“The Hidden Blade”
Plot: Darth Vader is tasked with the overseeing of an important project and has a run in with the Jedi.
Comments: Though I am a Star Wars fan I have not followed much of the beloved universe in any of its comic incarnations. Usually the comics tend to focus on the most trivial of plots and disregard what has made Star Wars such an enjoyable escape. Every Star Wars fan wants to see the characters and locales that they have held near and dear to their hearts. The truth is though how many times can you go to that well before it dries up? Despite my trepidations my curiosity was certainly piqued by the premise of this one shot and I am glad I gave it a look as this was my sleeper hit for the week.
Writer Haden Blackman delves into the goodness immediately with his story set on the planet Otavon 12. The Empire has set up a facility for the construction of the always awesome AT-AT Walkers. However the local Otavi have been none too pleased with the fact that the Imperials have set up shop on their home world and have been causing their intruders grief with attacks on the construction facilities. This has raised the ire of Emperor Palpatine who in turn dispatches Darth Vader to deal with the Otavi directly. The Sith Lord, upon his arrival on Otavon 12, senses a Jedi disturbance and is compelled to investigate the matter.
All of what I personally would want from a Star Wars tale was present in this issue from the protagonists to the plot itself. The pacing was so smooth and fluid which made for an apparent fast read, but not for lack of quality storytelling. As much as I was intrigued by the saga unfolding I was helplessly transfixed on the stunning artwork of Chris Scalf. I can’t quite recall the last time I was so in awe of an artists work in a comic book. Every panel of every page was beautifully illustrated in a style that was the perfect venue for this particular tale. From blaster fire to light saber blades every moment was delicately crafted with painstaking precision. I want to see more of this artist now!
Final Thoughts: Purge is a fantastic one-shot that will no doubt appeal to Star Wars fans of all ages and, regardless of your investment to the universe that has captivated millions, will leave a smile on your face if even solely for the artwork.
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