GONK enjoys the action in this week’s Star Wars comic offering: Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness #4.
How long has it been since we’ve gotten an issue of Dark Times? Too long, I think – Issue #3 came out in late November! But good things come to those who wait!
The current story arc of Dark Times took a big step closer to a giant action-filled ending with the fourth issue of ‘Out of the Wilderness’. Having crash landed on the hardscrabble world of Prine, Dass Jennir springs into an attempt to rescue his companion, Ember Chankeli, from a caravan of nomadic slavers, not knowing that a mysterious assassin, Falco Sang, has almost caught up to him, or that his friends from the Uhumele and Darth Vader are also closing in on his position.
While a mounted Jedi and his droid, H2, might be a match against a caravan of pirates riding beasts, Sang helps to even the playing field a bit for Jennir. H2 discovers Ember’s fellow captive, Maddie, and Jennir is able to free her before the assassin swoops in, forcing Jennir to flee leaving Chankeli behind. Hiding in a canyon, Jennir plots his rescue attempt while Maddie plants an idea in H2′s circuits to determine if Dass is married to Ember. Meanwhile, the assassin sets Ember up as bait in a trap, knowing the Dass will return, out of love. But Dass Jennir knows he’s walking into an ambush and plans accordingly.
The issue explodes with action, with some awesome panels at the start – Doug Wheatley captures the effects of Dass Jennir’s charge on the caravan guards with wordless nuance well. When Falco Sang arrives on the scene, his interactions with his droid, Izee, provide some character, while swinging the camera from Jennir to Sang’s point of view. Randy Stradley’s plot is light on dialogue overall, and gives Wheatley ample ground for his detailed work, with some subtleties that you can pick up on the second reading (like how Ember Chankeli comes to be armed). The colorful palette in the day time switches over to capture the hues of sunset and then of a starry night.
No sign of Vader in this issue, and barely a scene with Bomo Greenbark and the Uhumele crew, along with their Verpine Jedi, since the story focuses on the rescue at the caravan, and Sang mixing it up with Jennir and Chankeli. Good pacing, and some great visuals. Will Dass and Ember get a chance to sort out their relationship, or will the very professional Falco Sang get in the way of the good man and the bad girl. Looking forward to the final issue – hopefully we won’t have to wait another two or three months!