I’m having a hard time articulating my feelings on this review because my brain went into sensory overload as a result of what I just read. If George Lucas was ever going to make a movie about the time frame between episodes III and IV, this would be a hell of story to see on the silver screen.
Coruscant’s Imperial Center is under siege and the palace is in ruins as a deadly virus has been unleashed infecting everyone in its path, including Emperor Palpatine. Darth Vader and the newly commissioned officer, Laurita Tohm move the Sith master to a secret crypt as he is in a lot of pain and moving closer to death with each passing moment.
This is a case where the terrorists are being terrorized as we see Vader and Palpatine distressed over what the next course of action is, because for the first time they are the ones who are hurt, they are the ones in hiding, they are the ones who don’t know who to trust and they are the ones being hunted.
Kudos to Haden Blackman, who got some slack for having very little of Vader and zero Ghost Prison in the previous issue, for putting together a great script. Introducing readers to Laurita Tohm was the right move because the story is told through his lens and his devotion to the Empire is unflappable so of course, he feels he is on the side of good.
Agustine Alessio’s illustrations created a vivid sense of terror with imagery such as smoke engulfing Coruscant’s skyline while citizens are running scared and Stormtroopers try to police the situation. More explosions cause further destruction and panic as the virus spreads and all sense of order is erased. Darth Vader is so desperate for a solution that he searches the abandoned Jedi temple.
Just the image of the dark lord standing in the center of the Jedi council chambers was eerie on so many levels because we know who used to sit in those now empty and dust ridden chairs. Expanded universe stories can be either hit or miss but this issue bullseyes the womp rat in spades.