Welcome to the second edition of Dark Side of the Horse. Here we take a look at some of the Star Wars comics Dark Horse puts out each month expanding on the Star Wars mythos, revealing characters past and present that shaped the Far, Far Away Galaxy, Long, Long Ago. Sit back, grab a latte and enjoy a recap of some sweet Star Wars action even a gambler like Solo could not pass up.

Star Wars: Legacy #16--Claws of the Dragon pt. 3
One of the best things about a story taking place in the far off future are the flashbacks explaining how things got all mucked up. Claws of the Dragon part 3 is just such a tale as reader learn more about Darth Krayt, his past, encounters with Obi-Wan Kenobi and how we came to be a dark lord of the Sith. What was just another afternoon of facing off with some Tusken Raiders butterflies in the future to a new dark lord. Good times to be had by all, good job Obi-Wan. First you don't finish off Vader then you help to create a future Sith.

There's more to this issue of Legacy. While the story of Obi-Wan is most-def the highlight we also see Cade's friends getting ready to mount a rescue, learn who his mother is and well ... we see yet another Skywalker set to embrace the Dark Side. This is a really good issue, just for Old Ben's story alone, but seeing the teaser for issue 17, Cade as a Sith, just gets you all goose-bumpy.
Star Wars: Rebellion #10
Wyl Tarson, what a crappy position to be in. Bomb in his head being forced to betray those he once served, Rebellion folks, and all because he was caught, while under cover, by warlord Raze. What goes around, comes around. Wyl's mission does not go as planned, which can happen when Lord Vader shows up. The Vader appearance, much like Obi-Wan in Legacy #16, is such a highlight as he takes out a Dark Sider, a Jedi turned Jedi killer, who assisted Vader and the Emperor, but in turn were hunted down themselves.

So, while Vader dispatches of the Dark Sider, and that little furry guy gets off'd, we find Wyl carrying out Raze's plan, set to transmit Imperial plans back to his base. Plot twist time as Wyl grows a spine and decides to tell Raze to stick it, blow the bomb, who cares. Vader approaches and Wyl makes a deal. Vader stops the bomb from blowing in exchange for info on Raze and the whole dang operation going on. Wyl goes free, most of his buddies are dead and Raze, along with his entire freaking planet are annihilated by the Empire. All in a days work for Vader.

I found the Rebellion story luke-warm interesting. Yeah it's Star Wars, but I never connected with any of the characters. I did get excited about Vader at the end, but when you have stories like Legacy going on (and those sweet hardback anniversary books) it's tough to pick up this series. Not a bad effort, But in a world filled with Wookies why would I pick an Ewok?

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #19
Knights of the Old Republic, or KOTOR for short. Super fun at times, others confusing as hell. That's what happens when you go thousands of years into the history of galaxy, long ago and what not, as outlined in the beginning of Episode IV. See Star Wars has a long and very rich history, once with familiar factions (Mandalorians, Jedi, Sith) and unfamiliar technology. The story of Vader's rise, fall and redemption is but a drop in the river that is the Star Wars universe.

I've jumped into this story arc with KOTOR #19, so lets the scrolling text begin.A long time ago in a comic shop pretty far away the Republic are at war with the Mandalorians. Enter stage left Lord Adasca, an arms dealer disguised as a businessman. At stake, a living weapon capable of devouring whole systems up for sale to the highest bidder. All the players are gathered aboard Adasca's flagship, Arkanian Legacy, and the demonstration begins. The weapons are hyper-drive equipped, mind-controlled space slugs, though to be legend, found to be real. The idea is these slugs hyper-space themselves into a system, devour it all the while reproducing, then move onto the next system leaving their offspring to each planet and whatever else lies in their wake. Throw in a bunch of characters and story lines I'm still sorting out and you have KOTOR #19.

See, the basic story is interesting, and what's not to love about a comic with character bubbles and dramatic text on the cover ... gets me every time. It's great to see the Mandalorians in all their glory, not just the beat up armor of Boba Fett. These guys are true badasses, love their background stories. It's also funny to see the ebb and flow of the universe where the Republic and Jedi are still around, and conflict is always constant. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Characters such as Camper, Jarael, Zayne and Carrick, sure to get their own action figures, are thrown into the fray, but really do not stand out as much as you'd like. Ultimately I was left wanting to know more about the overall conflict and not so much about the people involved. Guess this is what happens when I jump in at issue nineteen of a series. Anyway, this leads to issue 20 ...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #20
Republic ... check. Mandalorians ... check. Checkbooks ... check. Lord Adasca has the pieces in motion to make himself once nice chunk of money. The only thing standing in his way, the usual band of misfits headed by Camper, the creator of the system controlling the slugs. I've outlined this storyline above and not much changes to issue 20. I read these issues back to back to get a better feel for the overall story and it worked. I'm really looking forward to the issue 21 where all the poo goes does, so for now I'm leaving it at that. Good storyline, WMDs abound (so that's where they went) and some surefire fun on the horizon.

Hey, not every story is going to create world piece, so enjoy it for what it is. A piece of Star Wars history no fan should be without.