*Okay, here we go with our next arc. So, this one starts with Zayne arriving on Taris and hooking up with Gryph’s group of rebels. There’sa bit of trouble at first because Zayne is wearing a Mandalorian suit of armor, but that gets straightened out pretty quick.
* “You kids get back to your war – my associate can handle the kid. Zayne, you remember Dob Moomo?” “I’m Del.”
*Let’s just see here, I need to just check . . . aha, yup, still funny.
*Oh, so these guys aren’t the real resistance. They’re a swoop gang called the Hidden Beks, run by a big dude name of Gadon Thek. They’re trying to get hooked up with the real resistance, but there’s been a snag in the plan. It seems that someone has kidnapped the children of the chief constable on Taris and she’s in control of the resistance and she’s suspicious of the swoop gang class because of it.
*So, there’s this sidekick hanging out with Gryph and he’s named Griff. Expect a lot of comical mixups.
*Okay, so here’s the deal with Gryph. He’s on Taris to try to find Senator Gorravus, the Senator from Taris. He’s disappeared in all the chaos, but rumor has it he’s also hooked up with the Resistance. So, this billionaire industrialist, Jervo Thalien, who happens to be a good friend of Gorravus, hired Gryph since he figures Gryph knows his way around Taris.
*Oh, God, this is complicated. The exposition isn’t quite at Adasca level yet, but I’m just warning you guys.
*Okay, so Jervo and Gorravus are sufficiently powerful that Jervo has promised Gryph that if he finds Gorravus that he’ll get the murder charges against Gryph and Zayne dropped.
*So, Raana Tey is on Taris as well and she’s got this blonde chick that hates Zayne for some reason. There’s a big reveal when the blonde chick, who’s been seen in silhouette and shadow, finally turns her face to the “camera.” So, I guess this is someone I’m supposed to know. And I do not have one single clue.
*Okay, so it turns out that the constable’s children WERE kidnapped by someone in Gadon’s gang. A little Twi’lek girl named Mission leads Zayne and Gryph to them. So, it looks like Gadon and his group are on their way to the Resistance.
*So, there’s this great scene of all the swoop riders blasting through the Mandalorian lines on their way to the Resistance meet-up. And I just dig this one panel of Zayne, Gryph and Del all on one bike. Zayne just has this hilarious grin on his face, Gryph is scowling and Del is screaming “YAAAAHHHH!!!!” and firing a blaster with both hands. I don’t know, I just love those Moomos.
*So, Zayne and crew arrive at the Resistance meet-up and the blonde chick is there.
*Zayne recognizes her and seems happy. Shel is her name. And then she shoots Zayne.
*Ah, “You killed my brother.” This is the brother of one of the dead padawans then. Yeah, that was a LONG time ago and I remember none of those dead padawans.
*Great full page panel: Zayne on his back on the ground, Shel, tears streaming down her face, has her blaster pressed to his head as Raana Tey looms overhead, lightsaber ignited. “Finish it now.”
*God, that’s great.
*Tey allows herself to get distracted when Del Moomo intervenes. And by distracted, I mean she tries to kill Del.
*And, you know, not without reason. I mean, the Moomo brothers did screw her over pretty badly in that whole fracas before. Well, though, SHE was the one who hired them. I mean, buyer beware. Surely the Moomo brothers had some bad Yelp reviews or something.
*So, anyway, yes, Senator Gorravus is leading the Resistance and he makes Ranna Tey stand down. The Resistance can’t afford to lose any skilled fighters, even if they are the accused murderers of a bunch of padawans. And it helps when they return the constable’s children.
*So, there’s some nonsense about Thalien and Gorravus. Turns out that Thalien’s plan all along has been to kill Gorravus because Gorravus has some dirt on Thalien giving some bribes in order to get Taris into the Republic . . . skip it, it’s complicated. Anyway, Del Moomo’s on the payroll and so he’s about to kill Gorravus, but then Raana Tey attacks him again and then there’s this bomb. Whatever. Anyway. Thalien’s plans fail because Shel shot the case with the bomb when she was shooting at Zayne.
*So, Rohlan/Demagol and Jarael are still up in orbit around Taris, hiding from the fleet.
*This is great: “You are distraught. We Mandalorians deal with problems in a Mandalorian way. Perhaps I can help. Follow me, I have just the thing to occupy your mind.” The brilliant part is the look on Jarael’s face in the last panel. She’s got one eyebrow cocked in a very incredulous way.
*I don’t blame her. I sense some vivisection coming up.
*So, Shel and Zayne have a heart to heart.
* “Shel . . . where’s your little brother? Where’s Shay?”
*God, I remember nothing about this.
*So, Gryph is defending Zayne to Shel and he says “I’ve never killed anyone in my life – and as far as I know, Zayne’s never killed anyone either.” That can’t be true. All the shooting and slashing and bombing and neither of them have killed anyone. What about that whole fracas on Adasca’s flagship? Zayne had to have killed some people in that fight?
