest of all the evil Jedi Masters in this series, having a dream/vision that she’s being confronted by all of the dead padawans and Zayne and they’re going to kill her but she wakes up screaming right before it happens.
*Zayne reiterates in the vision what he told the masters before: “The one who confesses lives.”
*We find out that Tey’s been having these nightmares like crazy. Like “you haven’t slept for more than an hour in a month” crazy.
*Meanwhile, Jarael is on Arkania. She’s come there because Rohlan/Demagol hasn’t been able to help Camper recover from his sickness. He advises her to take Camper to get medical treatment from someone who actually knows more about Arkanians. He suggests Adascorp on Arkania, and so Jarael agrees, even though she knows that Camper’s been hiding from Adascorp for years now. So, she’s on Arkania trying to figure out how to get Camper help.
*But there’s all this racism toward “Offshoots” on Arkania. Jarael is an offshoot, which means she’s, basically, a half-breed between “pureblood” Arkanians and another race. So, she can’t get into the Medcenter and she gets forced onto this shuttle that takes her out to this . . . well, I mean, basically an Offshoot ghetto.
*So, Jarael, who’s actually never been to Arkania before, gets to spend a nice evening with an Arkanian family discovering the hardships faced by her fellow Offshoots and such. Standard trope.
*But she’s able to sneak into the Medcenter in disguise where she meets with Lord Adasca who agrees to help Camper.
*So, Camper worked for Adascorp when it was being run by Lord Adasca’s grandfather; this was during the Sith War.
*Oh, jeez, Master Arca was an Arkanian. That’s why he had the weird eyes like these folks. How did I not notice that before now?
*So, Adasca says that in his grandfather’s day, the company was into some shady stuff, like biological warfare and other messed up science stuff. Camper got accidentally exposed to a virus back then that has led to his sickness now. Adasca says, of course, that Adascorp has gone legitimate since then. I’m skeptical.
*Meanwhile, on the front lines, Admiral Karath’s ship has been attacked and boarded by Mandos. After a lengthy action scene, Karath, Carth Onasi and some other Republic folks take refuge in the brig where Zayne is locked up.
*Luckily, Zayne has spent the last few days using the force to unscrew the bolts out of a wall panel that leads to the cargo bay so they all escape that way.
*Meanwhile, Rohlan’s causing trouble back on the Arkanian Legacy, Adascorp’s headquarter ship. He won’t let the guards take his armor away.
*ROHLAN = DEMAGOL ALERT ROHLAN = DEMAGOL ALERT
* “Enough about me. Why would you bring this whole ship out for the old man?” “Mercy is a central mission of Adascorp.” “Spareme.”
*Adasca tells Rohlan that he has special plans for Jarael and that he’ll need Rohlan/Demagol’s help with it.
*Oh, okay, a twist. The whole thing about the virus was a lie. It turns out that there was just a mold infection on Camper’s ship that was making him sick. They’ve cured him, but they’re keeping it from Jarael. I have to say, even though I knew Adascorp was up to no good, I believed the virus story.
*Boy, it is really weird to see Camper with his hair combed.
*So, Camper wants to know what’s up. Adasca’s right hand man tells him: “We need you to finish the project you were working on when you ran away . . . and we need her to make sure that you do.”
*Then there’s a brief bit of Lucien on Telerath where he’s supposed to be meeting Admiral Karath and the Courageous. He gets the news that the Courageous has been captured/destroyed/something by the Mandos and he allows himself to hope that Zayne died with the Courageous.
*So, Lucien talks to Haazen and it seems that some new dark power is rising. It’s not the Sith, but it’s something pretty bad. Haazen tells Lucien that Adasca has been trying to get into contact with Revan and that seems like it might not end well. So, Lucien sets out to investigate this new dark thing.
*The art on Lucien is pretty terrible, I must say.
*But this scene ends with a really creepy close-up on Haazen: “Discover what this dark power is – and report to me!”
*Half-page full-body shot of Jarael in a mid-riff baring, gauzy, super-low-cut outfit.
*So, Rohlan is being given free roam of the ship these days. Guess where he’s hanging out?
*The medical library.
*Just gonna leave that there.
*I’ll tell you what’s going to be super, super hilarious is when it turns out that Rohlan isn’t actually Demagol. If that happens and Miller’s just been sprinkling all these little clues through the series as a troll, I will fall on the floor laughing.
*So, Adasca’s big plan involves having Rohlan contact the Mandalorians with a secret message of some kind. Adasca promises Rohlan that he’ll give him safe conduct wherever he wants to go after he’s done it.
