Is Zayne Carrick walking a fine line or playing with fire in this week’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – War #3? GONK checks it out.
Jedi-turned-Republic draftee-turned-Mandalorian conscript Zayne Carrick is playing a dangerous game in the third issue of Knight of the Old Republic: War. In order to prevent the Mandos from launching a full invasion on his homeworld of Phaeda, he plots a ruse to allow the Jedi-led Mandalorian forces to take the main communications station near the planet, although he is not entirely successful in keeping it a bloodless takeover. Getting some intel in a message from an old friend, he discovers Dorjander Kace’s ultimate target: the Jedi school on Dantooine. Confronted by Carrick, Kace reveals his aim: not to wipe out the younglings, but to adopt them into a generation of Force-wielding Mandalorians against the Republic. What can Carrick do to stop Kace’s plot without earning the wrath of the Mandos? Create another ruse – but this time against his newest drafters.
Zayne is really digging himself in deep as he tries to keep both sides from killing each other. He clashes with one of the Mandalorian leaders, Kra’ake, while they are taking the station, and makes a pact on his Mandalorian honor to Sornell to not warn the Republic about the Dantooine mission. In return, he is allowed to escape and he seeks out Morvis and the other Republic forces drafted into the Mandalorian military machine. A dangerous game indeed.
Miller sets up the continuing story of Carrick against all sides… or is he on all sides, and brings a lot of his storytelling talents to this plot. Most of the issue is dialog with Zayne, and not much action, as the former Jedi uses his wit to thwart plans for violence. We finally get into Kace’s motivations for siding with the Mandalorians and against his fellow Jedi. And Gryph makes his grand entrance into the series, as restauranteur and a man well-connected (and even well-dressed). Slyssk and Elbee also make a cameo, but Gryph outdoes himself by having the Valorettes as a USO style stage show in the background.
In the art department, i was a little confused by the depiction of the Bith on board the communications station – they’ve got more human-style mouths than the traditional Bith seen elsewhere, and it made it look more like humans wearing a set of Bith eyes and bulbous heads as a Halloween costume than actual Bith. But perhaps there’s some Bith subset with exposed mouths. Still, it bugged me. Otherwise, Andrea Mutti’s artwork (with inking by Pierluigi Baldassini and colors by Michael Atiyeh) fits the storyline – I especially enjoyed the Phaedan cruiser Derapha at the start, and comparing the panels of a pensive Zayne at the beginning to Kace drinking introspectively in the middle.
Some good setup for the next act, and great to see Gryph again. and as our hero with the worst luck says: “Because when Zayne Carrick makes travel plans… things are never normal.”