*So, Shel finally just says, “So who killed my brother?” And Raana Tey stands in the doorway and says, “I did.”
*And then you turn the page and she says, “At least, that’s what he’s told himself. But you know the truth, Shel. I couldn’t have killed your brother.”
*That’s a pretty cool moment. Except they did exactly that same moment with Lucien earlier in the series.
*Zayne gets off a nice burn: “I couldn’t have killed your brother.” “That’s true. She wasn’t standing close enough to him.” OH BOOM NAILED IT
*Oh, so Demagol’s idea was just for Jarael to spar with Squint. Okay, that’s fine.
*So, Jarael kind of collapses emotionally. She misses Camper, Elbee’s gone into shutdown since Camper left . . .
*I wonder if he has a map to Camper’s whereabouts or something.
*Anyway, Alek tries to kiss her but she turns him down.
* “Not now. Please. Adasca really abused my trust.”
*Oh, bull****. The real Jarael did not trust that stupid sack of exposition for a second. It’s just never a bad time to point out how poorly written she was in those arcs.
*So, it looks like Cassus Fett is using the Jedi Temple tower as his command center. So, the Resistance figures they’ll have to send some people in to confirm that Fett’s there and once they know he is, they’ll blow the place up.
*Zayne volunteers to go because he knows his way around the Temple. Shel says she’ll go as well because Zayne can’t be trusted to do the mission alone. And then Raana Tey says she’ll also go because Zayne can’t be trusted alone with Shel.
*And then they totally set me up for this gag because then Gryph steps up and puts his hand on Zayne’s shoulder and then he just says, “Well . . . enjoy yourselves.”
*So, Raana tells Shel that she has a plan. Shel has the crystal from her brother’s lightsaber. Once they get to the temple, Raana tells Shel that she’ll be able to get to the lightsabers themselves and then Shel can put the crystal in it. “Your brother’s lightsaber will dispatch your brother’s killer.”
*There’s a nice scene between Shel & Zayne here where they talk about the fact that they were kind of maybe going to be in a relationship when the padawans all died. I like the fact that it isn’t that they were actually in any kind of relationship, but were, instead, just, you know, working toward it. That makes it a little different and it also feels quite a bit more realistic.
*I like the dialogue in this scene quite a bit: “You didn’t want a relationship with me before.” “I didn’t? You were trying to become a Jedi. I might not have seen you again.” “Oh, come on. We both knew I’d flunk out. It was thinking about you that made that not seem so horrible. Thinking about after . . .” “That’s very touching. I was your consolation prize.”
*Anyway, they get in a screaming match in broad daylight right out in front of the Jedi Temple, so they almost get caught, but they pull the old “don’t mind us we’re just kissing” trick.
*There’s a really great moment when Zayne and Shel get into the Temple and Zayne remembers playing games as a kid with Shad in the storage room they snuck into. And he just says, “I really miss him.”
*You know, it’s interesting. This story has been moving so fast and Zayne and co. have hardly had time to stop running that I’d kind of overlooked the fact that these padawans that got killed were Zayne’s best friends. I mean, he’s certainly had no time to actually mourn them. And in fact, he still doesn’t. After he says the line about missing Shad, Shel asks him what he said and there’s a great shot of Zayne just wiping his face and saying, “Never mind.” This moment was surprisingly powerful.
*So, Zayne discovers that Cassus and the Mandalorians have left. They’re on their way to attack the Resistance. Then Raana Tey decides enough’s enough and she throws down on Zayne. “We have to get down to Shel and have her warn Gadon’s people before it’s too late.” “It’s already too late. The Sith are here. Now. I can feel their presence below, and above. It’s come to pass. I can’t stop it.”
*Oh, this is great, this is great, is she going to die? Shel’s going to kill her, isn’t she?
*So, Gadon and everybody gets word that the Mandies have attacked the underground base, so they head back to help. “Hey, Moomo, you want to come shoot at somebody?” “DO I?!”
*Oh, damn it, it’s Zayne and Raana Tey, just going at it, just having a real old-fashioned lightsaber fight. Oh, I have been waiting for this.
*This fight is pretty great and then it ends with Raana slashing into Zayne’s jetpack and sending him just rocketing into this wall.
*Bad ass images: Raana Tey, stalking across the destroyed Jedi Council room, a lightsaber in each hand, growling about prophecies. ******* awesome.
*So, yeah, Shel arrives in time to hear Raana Tey admit to killing the padawans and so she stabs her from behind with Shad’s saber.
*Nice. “Your brother’s lightsaber will dispatch your brother’s killer.” Well done.
*Oh, this is cool. “Shel. You did it.” “Zayne . . . you didn’t do it.”
