After trying to catch up with the Star Wars comic scene over the last month, I’ve come to the conclusion that Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse may be one of, if not the best one out there. Sure, Knights of the Old Republic is excellent so far and Dark Times is cool and very…dark. But Agent of the Empire is an awesome blend of Star Wars and James Bond.
Star Wars has been delving into different sub genres with it’s books and comics as of late, starting with the successful Joel Schrieber written Death Troopers and Red Harvest in the horror department. Shadow Games by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff is a mystery of sorts involving Dash Rendar and a famous ‘holo star’. Agent of the Empire is an espionage tale in the galaxy far, far away that succeeds at almost every level. It’s almost what the Knights of the Old Republic: The Lost Suns wanted to be but just sort of fell flat. In my opinion, as much as I love them, it’s a story that doesn’t have to rely on Jedi and Sith constantly being in the picture. There actually hasn’t been one in the first three issues and I doubt that there will be since it takes place after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and at the height of Imperial power in the galaxy.
The story follows Jahan Cross, a no-nonsense undercover Imperial Agent who is busy at the beginning investigating a fellow Imperial who turns him onto a lead involving a project called Iron Eclipse. The project just so happens to be a project started by ex-pirate and veteran of the self titled Stark Hyperspace War, Iaco Stark. At this point in the Star Wars universe, Iaco is now dead and his business and fortune tended to by his son Iaclyn. Jahan falls into a web of treachery and deceit that with any luck will lead him to the Iron Eclipse, which we as a reader are still not close to figuring out by the end of issue three. However, by the end of the issue we are promised that it shall be revealed in the next issue. Jahan is in dangerous territory as his investigation takes him to Iaco Stark’s surviving family’s home in the Corporate Sector where they deal with their own problems without Imperial intervention.
Agent of the Empire is just an altogether fun ride for any Star Wars enthusiast and even for those only a little into Star Wars. It has some familiar faces in it, but none that you as a reader have to know much back story on to enjoy the series. Aside from Han and Chewie showing up, die-hard fans will notice Armand Isard is the head man in charge of Imperial Security at this point. And for those who remember Iaco Stark, I myself don’t believe that he is actually dead. His “widower” Dah’lis mentioned that he was decapitated working on his Eclipse project but the head was never found. Could it be that Iaco just lives on in a different way such as Darth Vader and General Grievous did? Or is his brain being used for some other reason? I may be wrong, but I don’t count anyone out in Star Wars unless there is a body present and accounted for. Or in Iaco’s case, a whole body.
I was surprised at one point where Jahan is trying to get in good with Iaco’s widower Dah’lis and obtain information about Eclipse, not because there is the mere mention of sex, but because it was one of the most revealing scenes in Star Wars that I’ve seen in all of the years. Not that I am complaining, more power to them just as long as they don’t go into full-blown porno-mode. This is Star Wars after all. But then again, maybe that is the next genre they’ll make the foray into…
I give Agent of the Empire a five out of five grizzlies, whether it’s single issues or the first three issues together.
The series has a great storyline going, multiple intriguing characters throughout it besides Han and Chewie, not to mention some great action scenes. I honestly can’t wait until issue four and the reveal of Iron Eclipse, whatever the hell it is.