*But then Rohlan and Adasca get in a pissing match about Jarael. They both want her, for their own reasons. Probably both medical though.
*Karath, Onasi, Zayne and a few other folks are all trying to reach Republic space in Onasi’s ship, but then THEY get a message from Adasca, telling them to meet with the Arkanian Legacy because he has a weapon that will give them a chance to win the war.
*So, he’s obviously trying to assemble the Republic, the Mandos, Revan, etc. In order to try to give them the secret that’s been locked in Camper’s head. BOOM. NAILED IT.
*Third-of-a-page full-body shot of Jarael in a gauzy, off-the-shoulder, super-low-cut dress.
*I mean, I get it; this is the first time in the entire series that they’ve been able to believably have Jarael dressed in anything but work clothes. And Adasca is definitely a perv, so I guess these are the kinds of clothes he would provide.
*On the one hand, it seems like Jarael would be like, “**** no, I’m not wearing that, you perv, bring me some pants.” On the other hand, she’s smart enough to kind of know that Adasca’s up to something and she might be just trying to go along with him to get on his good side and/or distract him. She has seemed quite stupidly trusting up to this point in the story, insofar as Adasca goes, so I’m hoping it turns out that she’s been playing him.
*Because she knows that Camper has been hiding from Adascorp for decades, right? And that he said they committed crimes against the galaxy or something? And now this guy’s just like, “Oh, that was my grandpa, I’ve gone legit now,” and she seems to be falling for it. I mean, if she’s really buying into what Adasca’s telling her then she’s a real idiot. And Jarael is NOT an idiot. And I’m going to legit be pissed if it turns out that this story is straight up trying to say that she is.
*Okay, so, Jarael’s blood is like super-pure and will enable the Arkanians to create Purebloods again because the race of true pureblood Arkanians is dying or something. I don’t know.
*Anyway, the big secret weapon Adasca has . . . giant space worms. It’s giant space worms, you guys.
*So, these exomorphs are just giant space worms and Adascorp has bene researching them for a long time and it looks like there are just countless numbers of them out in space in hibernation states.
*So, I talked about how dressed up Jarael was earlier and that’s because she was going to dinner with Adasca. And he has now talked for five pages about Arkanian purebloods and exomorphs and viruses and in a moment that made me laugh out loud, Jarael mutters, “This is the worst dinner I’ve ever had.”
*Now, see, THAT’s Jarael.
*You know, I only just this minute realized why I’m not enjoying this story as much as the others. There has been, to this point in the story, basically NO humor. That line from Jarael is the first funny line, I think. Wow. That’s just not right.
*Okay, so there’s a nice two page spread of several of these exomorphs in hibernation and some ships for scale and it’s a suitably creepy image.
*So, anyway, this guy who investigated the exomorphs years and years ago? Surprise! It’s Camper; his real name is Gorman Vandrayk; I’ll be continuing to call him Camper.
*So, anyway, thanks to Camper’s research, Adasca’s going to outfit these giant space worms with hyperdrives . .
*So, he’s going to put hyperdrives on them and then he can control where they go and so he can like send them into inhabitated systems and turn them loose and they’ll basically just eat everything in the system.
*Jarael gasps, “They’re a plague.” Adasca positions himself so his face is dramatically lit from beneath and raises a clawed hand to intone, “This plague works for me.”
*So, yeah, this one was not very good. I think there are a lot of reasons.
*Well, first off, Gryph is still dead apparently. Now, whether they’ve actually killed him off or not (and I’m betting not), it’s still a ballsy move to let an entire story arc go by without bringing him back. I respect the guts of that move.
*But it’s also somewhat crippling to the story because of the energy that Gryph brought to the series. And then there’s Zayne who is also barely in this story at all; he’s essentially in three brief scenes over the entire story arc and one of those is a dream sequence. Zayne is one of the top three characters in this series; so is Gryph. And when the two of them are together, they make my favorite character dynamic in . . . well, maybe in all of Star Wars comics.
*I talked about how bold it was for the series to really fracture our little KOTOR group in the last story arc. I said it was going to give all the characters time to kind of develop on their own. Well, guess what? I don’t think I like Jarael and Camper on their own. At least not nearly as much as I love them as part of the ensemble. Jarael, I should say, I think would be a fine character on her own, but she’s really done deceptively little in this story. I feel she’s been poorly written as well. Jarael is not the kind of woman to stand about being a sounding board; Jarael makes things happen – she’s a badass and she takes the initiative. She’s been poorly served here. She’s been IN it a whole lot, but mainly just standing around listening to either Adasca or other Offshoots talk about their lives and plans.
