Comic Review: Star Wars: Agent Of The Empire: Iron Eclipse #3

Star Wars: Agent Of The Empire: Iron Eclipse #3
Written by John Ostrander
Pencils by Stéphane Roux
Inks by Julien Hugonnard-Bert
Colors by Wez Dzioba
Cover Art by Stéphane Roux
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 8, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

The new series in the Star Wars universe Agent Of The Empire: Iron Eclipse resumes with its third issue. Our main character, Imperial Agent Jahan Cross – essentially the James Bond of Star Wars – is in the Corporate Sector investigating collusion involving the heirs of the Stark family. On the run from the authorities in the zone, Cross finds himself indebted to none other than a very young Han Solo and his new companion, Chewbacca.

Whereas the first two issues of Agent Of The Empire were a nice fun introduction to this James Bond-like story, complete with the stereotypical MI6-style moments you would come to expect in a 007 movie, the third issue finally brings us into the characterization of Jahan Cross, and most particularly the choices he makes. The writing of issue #3 is superior over the first two chapters, and I found myself starting to guess and speculate as to what exactly Cross was up to in particular moments.

As the Bond and Bourne components do continue to persist, the Cross character is beginning to come into his own; and I hazard to guess, is beginning a journey onto which he may not possibly return as either the same man or back to the Empire, or both. It is unclear at this point, but there are some clues and cues dotted across this issue which may (or may not) symbolize the direction this adventure may take for Jahan Cross. I am getting the feeling this introductory story arc may find him end up being pitted against the Empire he serves”¦ though this is just my own speculative guessing at this point.

This edition quite literally opens up with a bang – and closes with one too. It’s a nice symmetrical approach to the writing of this issue, as we both end and begin with the assumption of death, with the meat of the story in between emphasizing and answering more questions, but also hinting as to Cross’ background and future.

I am beginning to especially enjoy the Han Solo and Chewbacca subplot of the story. Writer John Ostrander, along with the art team of Stéphane Créty, Julien Hugonnard-Bert, and Wes Dzioba, have made an effort to make this be a subplot of the very, VERY early companionship between the Corellian smuggler and his Wookiee copilot; but have classily done so without explicitly stating it. It’s a nice touch, and I’m enjoying it. I’m also enjoying the detective subplot involving Nikto Sergeant Myrsk that is actually amusing at times.

On the subject of the artwork, I must say the work so far across all three issues is beyond stellar. The particular emphasis on background tones is noticeable to the development of the writing and the plot, and I am guessing ultimately significant to Jahan Cross’ character development. The balance between the penciling, inking, and coloring is wonderful – these three artists are a fantastic team and I am looking forward to more work from them.

Likewise of note are the spectacular cover designs so far for the Agent Of The Empire series. They are quite unique in their approach to this specific series, and a little different from previous Star Wars publications, so the change is a welcome one. St̩phane Roux is responsible for this cover art Рand kudos for a beautiful effort indeed.

I have definitely no criticisms about Agent Of The Empire: Iron Eclipse #3. It kicked straight into the action, and very clearly is moving from the James Bond elements and into its own flavor. I am hopeful this trend endures and we see further fresh developments in these first adventures of secret Imperial agent Jahan Cross. Star Wars fans will absolutely love this installment of the series; and I think other comic fans will enjoy this issue as long as they read the first two for a bit of context. So far, so good, and now on to the next issue please!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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