In Review: Star Wars: Purge-The Tyrant’s Fist #2

The cover: Vader has Jedi Knight Cho’na Bene in his grasp as the two topple over some partition. It’s an exciting action snapshot by Dan Scott and it gives Star Wars fans what they want: the Sith Lord boldly taking out a Jedi! Overall grade: A

The story: Give Alexander Freed credit; he’s going into territory I’ve never seen in a Star Wars comic before. This book completes the tale of how a planet’s Jedi are wiped and erased as symbols of hope. How is this done? Not by Vader alone–he’s too obsessed with finding Cho’na Bene. It falls to Major Namada to see the destruction of the planet’s statuary and their location replaced with an Imperial Education Center. Forests are burned, backways cleaned, and people with “restricted” names have to choose new ones. I don’t know which was creepier: reading this part of the book or Vader on the hunt? And hunt he does. This being the final issue of this story, you get the big battle between Jedi and Sith, but I guarantee it doesn’t end as you’d expect! I’ve read previous Surge stories and enjoyed them, but the final page of this story was depressing. Appropriate, but depressing. Kudos to you, Mr. Freed. I haven’t felt this bummed since reading the first few Vong invasion novels. Overall grade: A

The art: There’s a lot of impressive detail in the backgrounds of each panel. This may seem an odd thing to start a reveiw with, but it’s just so nice to find a comic where the settings aren’t ignored in favor of the characters’ looks. The first five pages are really impressive set pieces. The characters are also well done: locals look good, Vader is menacing, and Namada is attractive, but should we be looking at such a corrupt character as “attractive”? Marco Castiello and Andrea Chella are a good combo, and I look forward to seeing their work in other books from Dark Horse. Overall grade: A

The colors: Nice job throughout from Michael Atiyeh who gets to do crowded desert plaza exteriors as well as dark caverns where battles occur. Overall grade: A

The letters: A strangely mute book considering all the explosions and saber skirmishes. Nice dialogue and narration from Michael Heisler, but, c’mon, Dark Horse! Gimmie some sound effects in my Star Wars comics! Overall grade: B

The final line: This was a sad book. Not poorly produced, but the story really pulls off a nice drop kick to a piece of your Star Wars soul. This isn’t what I expected out of a Star Wars book. Was I satisfied? Well, yeah…but…Wow. It’s quite the downer. Overall grade: A

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