Thursday, April 25, 2013
Legacy: Prisoner of the Floating World #2
Issue #2 picks up where #1 left off, showing the aftermath of the identity theft that put a Sith in an Imperial Knight's boots. We're introduced to some new elements, such as amiable rookie Knight Jao Assam and the murky romantic relationship between Empress Marasiah Fel and her guard Draco Antares.
Ania Solo continues to fight her own battles. Her friendship with Sauk feels more real in this issue, as does her salvage business since we meet a cool regular customer.
I compared Ania to both male original trilogy heroes last month, and her story looks a lot more like Luke's in issue #2. She's kicked out of her home - a panel showing some destruction that is both literal and symbolic felt especially cinematic to me - and views a hologram filled with sensitive information. In this case, she learns that her lightsaber belonged to Val.
Ania continues to be a strong character: she flees her home only after she's been threatened with overwhelming force, and she saves Sauk and evades the security team. Unfortunately she's a bit too abrasive for my taste: again, Han was not my favorite, and Ania talks like Han. I didn't like Cade Skywalker much personally, but at least he had unique quirks. If you want a young Han traipsing around and encountering some varied characters along the way, Prisoner of the Floating World may still be for you. She and Sauk gain AG-37 as a companion, an honorable IG-series droid who seems to have taken fashion tips from Cad Bane.
The titular Japanese concept of a decadent Floating World hasn't come up yet, even as the story finds its feet and its momentum with some well-paced action sequences. I'm curious to find out Jao and Val's fates.
Ania doesn't bring anything particularly feminine to the series, and I would like for her to show a little more compassion to her friends. An apology to Sauk does go a long way in showing that she cares how he feels. And she's in a tough place - when she says that all the security guards are corrupt, I believe her. I don't want her to burst into tears, but I'd like if she slowed down and had some second thoughts. It seemed like she stood up to the Sith in her junkyard less because she had a sixth sense that he wasn't who he said he was, and more because she's resistant to any authority at all. It also looks like we won't get much more about her backstory, at least not until the plot moves forward. I didn't expect her encounter with nega-Val to come as quickly as it did.
Ania looks very cool in some panels - I especially liked one where she slid down a pipe. However - and I know that different people are in charge of the cover art and the interior art - she looks quite different on the front of #2 than she does on #1, and different again in the interior, with paler skin and a smaller chin. The only other complaint I have about the comic is that the art style continues to vacillate between murky and forgettable. The heavy hatching captures the gritty side of Star Wars, but some characters, especially the empress, look a bit amorphous.