Legacy – War #6
Writer: John Ostrander & Jan Duursema
Cover Artist: Jan Duursema
Interior Art by: Jan Duursema (pencils), Dan Parsons (inks), Brad Anderson (colors), and Michael Heisler (letters)
Legacy #6…the final issue…the moment you’ve been waiting for. Did Cade defeat Krayt? Did the Sith surprise everyone by winning? Did Fel give in and use Omega Red? Did any more minor character get tossed into the fodder bin? First let’s discuss the art.
Flipping through the pages I was struck by the strong contrast in styles that Jan and the other artists used. One moment the page is dominated by Cade standing dramatically in shadow with his green lightsaber lit and ready. The panel is dominated by dark colors with a good amount of detail. The lower panels showcase a side-by-side face shot of Cade and Krayt as they are about to begin their epic battle. Again the panels use lots of dark colors and heavy shadows with high detail, yet the penciling and coloring shifts to a very realistic style that’s just plain gorgeous. Then everything changes dramatically on the next page with a minimalist panel with barely any detail or attention. Another shift swings back up to the familiar action-style the series uses that balances detail and pleasing, bright colors as Cade and Krayt lock horns with Force strikes and parries.
This contrasting style of panels continues throughout the issue, and throughout the series as a whole. The detailed art panels, often highlighting a single character in pose or just a close-up of their face, are beautiful. These shots succeed in capturing the drama of the story. Hazarding a guess I would hypothesize that these ultra detailed works of art have to be balanced with the bare minimum panels that are sparingly used to transition between scenes in order to meet time restraints. Furthermore the higher quality images consume a good chunk of space, whereas the transition panels take up only a small portion of the comic. Regardless the bulk of the artwork relies on the series’ action-style and in the end each method works together to highlight certain scenes and thus focus more attention on certain parts. I think it ultimately works out very well, especially in this issue, to keep readers going along the roller coaster ride of emotion without getting burnt out. Looking at it from another point of view, the shifting styles do a good job of arousing emotion by a sly manipulation of the art.
Of all the artwork in this issue, there was one page that really captured me as a reader more so than all the others. It begins with a crawling, malformed, demonic Cade Skywalker lying before a fiery Lord Krayt. As Coruscant burns in the middle of the page, ghosts of fire leer at Cade as he runs from Krayt. Then the Sith Lord finally reveals his hand in his last play. A resolute Krayt delivers the blow. An odd half-in-half shot of a Krayt/Cade face stares the reader down. Finally it ends with a last shot of Cade’s eye as he turns into the thing he’s sought to destroy. Together it formed a stunning page wonderfully portrayed with charged dialog and building emotion. It was truly the highlight of the issue for me as the two combatants entered a contest of wills.
Without spoiling anything, the issue flowed with a good story that delved into duels between major characters. By the end the major character conflicts were resolved, and overall it was a satisfying ride, though the final page was a bit vague and mysterious.
Now it’s time to dish out the spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
Personally I very much wanted an ending that I didn’t expect. I hoped beyond reason that Krayt would live and Cade would die. I was very close to getting at least half my wishes, but alas Cade won and lived. I was pleased that even in death Krayt made one last play, and I was on edge as Cade plunged toward his own death. I think it would have been interesting if he’d continued the plunge and ended the Skywalker blood line, but I suppose that was something they just couldn’t do. The big showdown aside, I was pleased that Nihl survived and took over as the new Dark Lord of the Sith. The little snippets we got showing what will happen with them were nice. And the fact that Hogrum Chalk escaped all blame leaves a lot of room for suspicion in what will become of the Galactic Federation Triumvirate. To me, Fel’s death was no big surprise, and no big loss either.
The one thing that plagues me is the last page and the plant things growing in the wreckage of the hidden temple. Are we being led to believe that Jedi Master T’ra Saa lives? And if so, why did they chose to end with that image?
Overall I give this issue a healthy four out of five metal bikinis. As a reader and Star Wars fan, I was very satisfied.