Comic Book Review: Star Wars: Crimson Reign #5

Star Wars: Crimson Reign #5


LADY QI’RA has used every tool at her disposal to generate chaos in the Galactic Empire, all to further her goal of eradicating the Sith.

But as the final phase of Qi’ra’s grand plan is revealed, she’s about to learn a lesson that the Jedi Order has also learned.

Underestimate EMPEROR PALPATINE and pay the price.

Writer: Charles Soulé
Penciller: steven cummings
Inking: Victor Olazaba
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Colorist: Guru-eFX
Cover artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Editor: Marc Paniccia
Publication date: June 22, 2022

After obtaining the Howling Key to Fortress Vader, the Librarian, accompanied by the Knights of Ren, travels to an unnamed planet to locate an ancient artifact that is instrumental in Crimson Dawn’s plans. Meanwhile, Lady Qi’ra is forced to accelerate her plans as the Emperor firmly identifies the source of the unrest within the Empire and the galaxy as a whole.

This is where it all comes together. The content of the Crimson Reign so far the crossover has felt much looser and more separate than the first part of Soule’s Crimson Dawn trilogy, Bounty Hunter War. Where it seemed rigidly plotted to such an extent that you had to read every issue of the current four series and the main Bounty Hunter War run so that he retains all sense of consistency, Crimson Reign was much more relaxed and is doing better for it. Each series has managed to retain its own style and identity and tell its own story, resulting in one of the most cohesive periods of canon Marvel comics since 2015. This issue, titled “The Scarlet Queenis the one that brings everything together.

The Scarlet Queenunderscores one of the highlights of the two crossover arcs so far. Qi’ra is a fantastic character and Soule handled her perfectly. Since the events of Soloand it’s an underrated prequel Most Wantedto Soule’s work we have such a satisfying character trajectory here that legitimizes injecting that story between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi forty years after their release. It could have been so much worse and more shocking, but what we have here is a worthy alternative to Legends’ Shadows of the Empire multimedia initiative which was launched at the same time.

The story that follows The Archivist and the Knight’s of Ren is incredibly exciting and seeks to take the franchise into new territory. It reminded me of the moment on the TV series Lost when a character turned a crank during the endgame of a season and made the island disappear changing the show forever. The actual result in this issue was a bit vaguer, but it suggests something meaningful rather than the usual lightweight tread of expanded material. Since the end of the Sequel trilogy, star wars editing is getting bolder and I’m here for it, devouring every page and every panel. I hope TV shows take notice because that’s how it should be done.

Don’t expect everything to be tied to an arc, as stated before, this is the second part of a trilogy with the third and final part, hidden empire, launching in October. What we get though is incredibly enticing with one of the best cliffhangers we’ve had. Could there be time travel again in star wars? I sincerely hope so because if anyone can keep this ridiculous side, it’s Charles Soule. There’s still a bit more of the story to wrap up with the other ongoing series, but I expect them to show things from a different angle and drop some additional teases like midnight horizon done with the main event of The fallen star.

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Daniel K. Denny