Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #1
Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #1 (of 5)
Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Davidé Fabbri
Inker: Christian Dalla Vecchia and Davidé Fabbri
Colorist: Wes Dzioba
Letterist: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Stéphane Roux
Agent of the Empire is back for more fun with Hard Targets #1. In this issue Jahan runs into Boba Fett, we’re introduced to the new Count Dooku of Serenno, and we get a look at the gray side of Imperial Intelligence. While there’s a change up in artists, it still looks pretty good. Storywise, John Ostrander is still knocking it out of the park.
Fans of of the first arc, Iron Eclipse, will notice an immediate difference in the artwork of Hard Targets. The pencils for the first arc were done by Stéphane Roux and Stéphane Créty. Créty stepped in for issues #3 and #4 with a style so similar to Roux’s that it was absolutely seamless. However the transition from Iron Eclipse to Hard Targets is very noticeable. Davidé Fabbri has taken over and his style has less polish than previous team. It’s kind of a rougher look, but it still works and combined with the gorgeous coloring, it looks pretty good.
Right off the bat, readers will get an eyeful of some beautiful coloring. The first page delivers with rich ocean blues and a blast of warm oranges, reds, and yellows as Jahan gets blown up by Boba Fett. Throughout the issue, the colors are very full and vibrant. There’s also a nice variety of cool colors and warm colors. I’d have to say the coloring really makes the art pop.
As nice as the visuals are, the story is just as good. It kicks off with action and a bit of intrigue as Jahan battles Boba Fett in a mysterious skirmish. From there we’re launched to Alderaan where we see Jahan rubbing elbows with some very familiar characters: Leia, Winter, and Bail Organa. The is also where we see the new Count Dooku make his entrance. John throws in a little bit more humor and then plunges the story into some serious drama. Bail and Dooku get into the ever touchy discussion of rebellion, Jahan gets mixed up in an assassination, and then Jahan learns that his entire mission may have been a meaningless act by some Imperial crony. Here we see Jahan question Imperial Intelligence. It’s certainly not enough to make him quit, but it’s definitely a step toward broadening his view.
There are a lot of other fun moments in the issue. We get to see Ysanne Isard as a fellow Imperial agent. There’s mention of Jahan’s father who we might see in the next issue. Plus there was a great line by a pedestrian who remarked, “Aren’t you suppose to be dead?” when he saw Boba Fett. If you were a fan of the first arc, Hard Targets delivers the same fun and great storytelling. The art is a little different, but it still works. For anyone how hasn’t dived into Agent of the Empire yet, do so. You’re missing out on a great story. I give Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #1 a five out of five metal bikinis.