“This is the place! I can feel the destruction yet to come!” — Lord Odion
“Aflame” Part 5
The colossal conclusion!
“Things happen to Zayne Carrick; things happen because of Kerra Holt.” That was one of my early guiding precepts as I began work on “Aflame” in 2009. It likely undersells the degree to which Zayne’s actions made a difference in the Knights of the Old Republic comics series, but when seen as a whole, we realize how much of “Aflame” was caused by Kerra’s actions — both intentional and inadvertant.
Odion would have destroyed Chelloa in the beginning, if not for Kerra. If she hadn’t stormed Daiman’s palace, he wouldn’t have decided on the ploy of replacing Mobile Munitions Plants with Kinetic Corruptors. Is she hadn’t taken the bait and gone to the Spike, Odion would never have been convinced to send the Lightning Guard to Chelloa rather than Corruptors of his own. She raised the doubt in Gorlan’s mind over how Odion had learned of the baradium — leading Gorlan to the warning attempt that resulted in his capture. And she determined that Daiman intended to destroy his own planet — all before the events of this issue! So any “Infinities” story that didn’t include Kerra Holt on Chelloa would have gone much differently, at many different turns.
There are issues where you let the action flow, without getting in the artist’s way. This was one of them. This issue’s 19-page action scene was one of my longest ever, including two splash pages and one (actually, two) double-page spreads. The leap-frog chase from spaceship hull to ascending spaceship hull is one of those moments I’d love to see animated some day!
This issue released three weeks or so after the novel came out, and provided readers with their first looks at a couple of the novel characters. It also takes Kerra to Nilash, which, as can be seen from the Essential Atlas supplement, is roughly on the path to Darkknell.
Soon after this issue released, Dark Horse announced my next series of Knight Errant comics, “Deluge,” to follow five months later.
“She exists — and she’s not going away…” — Lord Daiman
While the pages don’t face each other, pages 1 and 2 do fit together into a larger scene. It takes two copies to see it, though!
As issue #4 opened with a Lord Daiman monologue describing his crazy point of view, issue #5 gives Odion his chance to declare what he’s all about.
Odion correctly sensed the deaths the pyramids would cause — just not whose deaths!
Note that Daiman has someone hold the macrobinoculars for him. Well, it’s a living…
OK, now here’s one of those moments that simply won’t be around for the trade paperback readers: Facing the splash page where Odion discovers the Kinetic Corruptors, Hasbro had an ad depicting Admiral Ackbar saying, “It’s a trap!” A trap, indeed.
The initial idea had been that there would be one huge empty decoy transport for each of the pyramids — and that’s what Gorlan and company hijack. The vessels would have been lightly guarded, allowing even his ragtag supporters to make a play for them. There are additional vessels that we see leaving Chelloa, though, peacefully with the freedom fleet; we can probably assume these are not Daiman’s support crew, but are others snagged by the refugees.
Kerra leaps like a gizka, Odion tells us. It’s always a trip to the database whenever I need an expression like this — what does leap like a frog in the Galaxy Far Far Away?
Note the tether Gorlan’s wearing as he goes out onto the hull: it’s why he could take a tumble with Odion and still stay attached.
That is indeed Narsk from the novel in Odion’s company; his next stop is the novel. That’s also creepy Uleeta with Daiman. But some have asked whether Odion’s surgeons are Iskalloni or just his own cyborgs — no comment, on that one…