Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #2

Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #2 (of 5)

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Davidé Fabbri
Inkers: Christian Dalla Veccia, Davidé Fabbri
Colorist: Wes Dzioba
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Stéphane Roux

As if things weren’t bad enough already, things get even worse for Jahan Cross in this issue of Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #2. In the last issue, the Empire sent him to kill a man and he later finds out the reasons were less than genuine. Now the man he’s sent to help turns out to be the most rotten sort of individual you could expect to meet. Will Jahan stick to his loyalty to the Empire or will the strain finally cause him to snap and break orders?

Then there’s the Cleansing of Serenno. As one might expect, there was a massacre. Vader was present, but the real cherry of the deal was the stipulation Vader presented to the heads of the royal houses. It certainly added a bit to the backstory of the characters involved. The event also underlies a theme with the issue and possibly the arc, one of fathers and sons, and one of duty and limits. Both of these themes are reflected between Jahan and his father, and Rodas Borgin and his father.

Yet that’s just the surface of where the story goes in this issue. There’s ship-to-ship combat with classic boarding actions and battle with a myriad cast of villainous aliens. The spy tale goes full out Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s even a new villain, a female named Vex, and go figure, she has a history with Jahan. Bouncing around here and there, the story knocks out the drama in the beginning before plunging into some more lighthearted at the end.

There are some other fun items scattered throughout the issue. Early on, Jahan Cross encounters a guard who looks like Lobot (though it’s definitely not Lobot). Jahan’s father drops some cryptic comments about Jahan’s mother and her profession. The clues seem to hint that it was less than legal or publicly acceptable. There’s also a bit of ship eye candy with a sail barge that would make Jabba drool in envy. Though I think my favorite surprise of them all would have to be the Gand who shows up among the pirates.

All in all, John Ostrander continues to weave a fun story filled with action, fun, and some tantalizes bits of story and character development. The artwork is colorful and splendid with some truly gorgeous aliens rivaling the classic Mos Eisley Cantina bunch. With good pacing and a nice variety of content, the issue scores in the entertainment factor. While readers are still left to wonder where this arc might be going, especially with the new addition of Vex, there’s still plenty of time for the creators to dive into that. As is, I give this issue a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

1 Comment »

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  1. It was fantastic.

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