The cover: Sergeant Pike is unleashing hell onto Harkilon forces as General Sarigar screams at him to continue to fire. Great image, with that gun and its expulsions looking amazing and the coloring looking fantastic. Great image by Larry Stroman, Carl Potts, and Hi-Fi. Love the pink rose coloring. Overall grade: A
The story: Nomad Squadron has allowed a Harkilon ship, filled with religious members, to go into Planetary Union space to escape pursuing Harkilon ships, as a civil war is going on. Pike is blasting the tar out of the warfleet until his gunner pod explodes. In the command center General Sarigar learns that their ship has taken massive damage. When a legionnaire states “I can’t imagine a more dismal scenario,” Sarigar replies, “Stick around.” As this conversation is occurring, Montroc learns from the friendly Harkilon that the escaping ship wants to enter Union space because it believes the Harkilon homeworld lies on the twelfth planet in the Regiul system. Once there it will cleanse the planet of its inhabitants to repopulate the world. This story by Chuck Dixon is then split between the Legion forces trying to stop the Harkilon warfleet from entering Union space and Legionnaire Tamara tying to stop the religious caste from destroying Regiul Twelve, where her child is. Dixon expertly goes back and forth between both stories building tension, because if the Legionnaires fail in either plotline the results would be enormous. Jugger Grimrod is naturally down and dirty in the battle with the warfleet, and his realization about what’s soon to happen brilliant. I liked Tamara’s frantic flight to save her child and world, with the fourth and fifth panels on Page 18 being my favorite of the book. The conclusion is great, with Jugger getting a surprise after a tender moment for another Legionnaire. This was an excellent finale. Overall grade: A+
The art: Just beautiful. That pretty much sums up this book’s imagery. Larry Stroman provides pencils and Carl Potts inks on a lavish space epic involving a lot of military action. The opening splash quickly establishes the size of the antagonist’s ship to that of the heroes, and things don’t look good for them! Pike’s predicament on Page 2 is great, with the monstrous leader in a battle frenzy. The final panel on the page had me gasping for him and poor Meico’s fate. I loved the computer screen in Tamra’s ship on Page 6–never seen that before in a sci-fi film or comic. Jugger’s first appearance is dramatic, and only gets better on Page 12. Page 18 has my two favorite images in the entire book, though how could anyone’s heart not melt at the final panel on 21, or laugh with the final panel on 22. This book gives everything a fan of science fiction would love. Overall grade: A+
The colors: If the art is beautiful, then the colors make this book gorgeous. This is a grim and gritty battle, but the colors explode so vividly it’s impossible for any reader to turn away. Thomas Mason is credited for Pages 1 – 3 and 20 – 22, while Hi-Fi does Pages 4 – 19 (I’ve changed the numbers from the inside credits and am counting the first splash page as Page 1, rather than start the numbering with the inside front cover and including advertisements). A reader will not notice any differentiation in coloring, as the book looks like it was done by just one person. Every flash, flare, explosion, and yell is brilliant. It’s such a joy to see space be bright and colorful, rather than the dim and dark dystopias so popular today. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Narration, screams, sounds, and Harkilon speech are well crafted by Tom Williams. At times the dialogue is really tiny to fit into the tiny panels he’s been given to fill, but my eyes didn’t mind the stretch. Overall grade: A
The final line: Fantastic, epic adventure in space. There must be more soon. Highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.