Wednesday, January 26, 2011

13. In Deadly Pursuit

"In Deadly Pursuit" is actually the first collection of newspaper strips published by Dark Horse, but it doesn't include the first newspaper strips. The earliest newspaper strips were re-published in Volume 4 of Classic Star Wars, "The Early Adventures". That is why I read volume 4 first and then volume 1. As with the previous Classic Star Wars collection, I was very impressed with this one. In general, the stories are engaging, the characters act the way they did in the movies, and the art is very good. This volume also includes some information on how these Classic Star Wars collections were made. They are not a simple copy of what was published in the newspapers. They have been edited, re-formatted, touched up, and colored. I think that Dark Horse has done a marvelous job in all aspects, and I'm thoroughly enjoying reading through these comics.

There are several story arcs presented in this volume. The first focuses on the bounty hunter from Ord Mantell that Han mentions in "The Empire Strikes Back". First, I appreciate how this medium is used to expand on a topic brought up during the movie. These off hand comments in the movies beg to be developed into full blown stories, and I'm glad they are done in these comics. The story tells how Han was almost captured by this bounty hunter, and shows his narrow escape.

The second story is very interesting because it features a group of Imperial admirals that are plotting the downfall of Darth Vader. They have realized that it is only a matter of time before they fall victim to Vader's choke hold, and have decided to take action. They contact the rebellion for help and Luke is sent on the mission. But things take an unexpected turn when a double agent is revealed. In my opinion, this is one of the best story arcs in any of the comics I've read so far.

Luke is able to escape from the failure of his mission with the help of a shuttle pilot/thief named Tanith. She takes him to her home planet where he and the droids are enslaved along with Tanith and her family. With the help of R2, he is able to overthrow the slavers and rendezvous with Leia who is on a diplomatic mission on the planet Kabal.

Soon after his arrival, Kabal comes under attack from an Imperial armada, but Luke and Leia are rescued by Han and Chewbacca. Upon escape, they are trapped by a disgruntled Imperial scientist who has decided that they need to die with him since it is the fault of the Rebellion that he has suffered radiation poisoning.

Our heroes once again escape, but are then sent to the planet Aquaris, since Leia has recently reached an agreement with the leader of Aquaris, Silver Fyre, that Aquaris will join the rebellion. Han has his doubts however, because he knows Silver is a double crossing smuggler. The collection ends here, with the story to be picked up in the next volume.

Here is the collection described above:

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