*So, here’s the next three issue story arc. Obviously picks up right after the last one. We’ll hope and pray Adasca gets popped in the head in the first two or three pages.
*Hell, even five would be okay. I’m in a generous mood.
*So, Jarael finally tries to actually escape and she does, as I always said she would, a solid job of kicking butt, until Adasca tells her that if she doesn’t stop, he’ll cut off Camper’s hands.
*But still, she could have attempted this back during that interminable monologue. As far as I was concerned anyway. But see, this is what I was talking about when I said she was being very out of character in Nights of Anger.
*Karath arrives and Zayne’s in tow. Jarael sees him and lunges for him and gives him a massive kiss that, through a series of three panels, carries everything but her hair out of the frame. It’s a very witty page. And she’s able to whisper to him about Camper and that Adasca’s planning to auction off the space w –
*Giant space slugs. I stand corrected.
*Anyway, they take Zayne off and lock him up, so he’s not there to see Squint arrive. Revan hasn’t come with him, so no cameo there, but Squint’s a good second. Then, Adasca calls Rohlan to come to the meeting place. So, Squint’s all like, “ROHLAN WHAT THE HELL?”
*Okay, so, we’re pulling everyone back together and I’m liking it.
*Ah, so we find out what happened to Demagol/real Rohlan. Squint says that he fell into a coma right after they left Flashpoint and still hasn’t awakened. Rohlan/real Demagol says that he wouldn’t worry too much about saving his life.
*I had been wondering, of course. I figured Demagol/real Rohlan had probably been trying to tell the Republic the truth but they just weren’t believing him.
*Aha, so now Lucien has arrived. We get a little backstory on him and Adasca; seems their father’s were pals and business partners. Lucien isn’t, obviously, all that keen on the giant spa –
*Space slugs. Space slugs.
*Ah, but Adasca drugs Lucien and knocks him out.
*So, Karath and Onasi are squabbling with Squint about the slugs. Both the Republic and the Revanchists obviously want control of these new weapons and they’re trying to figure out how much they need to bribe Adasca in order to get them. And then Mandalore the Ultimate arrives. And Adasca reveals his plan. “This advance changes everything. Adascorp was a major corporate player. Not it is a galactic player. We no longer seek contracts. But we may accept allies.”
*Okay, so this whole thing is frigging chaos. Everyone’s pointing guns at each other and leaping at each other and stuff. Onasi tries to get Karath to arrest Adasca. Sqint tries to kill Mandalore, but Mandalore puts Squint down for the count. Camper calls Jarael and manages to tell her that Adascorp has been creating diseases that effect only Offshoots in a sort of biological genocide. Adasca is so enraged that he tries to kill Jarael, but Squint stops him. Rohlan asks to leave with Jarael, but Mandalore stops him.
*This is ******* chaos and I love it.
*So, there’s an interesting conversation between Mandalore and Rohlan/Demagol. Mandalore has spread the rumor that Rohlan has died, but that in his dying speech he reaffirmed his loyalty to Mandalore. You may remember that whole thing about Rohlan achieving a bit of notoriety as “The Questioner.” “The Questioner accepts that there is only one answer – and that answer is the word of Mandalore.”
*Mandalore has also changed up the Mandalorian army. They’re getting recruits from all across the galaxy and so Mandalore has instituted a standard issue suit of armor. He’s trying to get away from this whole individualized armor thing. He gives Rohlan/Demagol a suit of that armor and tells him that for the sake of the Mandalorian cause, he needs Rohlan to stay dead and suit up in the new uniform. Rohlan/Demagol takes the armor and disappears.
*Meanwhile, Lucien wakes up to find himself imprisoned. Imprisoned WITH ZAYNE. They’re both locked up in cuffs back to back. This results in a really great conversation. It’s really great to get the two of them in the same room again and see them butt heads.
* “You’re amazing. You even sent Raana Tey after my family!” “How did you know about – never mind. We were just trying to find you. Nobody was going to be hurt.” “That’s not how Raana played it.” “Raana is . . . not at her best right now. Her nightmares about you are so bad she’s hardly slept since Taris. Her wariness used to give her an edge –“ “Now she’s just edgy.” “Now she’s a wreck.” “Good. Even if it isn’t my fault.” “Of course it is. It’s isn’t her fault you’re fated to bring the Sith among us.”
