Knight Errant: Aflame #5
Writer: John Jackson Miller
Cover Artist: Joe Quinones
Interior Art By: Ivan Rodriguez, Belardino Brabo, and Michael Atiyeh
It is always sad to see the end of a good series, luckily Aflame #5 is only the end of an arc. In this final issue of Aflame, the first thing that struck me was how much the art had improved from issue four. Not only was the art better, but the story continued into its final climax for an excellent conclusion. Daiman and Odion both get their moments to shine, as do Kerra and Gorlan for a superb balance of characters. Action packed and visually satisfying, Aflame #5 succeeds in leaving the reader greedily wanting more.
Continuing with a familiar formula, Aflame #5 opens in space with a Sith monolog dripping in philosophy. Unlike the previous issue, this tears straight into some beautiful images of Odion storming into battle with his lightning guard dominating panels. The guard captures the eye with the brilliance of their blaster fire filling the air as flames riddle the battlefield. Surprisingly the Lightning Guard looks similar to the Republic Commandos of the Clone Wars era. Regardless, the guard is mere scenery to the primary focus: Odion. Yet he is not the only Sith star in this issue.
Both brothers play a large role and the art does them full justice. Odion boldly leads the charge of his minions. Thankfully the artist takes several opportunities to render the Sith Lord’s face in good detail which carries right on into Daiman’s appearance. For his part, Daiman never misses a chance to sit upon a throne and he once again shows off his off colored eyes. One panel does an effective job of exhibiting Daiman’s sense of upstart regalness. A low angle gives him the air of smugness and superiority while his eyes seal the expression. A follow up scene uses a contrast between a snarl and smile to further exemplify Daiman’s emotions. It works well to bring the character to life.
As good as the character art may be, what really stands out are the action scenes. From the towering doomsday presence of a kinetic corruptor to the flaming death of a Sith Lord, the pages are filled with dynamic, stunning imagery. One innovative two page layout sets Kerra and Odion in a mad chase in a series of small panels laid on top of a massive space panel that seemingly captures action in three dimensions. To top things off are gorgeous colors that do more than bring the images to life, they draw the reader into their reality.
Keeping up pace with the artwork, the story brings equal life to the characters and drives the action into the reader’s imagination. At moments the issue sweeps you away with the marauding battle lust of Odion. Toward the end, as the climax unfolds and engulfs the main characters, Odion pulls one of his best moves yet. Trailing close behind Kerra, Odion tries the classic ploy of luring Kerra into her anger. Unlike most Sith, he does not make the mistake of telling her to give into the dark side. Instead he skillfully manipulates her with a psychological taunt that finally illustrates his character as more than a bumbling villain. Wrapping things up, the story closes with a good role reversal with the main characters. In most circumstances the outcome would have turned out corny, but Miller makes it work for a perfect ending.
A touch of humor, a touch of drama, this series leaves the reader wanting more, but not for lack of satisfaction. In comparison to the Knights of the Old Republic comics, Kerra Holt stands apart from Zayne Carrick and presents a story that trades humor for drama in a way that is no less entertaining. Kerra’s internal conflicts and impulsive nature drive the story while capturing the reader’s interest. Around her is yet another setting putting Sith and Jedi against each other, however this time it’s fresh. Instead of the Sith readers are used to, Miller provides us with a new breed. The conflict itself is also on a new scale. Rather than focusing on the larger picture, Knight Errant zeroes in on the actions of just one Jedi behind enemy lines for a look at the enemy that is not often portrayed in Star Wars.
As an individual issue, Knight Errant: Aflame #5 earns itself four out of five brass bikinis.