Comic Review: Crimson Reign #4 (of 5)

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Published: April 27, 2022
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Steven Cummings
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colourist: GURU-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Logo & Book Design: Adam Del Re
Cover Artist: Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho

The synopsis;

• THE KNIGHTS OF REN have their role to play in QI’RA’S grand scheme to destabilize THE EMPIRE, and their task is arguably the most important…
• Something crucial is locked away in FORTRESS VADER, and the Knights must steal it.
• A heist on the SITH-controlled furnace world of MUSTAFAR…with the Galaxy as the prize!

The review;

Every issue of this series so far has provided a cinematic experience, appeasing fans who have longed to see more of Qi’ra. More than that, it has helped it make connections between different parts of the galaxy in terms of placement and timing. The most prominent of these (at least for me) was the talk of Dagobah last issue. This month, these connections seem like they will continue to grow and grow as Charles Soule not only connects to the prequels but also the sequel trilogy. A heist by the Knights of Ren? Oh yes please!

This comic feels a lot more straight forward than the others in the series. We see Qi’ra for the very briefest of moments, approaching the Knights of Ren with a job. As she has always been since her return, she knows everything about a group of individuals. It is this, with her knowledge of how people think and behave that is her real power. She knows how to manipulate the situation and the person to do what she needs, and she is never surprised. Through this skill, she is able to get Ren to agree to the heist of Vader’s Castle.

Once the mission has been set, we get bits and pieces teased to us by Soule about the knights. Soule knows that this group is still relatively unknown by fans, their original shrouded in mystery. I love that it is, it’s almost like how Boba Fett was after the original movie releases. Soule never overplays his hand, the little mentions, the meaning behind them are enough to whet the appetite but nothing more. We find out that there has been conflict with the knights and the Sith before and that their history predates the Original Trilogy. You can’t help but think, particularly with Soule in the driver’s seat, that their appearance might be seen in The High Republic. Finally, their use of the force is perfect. It is very clunky, untrained, and raw. It lacks the finesse of the Jedi and the Sith and it absolutely should. These are a small group of people who haven’t the discipline of a trained organisation. To see them struggling with the force (or the shadow as they refer to it) is great to see, that using the force isn’t such an easy thing to do.

The atmosphere that is generated throughout the story is fantastic. There is a creepiness that seeps in, I mean, it is Vader’s Castle after all. Through other series, we have seen just what the castle can do to individuals, which means you are never too sure what might spring up at the Knights. The aim? A Key in every sense of the word. Something that is essential to Qi’ra’s plans and we know no more. Of course, we don’t, Soule would never give us too many answers. It is here that the foundations that Soule set come into play. Has Qi’ra sent the Knights because she thinks they will be successful, or does she know they won’t? Is it because she wants Vader to be reminded of the key or to have his eyes gazing at the Knights? As a reader we try and predict Qi’ra and question everything, so we’re never too sure what is happening. The storyline itself might be simple, but the underlining motives of our characters are in complete question.

The artwork, as always, is wonderful in this issue. Cummings really knows how to create that cinematic feel for whatever he is drawing, and it entices you into the pages to just keep reading. The atmosphere is generating so much through Cummings imagery, bringing Soule’s vision to life. The speeder bikes for the Knights I really liked, a feel that actually reminded me of the swoop bikes from Shadows of the Empire.

We also get to see Vader’s castle, and with Cummings illustrations, it has never looked so good. Even during this part of the timeline, Vader needs so much bacta. It was superb to see these storerooms, to see just how weak Vader actually is. It fits in so well with why the Emperor wants Luke to replace his father, Vader is but a fraction of who he could be, of his potential. Luke is a much better candidate. And Vaneé, who doesn’t love this Igor ask character! His attitude and how he views himself fits perfectly into how Vader treats everyone in his sphere.

This isn’t the out and out amazing issue I would have expected from Crimson Reign, we see little of Qi’ra and instead focus on a simple plot of trying to steal a key. Mysteries are certainly left for us, as are the motivations of the characters. Yet I can’t help thinking there is more here, more that we won’t realise until we’ve read the final issue. There are lots of things to keep readers happy, particularly fans of the Sequel Trilogy, but for me, I need more of these Original Trilogy links.


Crimson Reign is a five-part series available from Marvel. This issue retails at $3.99 and is available via the Marvel App, ComiXology and all good comic book stores.

The post Comic Review: Crimson Reign #4 (of 5) appeared first on Jedi News.

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