*These guys just can’t help talking past each other.
*I love this bit about the slugs: “He has some way of controlling them.” “They won’t stay controlled for long – if you believe the visions my associates have been having.” “Their ‘visions’ ruined my life and made you a murderer. I’m not a big fan of their work.”
*So, Zayne and Lucien cooperate in order to escape and take out all of their guards. But once they’re free Lucien instantly gets his saber back and just tries to kill Zayne IMMEDIATELY.
*I love this stuff. “You know I had to try.” “I’m not afraid of you anymore.” “I know – that’s why we’re afraid of you.”
*God, find a way to get these guys in the same room together more often. With Gryph out of the picture, this is the relationship I love the most.
*I just love how cool Lucien is about his actions. He uses Zayne to help him escape and then he tries to kill Zayne. When he fails, he just shrugs and says, “You know I had to try.” It’s pretty great. He’s just a great character.
*And then once he fails and realizes that he’s going to have to actually expend some energy to kill Zayne, he just decides it’s not worth the effort at the moment and tosses Zayne a blaster. “Take this. We’ll settle up after we sort out Adasca.”
*So, Karath offers Lord Adasca a Senate seat if he’ll ally with the Republic. Mandalore offers to make Adasca the chief weaponmaster for the entire Mandalorian army. Squint just stands around and shouts “No!” a lot.
*I’m surprised Adasca even invited the Revanchists. He knows they’re just a small splinter group. Even the Jedi Council itself probably has little in the way of resources. Revan’s group isn’t going to have anything at all to offer.
*So, meanwhile, the Lab Doctor and Adasca’s assistant (who I don’t think I’ve even mentioned yet) are discussing the results of Jarael’s lab tests. Apparently, she’s something super special (*sigh*) but before they can say what, a mysterious figure shows up and shoots them both down. It’s got to be Rohlan/Demagol. He’s the one seems to have some inside info on Jarael.
*So, Carth Onasi has slipped away in all the arguing and he finds Zayne and Lucien. Lucien is arguing that they need to kill Jarael. That’ll take away Adasca’s leverage over Camper and ruin his plans. But then Rohlan/Demagol shows up and nixes that. “Can you think of a reason it wouldn’t work?” “Just one. You’ll be dead before you get near her.”
*This is right in my wheelhouse, this unlikely allies thing. You’ve got Onasi, Rohlan/Demagol, Zayne and Lucien. I don’t think anybody in that scenario even tolerates more than one other person in that group.
*This is fanservice of the highest order, all these badasses coming together for a common goal, but, hey, I’m a sucker for it.
*I loved this bit: “We need a diversion.” “A diversion? How do you cause a diversion in a room full of armed people? A roomful of armed people who . . . can’t stand each other.”
*So, Zayne comes up with a plan and he gets off a sick burn on Lucien. “You were around the con artist too long.” “Best teacher I ever had.” OH SNAP
*So, Zayne slips into the crowd in the generic armor Mandalore gave to Rohlan/Demagol. Onasi re-enters and violently bumps into Zayne. So, they start a brawl. Then Lucien charges in, bellowing that the Jedi have arrived to arrest Mandalore just as Adasca planned. Mandalore’s like “WHAT THE **** DID HE JUST SAY?” And then Zayne cuts Jarael free and she’s screaming that she’s going to kill Adasca and then EVERYONE IS PUNCHING AND SLASHING AND SHOOTING AND THROWING GRENADES AND IT IS EVERYTHING IT NEEDS TO BE
*I wish they’d done a full page shot of this melee. There’s a third page panel that is just pure chaos and I love it.
*So, Zayne is able to transmit to Camper that Jarael is safe. So, Camper immediately takes control of the station he’s on by overriding the controls of the HK droid guarding him.
*So, then Camper wakes up the space slugs and sends them to attack the Arkanian Legacy where everyone is.
