Knight Errant: Deluge #2

Writer: John Jackson Miller
Penciller: Iban Coello
Inker: Sergio Abad
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Joe Quinones

Deluge #2 marks a change in the series as the action focuses on starfighter combat and a new art team takes over. First off, I think Joe Quinones deserves some praise for a very nice cover that really captures the heart of the issue. Kerra is behind the controls of a starfighter as her character shifts from savior back to fighter. Her face also reflects her change in emotion. In issue one of Deluge, Kerra spiraled into a quick depression which rebounded when Captain Devaad arrived. Now with Devaad bringing in a bright new ray of hope, Kerra is once again in high spirits. It’s also interesting to note that the art reflects those emotions through the pages.

Fire Lotus starfighters above Aquilaris. This was one of my favorite panels in the issue. As you can see, the new artists do a great job illustrating the starships capturing both detail, color, and action.

One thing readers will notice after page one is a remarkably brighter tone to the coloring and shading. Almost all of the panels are bright and vivid. The scenes on Aquilaris  show blue skies and blue water like the most pleasant of summer days. And it’s for a good reason: Aquilaris has been freed from the Sith and protected from the Hutts. Kerra’s homeworld is free once again. Best of all, Kerra gets a chance to leave and join Devil Squadron. When the action moves to space, the black backdrops are liberally saturated with brilliantly colored laser bolts, engines exhaust, explosions, and planets. The coloring maintains an upbeat tone throughout the entire issue.

Among some of the new ships revealed was this unidentified Sith fighter that looks like a version of a TIE bomber or Darth Vader's advanced TIE but end-to-end. Possibly Daiman's personal shuttle, or maybe a recon vessel.

Whether on the ground or in space, starfighter combat dominates the scenes. There is a lot of artwork showcasing the ships, plus the story starts name dropping what the fighters are called: Fire Lotus starfighters (Devil Squadron), and Intruder starfighters (Hutts). On top of that Zodoh’s flagship, the Voracious, shows up and the sneaky Hutt pulls a little surprise on the good guys. Along with name dropping some of the ships, John Jackson Miller also drops some intriguing backstory details on Devil Squadron, as well as foreshadowing some surprises that could seriously throw a wrench into Kerra’s good cheer. Overall a solid story.

Here you can see some of the faces as illustrated in this issue. Kerra gets a lot of variations. I thought Devaad was consistently good, however Zodoh looked a bit cartoonish. Daiman wasn't too bad though the emotion is a bit much.

The artwork raises some questions though. This is the second change up in artists (first time was with Aflame #3) and the change is easily noticed. All of the characters have a more stylistic feel that edges just a little toward cartoonish. Yet the hit characters took is somewhat balanced by the excellent work with all the ships and inanimate objects. It’s hard to notice any change with starfighters, and when a pilot is shown with his helmet on, it has a nice level of detail and realism. But characters like Kerra have a more animated feel. Sometimes their facial emotions are expressive to the point that it seems like too much. And yes, Kerra looks different…again. To be honest I liked the way everyone looked except Kerra and Zodoh (who only appears twice). There was also a brief glimpse of Daiman which reflected the more stylistic appearance as well as the overly expressive emotions.

Here's a good example of how the artists can capture a scene with good, realistic detail. This panel was top notch, especially the coloring and shading. Yet I think the helmet was the key. If they would have shown the pilot's face, it probably would have added a cartoonish element to the panel.

Regardless the issue was still pretty good. The coloring was bright, vivid, and matched the emotions of this issue well. The story elements were perfect with a nice mix of action and story building. The only flaw is the change in the art style, but even there, the new style isn’t bad, it’s just different. Change doesn’t always play out well in the middle of a series, especially with established fans, so we’ll have to see how it works out in the long run. I give Deluge #2 three and a half out of five metal bikinis.

RD

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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