Review by Ian Keogh
As far as we knew, the last substantial secret waiting to be revealed in Knights of the Old Republic concerned Jarael and her past. John Jackson Miller let us in on what that was to conclude Duelling Ambition, and begins Destroyer by filling in the details. Yes, she was a slaver, but only because she was kidnapped as an infant, raised in the slave pens, and earned her position by battering her former minder. She made the best of a bad job before escaping, but her decorative facial tattoos mark her position. It gives Zayne Carrick a new mission. He’s going to wipe out the slave trade. It’s run by an organisation called the Crucible, and of course, if it were that easy someone would have already done it, and they haven’t, so Zayne’s ambition can’t be faulted.
Another new artist opens Destroyer, and Ron Chan’s crowd scenes and visual characterisation are fine, but he’s drawing the weakest story, one resolving a problem there was no great urgency to address. Brian Ching’s work on the series has to be respected, but as he’s evolved his version of Zayne has developed an unattractive pointy chin, and now also has Pinocchio’s nose in places. It’s not a good look, but thankfully Ching’s settings are still superb. He designs the Crucible’s home base of Volgax, and one detailed establishing shot is enough to reveal the horror. As represented by the sample art, Bong Dazo’s skills are applied to the middle story, and he’s become a master of detail, yet also packing his pages with action, so the standout artist of a good selection.
Destroyer jumps Knights of the Old Republic back up the quality scale. The major story has a bearing on the central characters, offering twists and well planned action, and it shows just how far Zayne has come since the series began with him as an incompetent Jedi trainee. The Zayne of Commencement could never have contemplated his course of action, nor endured what he goes through, but the weak spot is the emotional resonance of the finale being dependent on him swallowing the lies of someone he barely knows about someone he’s trusted with his life. It sits uncomfortably. With the series drawing to a close Miller could also devote a little more attention to Mandalorian renegade Rohlan, whose role has been reduced to becoming angry if Jareal is endangered, and being a battering ram assault. With a prominent Mandalorian set to return in Demon, perhaps that’ll be the place.
In the fullness of time a final volume of Marvel’s Old Republic Epic Collections will combine Destroyer with Demon and War, but until then that content is found as the also out of print Star Wars Omnibus: Knights of the Old Republic Volume Three.