The suspense heats up in issue #4 of Crimson Empire III – Empire Lost, out this week!
Kir Kanos and Mirith Sinn finally get re-united face to face in Crimson Empire III – Empire Lost #4, but Jedi Master Luke Skywalker isn’t too happy with the former Imperial guardsman’s arrival.
In this issue, Kir Kanos, having escaped from Devian’s base in a stolen shuttle, arrives on Coruscant to warn Mirith Sinn about Devian’s plan to nuke the New Republic’s capital, just as Leia Organa Solo decides, over her brother’s concerns, to send Mirith Sinn to meet with the Imperial Feena d’Asta, who is holding out the olive branch to the New Republic from Admiral Pellaeon. Sinn meets up with Kanos in his prison cell (violating a no-fly zone in an Imperial Guard’s uniform is apparently taken seriously by the New Republic), and learns that even Kanos can change: he has let go of his oath to avenge the Emperor, and has come instead with a warning. Bringing Kanos to meet the Chief of State and her Jedi brother, Sinn insists on taking Kanos with her to the secret peace negotiation. Luke senses no treachery, but knows something is still wrong.
Meanwhile, General Solo dispatches Lar Ndigo to command a ship to search for the Endor, lost in the opening chapters of the story. Ndigo reaches the system with Devian’s hidden base, and when the surprise attack comes, he capably turns the tables in a risky gambit. Back on Coruscant, Rebel techs discover that Kanos’ shuttle is a giant zinethium bomb, and with no time to spare, Luke Skywalker pilots it off the planet to save the populace. Will his escape pod outrace the blast? Cliffhanger!
Despite a little bit of tension in the space battle between Ndigo’s ship and Devian’s base, and Luke springing in to Superman the nuke away into empty space, there’s more dialogue than action in this issue. Not exactly the Kir Kanos hacking his way through his enemies that we’ve seen in the previous series. Instead, we get Kanos realizing that his Empire is gone and blind devotion to an individual isn’t always a good thing. Sinn still isn’t sure about being the head of security for the Chief of State, and is similarly conflicted in being sent as an emissary to broker peace, but to me, it feels like we are being told that she’s not into these roles, and not really being shown it – perhaps we need to hear what she does want to do. The dialogue, by Mike Richardson, is solid, though some of Paul Gulacy’s faces just seem off to me – Leia in particular seems a little out of proportion in several panels. Perhaps it is Gulacy’s penchant for detailed lips. I do admit that having to age such iconic faces is a challenge. While putting Luke into a self-sacrificing mission loses some of the suspense knowing his overall survival, it still could mean that he’s knocked out of the action for the rest of the series, hopefully leaving a slack to be filled by Sinn and Kanos kicking butt and taking names in the final two issues.
Oh yeah, the series continues with including fan favorites: Ackbar makes an unnamed cameo, calling Ndigo a young guppy on the bridge of Solo’s flagship.