ADVANCE REVIEW! Star Wars: Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost #3 will go on sale Wednesday, December 28, 2011.
Star Wars: Crimson Empire III; Empire Lost #3 may have a long name, but the creative team of Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley manage to keep the plot nicely woven in this comic adventure set in the Star Wars universe. The comic takes place after the fall of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi and the Republic is striving to maintain peace in the galaxy while raging war against the remains of the Empire. This issue deals mostly with the aftermath of the attempt on Leia's life from the previous issue, and Kir Kanos's meeting with Devian. Kir just happens to be the last known surviving member of Emperor Palpatine's Royal Guard.
Richardson is using this issue to start connecting the strings and slowly turn the story towards its inevitable climax. He deftly uses some common Star Wars mechanics to his advantage, mostly the classic letting the captive escape so he brings our plan forward tactic that the Emperor seemed to use in every Star Wars movie. In that respect Devian is very much like the late Palpatine and makes for a good villain. At one point he strikes down one of his best soldiers during a demonstration designed to persuade Kir to his side. It doesn't work, but Devian wants this of course. Kir refuses to join his side and is locked up. He escapes using a ship that just happened to be conveniently prepped at the time. On board is the rest of Devian's plan which I will not point out for fear of spoilers. This, if you are familiar with the original movies at all, is how Tarkin found the Rebel base in the first movie, planting a tracking device on the Falcon. Classic.
Perhaps you are wondering what the Republic is doing while all this is going on, eh? Leia is interrogating her assailant, Han is wrapping up a battle and Luke lands on Coruscant, ready to kick ass and take names.
All this is depicted in a sometimes stunning fashion by Gulacy. He's is a bit hit and miss in some parts of the story, especially when drawing Devian and Kir. But when he opens up and bit and gets to explore something other than a droll gray room, he shines. The backdrops are great and once the characters are out in the open they find a consistency they were lacking when they were confined. He does a particularly good job recreating stormtroopers. He also captures the characters we know quite well, even giving Han Solo that subtle scar on his chin that Mr. Ford has, which was quite a nice touch.
All in all, this was an enjoyable issue. It had a bit of everything; action, deception, space ships… We're halfway through this story arc and the end of the issue sets up for some big things to come in Issue #4 and going forward.
Dylan B. Tano is a relatively new reviewer powered by a love of bacon and constantly distracted by a kitten who would rather use his laptop as a bed. He grew up idolizing Spider-Man and can’t believe he gets to review comics all day.