Comic Publishers

March 18, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: Star Wars: Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse #4

Star Wars: Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Stéphane Créty
Cover: Stéphane Roux

Agent Cross is thought to be dead, but while enlisting the aid of Ellie Stark he’s been found out by her brother and the two are attacked. The two escape, and with the aid of Han and Chewie are on their way to the Eclipse to get to the bottom of things. Neither are prepared for what happens on board the station and the truths that are revealed about the Stark family.

Every issue of Agent of the Empire just keeps getting better and better as Ostrander maintains the momentum that began in the first issue. He’s made Cross a very likable character even though his association with the Empire may automatically have you rooting against him. What firmly establishes this is the discussion he has with Ellie that fleshes out his feelings about the Republic and the Jedi during the closing moments of the Clone Wars. This sequence pretty much excludes him from being your classic villain type, and more so the anti-hero. Depending on your point of view. Ostrander has also included Han and Chewie into the story, but keeps them relegated to background characters. Even though he has connected the history between them, this is Cross’s story, and a good one at that. It’s always a good thing when you don’t have to rely on the already established characters from the original trilogy to make the story work.

The artwork we’ve been getting from Créty has been just as good as Ostrander’s script. The pacing is great and the panel layouts help put the action over the top. The only thing that seems a bit off is that at times Solo looks like a teenager, and then he’ll look just right. Aside from that, the amount of detail in the backgrounds and the more alien looking characters helps to keep with the “flavor” of the Star Wars mythos. Wez Dzioba’s colors give the entire book that extra kick needed, even with the subtle shift to black and white during the flash back sequences. This title has consistently looked fantastic.

Agent of the Empire excels on many levels, which makes it one of the stronger spin-offs in the Star Wars franchise. Ostrander has added yet another great character in Jahan Cross to an already rich collection, and hopefully this is not the last we see of him. Which means that you need to keep your fingers crossed he doesn’t end up killed by his own droid in the final issue!

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