Like on LOST, some castaways realize that there are Others on their island, and the Others have a plan in this last week's Star Wars comic.
The mysteries of Kesh unfold in the most recent issue of Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #2 (Profile on DarkHorse.com), out last week. After trying to start simultaneous mutinies against the Keshiri ship captain, Takara Hilts, former police captain and daughter of the Sith High Lord, and Spinner, an exiled brigand, end up captured by the residents of the polar isle that the ship has reached. It turns out that the Sith descendants of the Omen crew weren't the first to crash land on Kesh - this multi-species society is made up of the successive generations of an even earlier arrival of alien Force users, and they consider themselves the Doomed - and they know all about the Lost Tribe, and they have the one resource the others on Kesh seem to lack: metal. Who can benefit from this new world faster - the constable or the anarchist?
This issue is primarily backstory, as we learn from Kaliska, their winged guide and the voice of the Doomed, about how the settlement was started, and why they are the way they are - and what some of the greatest secrets are. After hearing about an ancient weapon, Spinner hatches a plot to steal it and escape on the ship. Takara, meanwhile, decides to befriend the Doomed in order learn from them and maybe join them. When Spinner succeeds in his heist, the Kaliska flies Takara out to stop him - but it is too late: DOOMM! (The panel really explodes with that in giant letters when the container is opened) and it's not what Spinner necessarily expected... but it is a lot of trouble.
While much of this issue is exposition, it's important as setup for the action at the end of the issue. Things aren't always what they appear, such as one of the great secrets of the Doomed is their carefully managed supply of livestock (hard to do in an arctic clime). Similar to his work in Knight Errant, John Jackson Miller develops a new Force-using culture and pits their philosophy into the Game of Life, and after many generations, it has reached an equilibrium - only to go off balance with the introduction of its rival civilizations. Are the Doomed doomed? or are they an even greater threat to the Sith than the discovery of the continent of Alanciar?
Andrea Mutti, Pierluigi Baldassini and Michael Atiyeh team up for the visuals in this issue. The different aliens (Rodians, Ithorians, Wookiees) look good, but also have a subtle difference to them - as if it were a little bit of divergent evolution in isolation. or maybe the Rodians don't quite look right to me.. something about their mouths not being tapirlike snouts as much. But the main characters are consistent, and the use of color and shadow for nearly everything sets things apart in what could be a very icy drab setting. And the use of "DOOMM!!!" just cracks me up, as if Morbo from Futurama was doing the play-by-play.
The issue ends with a police intel dossier on Spinner written by Takara, shortly before the series starts, which gives us a bonus sneak peek into both characters. I'm liking the pairing: they are very much opposite yet both want the same thing: the chance to make their own destiny free from the societal constraints of living in Lost Tribe society. And while they don't get along, they really only have each other as something familiar in this foreign land.
Stay tuned for Issue #3, and to paraphrase UHF: "What's in the box? .... Spinner you so stupid! You could have had red snapper!"