Have things spiraled out of control for the Lost Tribe on Kesh? GONK reviews this week’s Star Wars comic offering, the last issue of Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral.
The Lost Tribe might have met its match in the re-awakened Lord Dreypa and his arsenal of leviathans. Can Takara Hilts and Spinner set aside their differences to put a stop to this madman in Issue #5 of Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith – Spiral (DarkHorse.com profile). Add a single starship into this mix of ambitious Sith, and you’ve got a race to see who can get off of this forsaken rock first!
Parlan Spinner has found the long lost ship buried in Tahv and manages to launch himself into space. While he’s ready to leave his homeworld behind, Dreypa contacts him with an ultimatum: hand over the ship, and Dreypa will spare Takara’s life and let Spinner rule Kesh, or Dreypa’s monsters will ravage the Tribe. As the city of Tahv buckles down to the onslaught of the leviathans, Spinner returns with his ship’s guns blazing. With Takara as a hostage, a leviathan-riding Dreypa gives Spinner one last chance to surrender the vessel, but Takara kills the beast with the Force, and she and the dark lord land on the Last Hope. Flying away from the city, Spinner surprises Dreypa by relinquishing the ship to him, and leaps off with Takara — leaving Dreypa in a ship locked into a collision course with a volcano. Now a hero, Spinner learns from the Grand Lord Varner Hilts that his sentence of exile to the southern lands was part of Varner’s plan to investigate for remnants of Kesh’s previous arrivals, and takes the Grand Lord’s offer to be his agent in building up the Tribe as the Grand Lord’s Hand. Varner’s aims for Takara are revealed to his wife – by being denied a chance at familial succession, their daughter needed something to strive for, and she too is now the Grand Lord’s Hand.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the end of the story, and with the whole Spiral storyline in general. It introduced a whole lot of new stuff in the world of the Lost Tribe: the Doomed, the identity of the Protectors and Destructors, and all kinds of secrets on the main continent. While the story took twists and turns, it kept the pace going with new things popping up, yet managed to still keep enough focus on the main characters of Takara and Spinner.
In the end, Spinner reveals that he does have a heart, making his return in the big battle like Han Solo to save the day — and then sacrificing his one chance at full freedom to save Takara and eliminate Dreypa. But Solo’s a smuggler and good guy, while Parlan Spinner is a Sith malcontent and describes himself as “Wrecking stuff’s what I do”. But Varner sees more in the troublemaker – Spinner can also be a builder of society, accomplishing the Grand Lord’s goal of holding the Tribe together so it can move forward from the time of Rot. It’s kind of weird rooting for the Sith in this storyline, but then again, these aren’t the plotting-to-overthrow-the-galaxy-and-kick-puppies Sith Lords, but just an old scholar trying to keep the lights from going off, and his cop daughter, and a guy who’s been kicked around all his life at the bottom of the pecking order, and yet who isn’t all just about himself after all.
In his Lost Tribe ebooks, John Jackson Miller built up the tribe over generations, delivering a big shock to the system in Pandemonium. With Spiral, he adeptly blows even more of it out of the water, but with a great story that fits the comic medium well. I really enjoyed the characters of Spinner and Takara and the world they live in. Having built up the world of the Lost Tribe in the ebooks, Miller takes the time to focus on the personalities of the characters, much like his work in Knights of the Old Republic and make them interesting and fun to see. This could not have been done without the great artwork by Andrea Mutti. Spinner gets some fantastic scenes at the beginning of this comic as he learns how to fly a starship. And if crazy giant monster action is your bag, there’s plenty of panels of leviathans going the full Godzilla on Tahv. By the way, I love the ship design of the Last Hope – reminiscent of the Millennium Falcon and Ebon Hawk but stands out as its own vessel.
While Dreypa seemed a little comic book villain-y at times (then again, this is a comic book), he gets what’s coming to him, and our heroes win the day. For a series that pretty much starts from scratch: brand new characters and some brand new ideas brought to the Lost Tribe world, it still felt very Star Wars to me – even though they are all supposed to be bad guys (well, except the Doomed). An entertaining and enjoyable adventure!