*So, Raana’s still alive and Zayne actually tries to save her. Gryph and Gadon show up and so Zayne and Shel are hanging on to the tow rope from the speeder and there’s this great image of Zayne reaching down for Raana. “Raana – the Mandalorians are coming! Hurry! The Resistance has a healer – they can still save you.” “No! You think I’ll confess about the Padawans! I won’t – not for you.” “I – I don’t care. No one else is going to die in this building. Give me your hand!”
*No one else is going to die in this building. Nice.
*But Raana’s hand is trapped and so she ignites her lightsaber to cut herself loose and Gryph sees it and thinks that she’s trying to kill Zayne, so he triggers the bombs.
*God, these last three pages are awesome. Gryph triggering the bomb and then there’s this three panel page of the tower, with Raana Tey pinned on top of it, dropping away from Zayne as it collapses. “Tell Krynda – Tell Krynda I’m sorry!”
*And then a quick flash to Q’anilia and Lucien. “The worst has happened, Lucien.” “I sensed it too, Q’anilia. Poor Raana Tey.” “That’s not it. He knows. He knows!”
*And then back to Zayne for the last word. “I’m sorry, Zayne. I’m so sorry you lost your chance.” “Maybe. But maybe I got something else. I got a name. Krynda.”
*Oh, ****, yeah, you did.
*And I’ll just briefly mention the three little extra bits.
*There’s an official thing from the Republic celebrating Admiral Karath’s safe return and mourning the loss of Lord Adasca. Then there’s a bounty hunter thing that lists Gryph, Zayne and Slyssk as wanted.
*The Slyssk bit is gold. The picture is this extreme close-up of him with this goofy smile and then the note is “Nothing like stealing spaceships to help a guy rack up some big bounties fast. But honestly, who could get sore at a sweet face like this?”
*I’d like to just register my displeasure at the fact that Slyssk spends the entire story in the ship orbiting Taris and what’s more, even when we’re briefly on the ship, he doesn’t show up for even one line. That guy. Love. That. Guy.
*And then finally some kind of briefing from the Republic. It’s useless even by the standards of these little extras.
*Okay, I kind of have mixed feelings about this one. I don’t know if any of the side stuff in this story is going to pay off, but I have to say it all felt very much like filler. The whole thing with the constable’s kids and the Gorravus/Thalien subplot both felt really unnecessary and like they were just shoved in to take up space.
*I mean, I find it pretty annoying that the comic didn’t even take time to give the constable a name. I mean, that’s just weird. And I’m supposed to care about this story when you can’t even bother giving the characters names? That whole thing was just so much filler. I feel like the first two thirds of this arc was about seventy-five percent filler.
*And I’m also a little troubled by Gryph’s presence here. I’m just going to be honest. He wasn’t particularly funny and the chemistry between Gryph and Zayne just wasn’t quite there.
*Maybe one problem is that Gryph gets saddled with all the exposition. He spends a lot of time doing lengthy monologues, which is not his strong suit. Anyway, whatever the problem was, I did not like Gryph in this story and that’s a problem. I mean, I feel like I only mentioned him in this review in terms of his function in the plot and that is not the reason I love Gryph as a character. I’m guessing a solid year or so not writing the character maybe has the writers a bit out of step with him. Hopefully, he gets his mojo back.
*But I ended up really liking the Shel-Raana-Zayne stuff. At first I didn’t know how well the Shel character was going to play, but she ended up working really well, particularly in that last third, starting with that conversation on the street.
*And then there’s Raana. I mean, her stuff was going to HAVE to be epic; we’ve been building to her final showdown with Zayne for a long, long time now. She’s really been the only one of the five killers, aside from Lucien, to really come into her own as an actual character. I’m thinking that now that she’s out of the way, some of the others can kind of step forward in similar fashion.
*But, anyway, her psychotic break with reality has been a real sense of energy in the story to this point. I mean, her character is the bad ass of the group. I know Lucien’s supposed to be the heavy in the Covenant. Raana’s one of the seers; Lucien is, as established in Homecoming, just the guy who does the dirty work. But Raana’s really usurped that role, so all this to say that her final confrontation with Zayne needed to be really epic or it was going to feel like a disappointment.
*And it succeeded. It wasn’t a disappointment. It really worked. The art of the fight scene was great and then the bit with her just stalking around the room with both lightsabers, ranting and raving about prophecies . . . that was just great. And then the whole way she died with Zayne trying to save her with the “no one else is going to die in this building” bit and then the page of her just falling away from Zayne as the tower collapsed under her. ******* great.
*Zayne also got some great character work in this one. I really liked what they did with having him return to the Temple for the first time since the murders. Giving him that moment to feel real grief for his friends was super-compelling.
*First two-thirds, basically not that great. Last third, really great. That’s my verdict on this one, I guess.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This work may contain some fabrications or errors, but it is probably mostly historically accurate. 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, it’s a break from the comics for another Hyperspace short story set during the Resistance on Taris. Join me next time for Interference.