Knight Errant: Escape #3
Knight Errant: Escape #3 (of 5)
Writer: John Jackson Miller
Penciller: Marco Castiello
Assistant Penciller: Andrea Chella
Inker: Vincenzo Acunzo
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Benjamin Carré
Knight Errant: Escape #3 was a nice step up from the last issue. Honestly, I thought #2 meandered a bit, but #3 picks up the pace and ratchets up the enticement level. There’s some interesting elements to the story that add a nice degree of depth to the characters. As solid as the writing is, though, the art continues to roller coaster.
First off, lets start with the story. Miller takes the reader on another flashback, but instead of seeing Kerra and her parents, we get to see little Odion. Yes. Little. Odion. And Daiman to boot. I’d never really thought too much about Daiman and Odion as kids. Taking the time to include that flashback changes the pace of the story, and for the better. It not only added to the history of Daiman and Odion’s characters, but to their character motivations. Getting to know the characters is always a plus for readers.
The flashback transitions nicely to the present day, but the story quickly changes gears to follow Kerra Holt. For Kerra’s part, we actually get quite a bit of dialog. She’s pretty open with her complaints to her fellow novitiates and quick to criticize her superiors. It’s actually kind of odd to see her so whiny and bossy and her companions portrayed so calm and level headed. The Sith typically don’t get the better end of the stick when it comes to positive character traits.
Getting back on track, Kerra runs across a little secret that her commander Yulan has been spending a lot of time with. There’s a good build up to the scene, and it adds a new dimension to Yulan’s character. Before I saw him simply as another Sith stooge, one who seemed a bit hypocritical to Odion’s code of death seekers. Yet this new bit of backstory finally creates some more motivation for me to care about Yulan as a character.
From there the story plunges to Skarpos and a three way battle between Malakite and his mutant army, Odion’s entrenched forces, and a surprise appearance by Daiman (which should be no surprise since he’s on the cover battling Malakite). While everyone’s busy killing each other, Kerra sneaks into a cave to get her hands on the Helm of Ieldis. Miller leaves readers with a nice cliff hanger that definitely leaves you in eager anticipation for the next issue.
Sadly, I cannot end this review on such a high note. As I mentioned before, the art in this issue is a roller coaster, and not a thrill ride that raises the bar of your expectations. Instead the art here leaves you wanting something much better. Maybe I’m spoiled from the other series like Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison and Darth Maul: Death Sentence. But then again, if they can be that good, why can’t Knight Errant: Escape? Furthermore, the art isn’t all bad. In fact the cover is gorgeous. The details on the speeder bike and the flying lizard creature are outstanding. Silhouetting Daiman with the sun is just exquisite. It looks awesome.
The flashback scenes start rolling by and the first few panels aren’t that bad. There’s not a ton of detail and the colors are muted, but it’s a flashback and it works. And yet there are these little details that kind of gouge my eyes and tear me away from the story. The seventh panel shows a young Odion holding his head in pain as he experiences his first Force headache. In this panel, Odion looks very odd. There’s almost a Benjamin Button sort of feel to the image. Odion looks more like a caricature of a little man than a kid. The strange thing is that he looked fine in the other panels, but not this one.
Okay, so one glaring flaw in the imagery, I can let that slide. The flashback continues with a pretty cool still of a lightsaber fight. Then there’s a nice closeup of Odion in the present. Things continue to roll along right up to the big scene with Yulan. This is the big reveal. From the dialog, you can tell this panel is suppose to hit the reader with some impact. Kerra sees something that is vast and shocking. Unfortunately the reader gets none of the shock. It’s a complete, emotional dud. We’re led to believe that Odion is taking thousands of poor, innocent children, stripping them from their parents, from life itself, and imprisoning them in little environment bubbles were their vile presences can be kept far away from him. Keep in mind that Odion gets Force headaches from just being around other lifeforms, children especially. To ease his headaches he’s actually cleansed his entire Odionate of all children.
The imagery is a blue football field with a couple dozen bubbles. A bland, blue arena filled with featureless, emotionless bubbles. To be fair there are actually 76 bubbles in the image. Each bubble has a faint white speck that I initially mistook for a gleam on the glass but on second glance is the little specks of the children. This was a pretty big fail in my opinion; a huge missed opportunity that could have used a lot more detail and maybe a different angle or focus to try and provoke some emotion.
Fast forward to the three way battle on Skarpos. There’s a colorful space panel, a nice panel of Malakite charging into battle on the backs of some winged species, then some bland action scenes. Later on we get a nice shot of Yulan and Kerra, then an odd shot of Daiman and Glenk, the Kubaz. The scene with Daiman and Glenk had a lot of potential. It’s a good setup, but it lacks…I don’t…polish, finesse. There’s just something about it that looks subpar in quality. It reminds me of some of the early art in the free online comics they did for The Old Republic.
Wrapping it up, I was disappointed at how underwhelming the art was in this issue. When I read Escape #1, I was trying to keep an open mind. I thought maybe the art style would grow on me, but it hasn’t. Maybe it works for some people, but it’s not working for me at all. The poor quality of the art also makes it really hard to rate this issue. On one hand I want to give it a four out of five bikinis for a great story, on the other, I want to give it a two for the interior artwork. As much as I love a good story, a comic has to hold it’s own with good imagery to match. In the wake of that, I’ll give it a bit of both and call it a three out of five.