*So Mandalore escapes with his warriors and then Karath and his guys are escaping too. “Bring Carrick! He’s still our prisoner!” Onasi grabs Zayne’s shoulder. After a brief pause, he lets go. “Whoops. You escaped.”
*Zayne asks why. “Too many bad guys right now – you’re not one and I don’t need to be another. Good luck, kid. Let’s party again, but next time try not to bring a war with you.”
*So Camper’s aboard his ship and he’s leadng the space slugs off into wild space where they won’t hurt anyone. He vanishes with a last word of affection for Jarael, Zayne and, yes, even Gryph.
*I’d be happy if we don’t see Camper again. In this series, nothing’s for sure, but I feel like his arc is complete. He’s cured, he has a purpose again and he’s had his vengeance against Adasca, who died by the way when all the slugs smashed into the Legacy.
*But now Zayne, Jarael and Rohlan/Demagol are stranded on the Legacy without an escape ship. And it’s slowly breaking up, of course.
*Then Lucien arrives and says he’ll take everyone away on his ship. But only if Zayne surrenders to him. Zayne does so. “I’ll go with you – for them.”
*And then, my God, the cherry on top of this arc. A ship comes crashing into the hanger bay and out leaps . . . AN ITHORIAN? DONTEVENSAYIT DON’T TELL ME IT’S . . .
*Zayne is equally shocked: “Del Moomo?” “Dob Moomo.”
*Yup, still funny.
*And then Slyssk races out of the ship. “Master Gryph sent us!” “Gryph? Gryph’s alive?” “Alive? He’s running the resistance on Taris and he needs your help!”
*Thank you, God.
*Could it really be that the next arc is going to feature Zayne, Gryph, Jarael, Slyssk and Rohlan/Demagol? All together? Praise be.
*Dare I even hope . . . that the Moomo brothers will also be present? Dare I even hope? No, no, I won’t build myself up too much. We’ll just have to see.
*So, everyone escapes in the Moomo ship. Dare I believe that this is . . . my favorite ship of all time . . . the MOOMO WILLIWAW? No, no, I won’t . . .
*Ah, **** it, I’ll believe it. Zayne and everyone escape on the Moomo Williwaw.
*Lucien escapes as well in his own ship and his single-minded focus remains. “You can’t run forever, Zayne. Taris, eh? So be it. The chase ends . . . where it began.”
*Okay, that was a lot, lot, lot better.
*Oh, I should mention the little extras included in these issues, you know those little things that Miller and Co. jackassedly decided not to include in the trades?
*So, one of them is a transcript of a meeting Adasca’s grandfather had with Camper just before Camper took off. Camper tells Adasca’s grandfather that he’s just leaving to do some business on a ship; Adasca’s grandfather says, “Don’t camp out up there too long.” AY-O!
*Then there’s a little section of some kind of bounty hunter newsletter decrying the use of HK droids. And then a transmission from Cassus Fett to the people of Taris letting them now that they’ve officially been captured by the Mandalorian army. And I suppose we’ll get the ground level view of that next time.
*Okay, so, wrap-up. This was still a bit below the usually brilliant standards of this series. The art wasn’t particularly great, especially on the faces, though I did like the big action sequence at the end. And the whole Adasca/space slugs thing just still feels really out of place. But I did dig the whole face-off with the Revanchists, the Mandalorians and the Republic and the way Lucien and Zayne had to work together. That scene of the two of them together in Adasca’s prison was certainly the best in this one.
*But this one corrected a lot of the problems of Nights of Anger. It’s packed with action and the character interactions have some of the spark that they just didn’t really have in Nights of Anger. And this brought all of our main characters back together. Even Gryph is there in spirit, in a way, given that ending.
*Nights of Anger focused almost exclusively on Jarael, which would have been fine if it hadn’t also badly mischaracterized her. In this one, she’s back to being a badass, so thanks for that. And I’m genuinely excited for the next arc, something I most definitely couldn’t say after Nights of Anger.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This work may contain some fabrications or errors, but it is probably mostly historical accuracy. This work can be accepted as a resource with some small reservations. It is RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
John Jackson Miller
*Okay, next time, let’s move on to the next arc. Join me next time for Knights of Suffering. Is this our last pun arc? I think so. I hope so.