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View Full Version : Dark Horse's "Empire" comics off to a bad start



Tycho
03-23-2007, 04:30 PM
I'm back to reading the entire chronology as much as I can, using TheForce.net's timeline (http://www.theforce.net/timeline/) as my guide.

The events immediately leading up to the Battle of Yavin (http://www.theforce.net/timeline/prequel3.asp) are disjointed the way they are depcted, and the Empire comic did not do the EU any favors (it gets better IIRC, but this was not my favorite Dark Horse title).

To look at Empire in chronological order, it starts with

"Darklighter" (issues 8,9,12,15). This is reasonably interesting in so far as Biggs' time at the Imperial Academy is described. Hobbie is also a character, but he later gets infected on Yavin IV by a parasitic lifeform and recovers after the Battle of Yavin, thus being unable to fly during the fighting. They used that story with one other pilot as well, explaining where they come up with an X-wing for Luke (Red 5). Hobbie was some other designation. Darklighter is also explicit in detailing how the Alliance got their hands on the X-wings in the first place, with insiders at Incom helping them infiltrate their factory and ripping off the T-65 as the Empire wasn't interested in them and screwed them over for Sienar's ships.

These tales are reasonably entertaining.


Next in chron order for Empire, is issues 5 and 6. Randy Stradley from Dark Horse wrote these. His best work is exemplified by Crimson Empire or Jedi Council: Acts of War. Empire 5 & 6 detail Princess Leia and Captain COLTON Antilles (who is Raymus Antilles' son - pehaps names after Raymus' friend and pilot of the Tantive IV during ROTS, Lt.Cmdr. Colton?) Anyway, Leia's "missions of mercy" take her to the banking world of Ralltir where she's smuggling the Rebels medical supplies and the likes aboard the Tantive just prior to her interception of the plans to the Death Star that came off Topwara. It's anecdotal in nature - nothing like the masterpiece Republic built up to. It serves to build Leia's character in the EU, but not much more.

What amazes me is how bad issues 1-4 are. This is the placement in chronological order that the very first books issued in the series fell into and I'm shocked it debuted with such a poor outing. Some Imperial Moffs, who were apparently butt-kissers of Palpatine's since the days of the Republic, plan to overthrow the Empire and oust the Sith Lords they've learned are running it. They come up with the original idea of having Clone Stormtroopers pull an "Order-66" or something exactly the same on Palpatine and Vader and the ring-leader of the plot is a Moff on life-support systems (Moff Thracta) who must've sustained serious injuries during the Clone Wars or something. In any case, the book is assembled poorly and doesn't seem to flow right (possibly a production error?) and the characters are not that engaging and feel very temprary. Thing is Rogue Squadron comics did so much better with temp characters like Loka Hosk. Moff Thracta is almost someone you want to forget. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I'll keep reading (a lot of "Empire" to cover) but it is not with enthusiasm. This thread will cover the series should it bet better or worse.

El Chuxter
03-23-2007, 04:56 PM
I hated Darklighter. I hate these stories that have to flesh out every throwaway line in the movies, and change the events as the writer sees fit. There was no reason to make everything Biggs told Luke a lie. There's useful EU, and then there's the EU that makes you want to smack someone and tell them to leave well enough alone.

The only decent story arc from Empire was the first story with Lieutenant Sunber. When some dumbarse got the bright idea to make him be Luke's friend Tank, that shot the character straight to hell.

Rocketboy
03-24-2007, 12:09 AM
Empire was horrible. I'm embarrassed I read it as long as I did.

Tycho
03-24-2007, 01:37 AM
I finished issues 1-4 "Betrayal" and was quite dismayed. There was some individual that was a bounty hunter or something that helped train the would-be executioner stormtroopers that seemingly just walked away from the whole thing - an attempt on Palpatine's life included.

Furthermore, during a free-lancers attempt on Darth Vader, Boba Fett intervened. Fett doesn't fight unless there's money in it and the last time he dealt with Vader, it was not on great terms ("Enemy of the Empire"). I suppose that Fett needed to do something to make relations with Vader a little warmer after that, but it felt like he was just put in there because the writer wanted to go "Look who else we can squeeze in here!"

Next up is the life of Rebel General Roons Sewell. I took the pronouciation to maybe be "Ruins Well" when said altogether. It sure sounds better than the alternative. This is Empire #10, 11. General Dodonna ascends to command the Rebel Forces at Yavin IV with Sewell's death. It's far fetched that Dodonna, a Republic Star Destroyer captain back in his day, would be subordinant to a street-urchin turned actor - but that's also one of the quirks of the Rebel Alliance, so I can't fault it too much for that.

Overall, the story is not bad - but anything would be a marked improvement over "Betrayal." I still can't believe they started a series with that crap.

Anyway, more Empire reviews to come. I just need to sniff new plastic or something to make myself happy again, first.