Ok, next post is Shadows of the Empire. Just because I looked through it and was like AHH!! dear God in heaven the art. Then again, this one is no better. Honestly, originally I hated this book's art. But everytime I read it over and over it grows on me. Maybe it's viral kind of growing I dunno. So bad that you get used to it. Still, I'm making this one post instead of two. Just to make sure it remains just here. I don't want to make you all quiver with two or four posts on this. So twenty-eight scans from a four issue mini. Though I'm going to focus mostly on the Vader parts.
I didn't even realize till looking at the credits that this was done by the same dude who wrote the comic adapation of Shadows of the Empire. So in a way this will prepare you for that. The story is pretty much simple. It's a Vader vs Fett story and they're "first" meeting together. This isn't also the only time they've come to blows. There's a Star Wars Tale that also has a Vader vs Fett fight. I might have to dig through my Star Wars pile after Shadows posting to look through.
The story starts from the target's perspective. He arrives at yet another molten planet (geez how many of those friggin things are in the Star Wars universe!?) though this one is has a group of monks who are pessemists.
Meanwhile, Boba Fett finds himself being asked to meet Lord Vader. How can the bounty hunter refuse? The timing though is when Vader is pacifying a Rebel base when Fett arrives. I only put this in here cause just how many times have we've seen Vader in his personal TIE Fighter?
Fett figures out Vader had someone put a tracking beacon in his ship. Still, he allows it given he doesn't want to feel Vader's wrath just yet. Though it stirs his curiousity why Vader is just so damn ruthelessly seeking a simple army officer who shot his superior officer. We then meet the group Vader is sending to watch Fett:
Fett goes about his business tracking Karda. He starts where the crime was committed. There he finds out the Imperials there had a huge problem with a tribe there called the Icarrii. That they where very hard to kill. So hard that decapping them didn't even slow them down. The whole incident started when the Empire had captured the Icarrii Queen. It ended when Karda found a chemical agent that worked well in destroying the Icarrii. However they report they have no idea what happened to the Queen. Though they mention her entire gown and hair was filled with the wealthy of the Icarrii race.
In #2 the four then report to Vader they're findings visiting the Captain of ship Karda was on after Fett is done with him:
Fett continues on his journey leading him to a space station where he finds out Karda paid a tattoo artist in a lock of the Icarri Queen's hair. Fett begins to think Vader might be after. Though on the station, the four meet up with Fett
As for Karda we find out what he's keeping in said casket box:
#3 Vader gets another report:
Vader suspicions prove correct:
Fett arrives at the monks' monastery. He fights Karda and of course kills the Imperial via shooting him and the dude falls into a molten pit of lava thus being distengrated. We then find out how the hell the Queeh is alive:
However as Fett learns all this and fought Karda, Vader has arrived on the planet:
It all leads up to the end of the issue with Vader arriving onto the scene and the monks being the pessemists that they are, all are in full freak out mode.
#4 gives us what this entire mini was building up too, Fett vs Vader:
Fett tosses a grenade and nukes the building he is in hoping it stalls Vader into looking for a body.
Fett then jumps over and gets a cheap shot in on Vader with blaster hit to the head. Then Fett fails in not following the words of allmighty and very wise Tuco, "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
Fett realizes ok that's it. This is so not going his way. So he dumps the box in the lava. Vader let's Fett escape so he can save the box. The Queen has a Hank Henshaw moment in totally being pissed that death was so very close then denied to her.
Vader leaves the planet and for a moment the survivors amongst the monks starts to preach that if they can survive this then maybe they should stop thinking so badly of things. Yeah.. the area is then blasted to hell.
Vader is then shown two futures. One where he is arrested by Palpatine for getting close to his Master's power and that he is to be replaced. The other future is much more promising with Vader having a successful rebellion against his master whose quite pleased at his apprentice as he slashes him in half.
I really really love that page with Vader. Caught and yet smoothingly gives into the Queen's request and avoids the fate of Karda. As for Fett we learn as Vader was saving the box he had a clear shot at Vader. But he muses what good would it do him if he had shot the Dark Lord? He be the most wanted man of the galaxy. So Fett take's satisfaction in that he had took some locks of the Iccarri Queen's hair and got somewhat paid for the job.
So end of story.
For fans of the preview pic here's the full sized picture: