By Tony Bedard (writer), Claude St. Aubin (artist), Scott Hanna (artist), and Jose Villarrubia (colorist)
The Story: Dox’s ship is being boarded by some bounty hunters under the thumb of a pretty vicious Durlan, at the same time Astrild Storm-Daughter, one of Starro’s lieutenants, comes for him too. I can’t say too much more without spoiling, but Starro is making Dox an offer that would be dangerous to refuse. Meanwhile, the Dominators find themselves squared off against Starro’s forces, while the Psions start to ante up to get into the game.
What’s Good: There’s a lot going on in this story. It’s a chessboard of action and tension, yet Tony Bedard once again keeps the various storylines moving briskly. The Khunds are funny, without losing any of their menace, while Starro’s forces and especially his new lieutenant, are dangerous. Starro has everyone on the ropes and I don’t see any way out. This is simply storytelling in the making.
As for the art, Bedard could not have been paired with a better artist for this story than St. Aubin and Hanna. The level of detail in each panel is amazing. The definition on the Khunds ‘ hairy arms and stippled armor… Strata covered by fine lines that make her look more mineral than animal… Amon Hakk looking genuinely scared when the Durlan threatens him… Dox’s one eye-brow, surprised expression… Everything looks nearly perfect.
I was also impressed with the colors. Villarrubia has put together some interesting color effects to show light. From Astrild’s eyes, to the blue light of Strata getting shot at, to the fires burning behind Starro, Villarrubia has really added to the power of the story.
What’s Not So Good: Month after month, I have to really pick to find anything to criticize in R.E.B.E.L.S. This month I’ll say that the skinny Dominators in their military armor are more ridicule-inspiring than fear-inspiring.
Conclusion: Another solid offering by Bedard, St. Aubin, Hanna, and Villarrubia. If you like cosmic stories, but you’re not reading R.E.B.E.L.S. yet, you should pick this book up.