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The High Republic: Children of the Storm: Chapter 3: The Taking of the Ataraxia

What is it ? : We begin with a flashback to when Keeve Trennis was still apprentice to Skeer, they are on the world of Oetrago where they are in the middle of a massive forest fire. Skeer shows faith in Keeve, and ends up rescuing a small animal from the fire, showing that he was the type of Jedi who never left anyone behind, no matter how big or small.
Returning to the present, the battle still rages around Ballum, the Jedi along with the Hutt forces are fighting off the Nihil. Skarabda communicates with Commander Jahen, who is skeptical of the Hutt's reliability and motives, but Skarabda points out that his forces are fighting a common foe, and that he is sure the ruling council will agree that an alliance against the Nihil is in the best for both.
The Jedi are trying to recapture the Ataraxia, as it is now fitted with a Nihil path drive, as well as taking back the former flagship of the Jedi is important, but Keeve seems to have other motivations.
She launches herself from her fighter and cuts her way into the Ataraxia using her lightsaber. Droids respond to defend the vessel, but are easily beaten by the Jedi, who taunts Lourna Dee who is on the flight deck.
Dee attempts to take the ship out of orbit, and the Longbeam Cruiser Gios grabs it with a tractor beam, so Dee dumps some cargo into the path of the tractor beam. The Jedi detect that the cargo containers are filled with Nihil slaves, so move to rescue them before the containers lose atmosphere and they perish, using the force to guide the containers into the cargo bay of the cruiser.
So Skarabda moves her vessel into the path of the Axaraxia to stop it fleeing, also taunting Dee that she must either crash into the Hutt's ship crippling both, or surrender, but she finds another way by opening fire on the Hutt to destroy their ship.
However before she can destroy the Hutt vessel, Keeve arrives on the bridge, and the two clash, with Dee gaining the upper hand and knocking Keeve to the floor. Keeve reaches out with the force and gets one of Dees droids to open fire on the Nihil stunning her. She then grabs the weapon with the force and destroys the droid.
Keeve waits for Terec and Ceret to land their fighters aboard the Ataraxia, and then prepares to leave orbit, as Commander Jahen demands to know what she's doing?
Keeve tells her that she's taking the Ataraxia through the Stormwall to rescue Jedi as no one gets left behind, not this time. Jahen asks what she intends to do with Lourna Dee, and Keeve tells her that she needs someone who knows their way around occupied space . . . .

High Points : A really solid issue, action packed and will everyones actions making sense, rather than people having to act oddly to move the story along.
Once again the Hutts are acting honourably and sensibly in working with the Jedi against a common foe, and once again the Jedi are looking a bit racist as they don't trust the Hutts for no other reason than . . . they're Hutts.
Keeve's fight with Lourna Dee is over quickly, but is fun as Keeve uses the environment to win, as Dee has loads of armed droids, so Keeve puppets one with the force to stun Dee, a really sensible and fun way for her to beat the Nihil.

Low Points : I do wish the Jedi would get over their problems working with the Hutts, as it's just looking bad for them. The Hutts have repeatedly shown that they understand the value of working with the Jedi to overcome threats that would defeat them alone, and are happy with the value of that deal, never having been shown to break the deals or try to backstab the Jedi.

So what do you really think ? : A really good issue, and I'm really enjoying where this story is going, with Keeve heading off to rescue Skeer who she believes is trapped inside Nihil territory. I do hope that it's not him, as I've said before he had a really satisfying conclusion to his story, and reviving him will destroy that, instead I hope that Keeve will cross Avar Kriss's path, as the two have a long history.
And while I had my problems with the Shadows of Starlight comic series, it has made me appreciate this series more as it has filled in a lot of context and I'm getting the setting to a far greater degree than in the past.

Final Words : I realised that this is a limited run comic, with 10 issues planned, so this storyline will hopefully come to a satisfying conclusion at some point. The Star Wars comics don't have a great record with this though, as many of the story arcs in the Vader comic begin and end in other comic lines, so we really don't get a resolution to them, they just end. And I'm somewhat afraid that's what we'll get with this comic, it'll just leave the Nihil storyline hanging, as other comics, books, YA books, etc take over the story. And since I have no interest in those, it'll just be left unfinished for me.

Score : 9/10

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