Jahan Cross is the “Death” of the party? GONK takes a look at this week’s Star Wars comic release: Agent of the Empire – Iron Eclipse #2.
Out this week is the second issue of the new Star Wars: Agent of the Empire series. How will the 007 of the galaxy far, far away fare in this second part of the ‘Iron Eclipse’ story? Spoilers ahead!
Having arrived in Corporate Space, agent Jahan Cross uses his diplomatic cover to attend a fancy soiree to gather intel on the influential Stark family in his mission to find out what ‘Iron Eclipse’ is. While charming not one, but two of the Stark women, Cross also antagonizes Iaclyn Stark, the young new head of the Stark business fortune, and Emesh Nar, Iaclyn’s friend and the Imperial ambassador’s attache. Accompanying Iaclyn’s stepmother, Dah’lis, the former Nautolan dancer, home, he learns a bit about her late husband’s projects while in the hot tub with her, before getting ambushed by Iaclyn.
When Cross comes to, he’s being arrested as a suspect in Dah’lis murder, and according to the Imperial embassy, he’s been disavowed, so his diplomatic immunity’s been pulled. As he’s being escorted into custody, Cross breaks free, and with a little help from Elli, Iaclyn’s younger sister, he steals an expensive speeder break and zips through the house. Trying to determine the depth of Iaclyn’s frame job, Cross calls his droid IN-GA but she is shut down by Nar at the Imperial embassy. With the local law enforcement in pursuit, Cross continues his high speed escape and realizes that he’s on his own.
Writer John Ostrander continues his James Bond of the Galactic Empire approach very solidly with this issue – from seeing Cross as the secret agent getting his mission and gadgets in the opening issue, we now have Cross play the role of the suave ladies’ man in the tuxedo (and out of it) and getting into a common trope for the super-spy genre, the agent framed and on the run. While the local cops are quick to give chase, knowing Iaclyn’s influence, one detective who ran into Cross earlier in the streets, Lt. Myrsk, may not be so quick to accept Cross’ involvement. Pushing the PG envelope here, Stephane Roux shows his talent for drawing bodies, both female and male, and also his depiction of alien species (Dah’lis, Myrsk, some of the soiree attendees) work well. While the unarmed combat scenes go well, the scenes with the speeder bike flying around in the house seems a little disjointed.
The action and story flow well together, though I’m hoping for a little bit of a break from the Bond formula, and I think we get a hint of that in the character bios page at the end – one player is hinted at being not quite in the mold as the 007 cast.