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The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight 4: Ever Victorious



What is it ? : And we reset once more to the fall of the Starlight Beacon, but this time it's described from the Nihil point of view as a Triumphant destruction of the propaganda failure, that was the Starlight Beacon.
We then relocate to the Gaze Electric, the flagship of Marchion Ro, and one week later they're still celebrating, and two weeks, and three weeks and four weeks and five weeks.
One Month after the fall: (isn't that less than five weeks?), Ro is approached by Ghirra Starros, a former Republic Senator asking him that now he has defeated the Republic and seized his own territory, what is he going to do next.
Two Months after the fall: Ghirra praises Ro for his successes, advising him that the occulusion zone he has claimed can become anything he wants.
Three Months after the fall: She tells him that while the continuing party is fun, that without an enemy, the Nihil will begin to turn on one another.
Four Months after the fall: She tempts him with the possibily of becoming more, of becoming a legend, and warns that just because they are walled off from the Republic, it doesn't mean the Republic is gone. She warns that while the Stormwall stops all contact with the rest of the Republic, within their territory some planets are still loyal, and there are Jedi roaming free. That he will need to organise to stop everything he has built being destroyed, and he asks if she expects him to govern? To which she tells him that she is trained for that, that he should rule!
Later: Ro's fleet approaches the world of Sarumo which is resisting Nihil control, he instructs his people to wait. On the planet they have asked a retired General, Abediah Viess, to help command their forces as he has experience they don't. He expresses little interest in doing the job, but accepts and as soon as everything is under his control he executes the leader, and turns the weapons on the Sarumo forces, surrendering the planet to Ro.
Ro asks Viess what he wants, to which he is told a chance to join the Nihil, but Ro is distrusting of a General that would betray his own people. To which Viess responds that while he lived here, it was never his world. But while his skills are great, that isn't the reason why Ro should employ him, and he reveals a collection of Lightsabers, revealing that he knows how to hunt Jedi. Ro accepts this, warning Viess to never betray him, as he knows how to hunt as well.
Later: Ro visits the former Republic prison at Hetzal, speaking to an Ithorian Bioscientist, Boolan, who he wants to employ to modify the Nameless to make them better Jedi hunters. Boolan agrees but asks for a favour, which Ro questions as he has already freed Boolan, given him access to laboratories and materials, but he asks for more. But Boolan tells Ro that it will amuse him, and asks for his former Jailers to be provided as subjects for experimentation, and Ro agrees, telling him it does amuse him.
A Year (less a week) after the fall: Ghirra tells Ro how much has happened since he began reorganising the Nihil, that since the loss of the Tempests, the new Ministries are doing incredibly, her Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Protection under General Viess, and the Ministry of Advancement under Baron Boolan are all building industry, diplomacy, the bones of a working state. She kisses him, and tells him the Republic has no idea what he has become.
As she leaves, Ro squashes a bug that lands near to him, and remarks, Conquest, Destruction, What I leave behind, as the comic tells us, Not the End . . . .

High Points : A massive info dump on the Nihil and the story behind the Stormwall, this issue gives us detailed information on the new leadership of the Nihil, and their motivations. Exactly the power plays that are going to be made, and the weaknesses which we can only imagine will eventually lead to their fall.

Low Points : But it's a massive info dump, Ghirra has large blocks of text as she speaks AT Marchion Ro, telling him things he already knows so we can find them out. It's clumsy exposition, and nothing much really happens except putting characters into place for later stories.


So what do you really think ? : During previous issues I was worried that this series wasn't going to lead to anything, and was just acting as Issue 0 for a bunch of other stories. And it looks as if I was right. Now while this issue mainly is supporting all future High Republic series, by providing the structure the Nihil will use from now on. I'm annoyed that they want me to go out and buy at least 2 new series (while Marchion Ro might get a series, I think his story is just background to every other series, and Avar Kriss strikes me as remaining part of Keeve Trennis story) to follow up on this series, and there are still questions as to the missing year, so this series never even fulfilled it's job of catching us up to date with that entire year.

Final Words : While the first issue was great, it's been very much diminishing returns with this series, and this final issue barely holds together as a story at all, just being all exposition and infodump, very disappointing.

Score : 7.5/10






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