The ‘Iron Eclipse’ plot is revealed and Agent Cross must fight for his life in this week’s issue of Star Wars: Agent of the Empire. GONK checks it out!
Jahan Cross, secret agent, wrongly wanted for murder, has managed to elude the Corporate Sector cops by faking his death (again!) and needs to get to the bottom of the Iaclyn Stark’s Iron Eclipse orbital station project. Enlisting the help of Iaclyn’s sister, Elli, he gets some key intel on the project, and takes her to the station by hitching a ride with his old Academy buddy, Han Solo. But on the station, Iaclyn has a big surprise or two for Elli and Jahan, and it won’t be a pleasant reunion. The cover art might give a hint as to what’s coming next for the superspy.
John Ostrander continues to keep the ‘Iron Eclipse’ storyline gripping in Agent of the Empire #4. This has been a great ride so far, and this issue keeps the tension going, with some great developments and some action. Plus some Han Solo and Chewbacca in their smuggling days – always a bonus. More importantly, Ostrander lets us inside Cross’ armor: we learn why he believes so strongly in the Empire’s mission of order. There is good pacing, with the plot reaching the climax, with perhaps not as much action as the third issue, but enough to keep the danger level up in every situation.
Does the captain of the Millennium Falcon need to be in this story? Perhaps not, but it provides for an extra dimension to the plot comparing the former classmates who both were at the top of their class: Han is still in his ‘looking out for himself’ phase while Cross is the true believer in the larger cause, much like the operative in Serenity: making a better world. And being a passenger instead of having to pilot his own ship provides Cross a little downtime to bond with Elli. Having Solo around is useful to the plot, and gives a quick question about Han: will he be back to rescue the heroes, or will they have to find their own way out?
The art, continued by Stéphane Créty, though it will be switching back to series-starter Stephane Roux next issue, is solid: Crety’s characters come out well, and the action is well portrayed and blocked. Han might have a bit more nose than normal, but I’ll chalk it up to style – but where’s Chewbacca’s bandolier? Cross shows a wide range of emotions in this issue, and that is depicted well. With Julien Hugonnard-Bert on the inks and Wes Dzioba on the colors, there are some great moods set in the palettes, especially on the final approach to the station, and in Cross’ flashbacks.
Thumbs up on this issue (really, thumbs up on the whole series). Can’t wait until the final issue!