*And speaking of that. My God, is Lord Adasca a ******* drag. This guy just talks and talks and talks and talks. I mean, I’ve seen exposition dumps before, but this guy will NOT SHUT UP.
*Can I just give you one of his speeches? Because that is really the only way you’ll get it.
*After he picks up Camper and sends him to the medbay, he’s giving Jarael a tour of the Arkanian Legacy: “The man you call Camper worked for Adascorp years ago, when my grandfather was running it. The firm has come a long way since then – This vessel was mygrandfather’s great project. My father saw it completed. During the Sith War, the Arkanian Legacy was simply intended to be a means of moving the corporate headquarters from harm’s way. But it’s become much more. A medical research center. A university. Even a domed observatory for concerts under the stars. Everything that is good in Arkanian culture is here.” *Jarael says two sentences* “He’s not alone. Our greatest hero, Jedi Master Arca Jeth, once said, ‘The only thing more dangerous than a foolish Arkanian is a smart one.’ We celebrate boundless innovation – even where innovation should know some bounds. The ‘Offshoot Question’ is one historical result. And while I’ve made great strides to make Adascorp a morally responsible corporate citizen, I won’t deny that in my grandfather’s time – in what would have been Camper’s time – there were managers then who were overzealous in their pursuit of certain advances. It’s clear he was not treated well by the firm, Jarael. I’m not surprised he left.” *Jarael asks a one sentence question* “He was one of the last truly brilliant Offshoot students to come out of the Arkanian universities – before disease closed off admissions. He was a wonder with things both organic & inorganic – as knowledgeable about biology as he was about technology. We hired him immediately. But in his years of working in the corporate labs, he was exposed to Balinquar’s Virus, a pathogen that seemed harmless at the time. We now know that in Offshoots, it lies dormant until old age, when it triggers a series of worsening symptoms. Well, you saw the results. That’s how we found you, actually. When my staff analyzed his sample, they saw the virus – and recognized his genetic profile from our records. We knew we had to help right away. We owe him, Jarael. Financially – and morally. We can’t make everything right, but we can start by healing him. Here we are.”
*I mean, Jesus.
*I mean, holy ****.
*That is almost three pages of one guy talking. That would be a long monologue even in a novel. In a comic book, that’s just absurd.
*And I will tell you that he has at least one other one that is about that long and the dinner monologue at the very end of the arc is twice as long.
*I just. Goddamn. SHUT YOUR ******* MOUTH.
*Okay, I get it; to some degree, this character is intended to be pretentious and pedantic, but you’ve got to stop short of making him so pretentious and pedantic that he’s just annoying. And they go way over that line with this guy.
*And as to the “giant space worms equipped with hyperdrives” plan. As to that.
*I know, Miller said that he was kind of purposely going for a Marvel comics feel with this one and the giant space worms seem very much early Marvel. But, come on; those Marvel comics were a long time ago. Haven’t we just admitted a lot of that stuff was stupid by now? Giant space worms with hyperdrives . . . stupid.
*Anyway, this arc has no humor; sidelines two of my favorite characters and mischaracterizes another; focuses tightly on a boring and annoying pedant who won’t shut up; and is about a plot that revolves around equipping giant worms with hyperdrives.
*Wow, I REALLY did not like this.
*Obviously, I’m continuing and it appears that at least some of our cast will be reunited next time since Admiral Karath is en route to the Arkanian Legacy with Zayne in tow and it also appears that Master Lucien may be headed there as well. It’ll be good to get those two together again hopefully and getting Zayne back with Jarael will be a good thing as well.
*And maybe with Karath, some Mandos, Lucien and Zayne all in one room, somebody can manage to decapitate Adasca or shoot him right in the teeth or something, because he and his giant worms need to bugger off. Or maybe Revan shows up too. That would be cool.
*Anyway, I’ve loved this series from the jump so it pains me to do this, but . . . well . . .
*CANONICAL STATUS: The events depicted here are of dubious historicity. Some of them almost certainly occurred and others may have occurred, but almost certainly very differently than depicted here. This work is overly dramatized and certainly contains events that did not happen and distortions of facts. It is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
*Strongly recommended against. 1 ½ stars.
John Jackson Miller
*Next time, Daze of Hate. Please be better. EXIT LORD ADASCA, STAGE LEFT, PURSUED BY GIANT WORMS.