Star Wars: Knight Errant #3
"AFLAME" PART 3
Kerra Holt encounters Lord Odion!
By the midsection of "Aflame," it becomes pretty clear that this isn't the world of Knights of the Old Republic: it's a realm bereft of joy, outside of the little bits of it that Gorlan can steal for his family. This issue finds Kerra increasingly out of control, ping-ponging between the Sith Lords and grasping for some means of striking back and fulfilling what she sees as her mission. In #2, we got to see what life was like under Lord Daiman; in this issue, we got to see what life was like in a small corner of Odion's domain.
It's no fun to be living here -- and, as yet, no fun to be Kerra. We get our first overtly comic moment only now, for example, with Gadthree -- but Kerra isn't in the laugh business. She's still the perpetual motion machine, set off by the events of #1 (and, even, long before). But she's about to make some important realizations about herself, and what she's fighting for, that will change her outlook, introducing a new chord into what we've seen. She may be more heroic than she thinks she is -- and more forgiving, as well.
It was no fun to be Luke Skywalker, either, for a good, long stretch of celluloid -- but that changed as the story went along, and found his purpose. Kerra, too, is about to find her moment.
Meanwhile, Daiman and Odion's game continues. It'll be interesting to see how many readers catch what Daiman has actually done here. Daiman may be a nut, but he's a spectacular gamer -- and thinks several steps ahead.
Our third issue also found a switch to a new artist, Ivan Rodriguez. I'm not a stranger to these kinds of things -- my very first comics series saw an art switch by the third issue -- but as a longtime comics collector, I guess I'm pretty accustomed to these kinds of changes. Obviously, you'd like to do everything you can to stay with the same artist throughout a series, and that's the ideal — but that's not the norm in monthly comics. Anyway, I very much like Rodriguez's style here!
- Odion's cruisers are delicious chunks of gunmetal, spiny and ugly. I always liked the Sulaco from Aliens (I even made a Japanese model of it, in my model-airplane days). While that didn't directly inspire these, it wouldn't win a beauty contest, either.
- Meanwhile, Lord Daiman's fighters -- not Aureks, even though they have that feel -- are spindly things, with no provision for creature comforts. That's something that comes up in the novel preview, back in #0. You can order the novel here.
- I visualized The Spike as something of a helix where the hexagonal stadium-like factory theaters fitted into it like honeycombs. Most of the factory floors are open to space above, but the magnetic fields are opaque, shielding what's inside from prying eyes. And there are plenty of those!
- Lord Odion's flagship's name recalls Ieldis, an ancient Sith Lord mentioned in the KOTOR comics. Odion and the other Sith are a superstitious lot (if not cowardly); knowledge of ancient evils is the coin of the realm.
- The Givin helmsmen and Verpine engineers fit with Odion's philosophy of species profiling -- the right species for the right job. Although, as he admits here, it doesn't always work. But you file the EEOC complaint against him. I'll just wait over here...
- Explosive decompression is always tricky to depict in comics, and made even more difficult given the varying depictions of it in movies. It's actually more like as depicted in 2001 than in Total Recall; no exploding babies, as infamously happened in a 1980s comic book. Riding a stadium-sized volume of air, we figured a Jedi prepared for the event, as Kerra was, had a few seconds of action before she blacked out.
- This issue contained a multiple-page preview of Mass Effect: Evolution, my series launching in January 2011.
This issue has been reprinted in the following collection:
Star Wars: Knight Errant Vol. 1 (Dark Horse, 2011),
available from Amazon.
The issue is also available digitally from Marvel.com.
Be sure to also check my shop for the availability of signed editions.