Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #5

Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #5 (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: Hard Targets wraps up where it started. If readers recall, issue one had Agent Jahan in a fist fight with the notorious Boba Fett. Now that events have finally worked themselves out, we’ve gotten back to that fight and the circumstances around it. While a bit complicated, Jahan is manipulating matters to try to get everything he wants without compromising what integrity he has. But can he pull it off?

The issue starts off with a lot of action as Fett and Jahan face off in a three way battle with Lord Borgin’s foot soldiers. Of course readers know that Jahan has hired Fett for something, but Boba doesn’t have a clue. Fett keeps in character by playing it cool and not showing any fear when he’s quickly out numbered. Nor does he back down to an Imperial spy like Cross. Amidst all the blaster bolts and hand-to-hand combat, Ostrander drops a few intriguing lines that subtly creates some history between Jahan and Fett. The action and drama play out pretty well, but the twists and turns of Jahan’s plan manages to stay elusive all the way to the end of the issue. At one point Jahan even appears to turn completely cold-hearted Imperial by killing everyone to get what he wants. While that doesn’t stay completely true, it doesn’t become completely false, either. In then end, Jahan does accomplish some good. One has to wonder how long he’ll be able to keep that up, though.

The artwork in this issue wasn’t too bad. It’s still a little rougher than the first arc, but the colors do a good job of picking up the slack and adding a lot of vibrancy to the panels. The arrangement of the panels also adds a really nice dynamic element to each page. There are a lot of slanted lines which enhances the feel of motion, adding to the action. It really heats up after page eight as the images begin overlapping the panels, blurring the scenes together in a nice collage of storytelling. And then there’s a nice shift in the colors and the mood as the story shifts to Lord Borgin’s estate. The colors become dark and woodsy, a calm break leading up to a well done sniper scene. The wrap up on Alderaan felt a little anti-climatic. The page before the end has a nice little sunset entry, but the final page misses out on any epic scenery.

In the end, this issue definitely wraps things up and provides a solid end point depending on whether another Agent of the Empire arc is announced or not. Hard Targets certainly had some fun and explored Jahan’s character in more detail, showing off his extended circle of associates, as well as exploring some of the limits of his morality. The artwork was pretty good with some very nice coloring. This last issue got just a little bit overly complicated with the plot, and the ending was a tad bit weak, so I’m going to have to give it a four and half out of five metal bikinis. Still, overall, it was a solid arc for the series and I really hope they do more.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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