Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse #1

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Stephane Roux
Inker: Julien Hugonnard-Bert
Colorist: Wes Dzioba
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Stephane Roux
Variant Cover Artist: Dave Wilkins

Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse #1 delivered as promised the idea of 007 meets the Empire. Jahan Cross isn’t a Bond clone, but the style of the comic and story definitely has the same vibe. For instance, the comic starts off with agent Cross paying a little visit to an Imperial officer. The imp officer’s headquarters has the classic feel of the typical spy villain. There’s the chat that turns into offers and ultimatums. Traps are sprung and the plot springs into action. With some smooth moves, the good guy of course wins, and then it’s off to visit the higher ups. In this case there is no Q, but there is Head of Imperial Intelligence Armand Isard. More Bond cues follow as the issue includes a visit to the infamous research lab with requisite gadgets and inventors.

This was actually one of my favortie scenes. The artwork really clicked here with the lighting and subjects.

Aside from all the Bond stuff, the story includes some nice nods to the Expanded Universe. The plot mentions the Stark Hyperspace war and the story itself roams from Wayland to the Corporate Sector. There’s a Sluissi alien named Alessi Quon who happens to be one of the gadget makers. And of course Han and Chewie show up toward the end. Of all the inclusions, I liked seeing Armand Isard the most. He’s set to be Jahan’s boss, and I’m looking forward to see his character expanded a little.

Here's a good example of the art style in the comic. Characters have a more cartoonish feel than realistic. It's not a bad look, and it gives a different vibe for the story.

The story itself is a fun romp that includes a good mix of action and humor. The action parts are dominated by Cross battling bad guys as he completes his missions. The humor came in rather unexpectedly, but it fit perfectly. Although Cross is more of a Daniel Craig type Bond when it comes to action, the story feels more old school with the humor elements.

My favorite page from the Iron Eclipse #1. The reader gets to see Jahan and Igna in action. Plus there's some cool work done with the panel arrangement and some nice colors.

One thing that is worth taking a closee look at is the artwork. The style of Agent of the Empire is very different from Ostrander’s previous Star Wars series Legacy. It’s a bit more stylistic and cartoonish than Knights of the Old Republic.  However, it’s not a bad look, it’s just different. Some comic fans might not like artwork that strays away from realism, and if that’s the case, this one might not be for you. Now with the style taken into consideration, there are some odd quirks I noticed. Primarily there’s a strange tendency for the characters to have their faces bathed in black ink blobs for shadows. Those pieces of shading bothered me. Aside from that, there were some cool scenes and some good art. Overall, I thought it worked okay.

The good and the bad: sometimes the characters were done well, while other times they had a heavy shading effect that didn't sit well with me.

This being the first issue in a brand new series, Iron Eclipse #1 wasn’t too bad. It brought home the feel of a James Bond-Star Wars story and provided an entertaining issue. Starring an Imperial agent, it’ll be interesting to see how the stories go from this new point of view. The more intimate scale of the story should also provide for some good story telling since this doesn’t appear to be some save-the-galaxy plot. I give it a 4 out of 5 metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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