Tales From Vader's Castle comic #3: The Briar Witch by Cavan Scott

"Tales From Vader's Castle #3: The Briar Witch" written by Cavan Scott, illustrated by Derek Charm, Corin Howell, and Valentina Pinto
     This was a fun story with some truly intriguing character design (see image of Zalla below - I'm super curious as to what species she is and what is meant by her having power...is she Force-sensitive??), but I have to say I enjoyed the second issue "Count Dooku: Prince of Darkness!" the most out of all three I've read so far. Although the framing story in this issue is getting to be more meaty with Lieutenant Hudd apparently out for himself in gaining riches! I wonder how Lina's going to respond to one of her own being seduced away from the mission at hand...
     We start with Lina and her Rebel crew escaping the squad of death troopers and then making their way inside the castle. Lina seems to think that if they find their way through the castle, they can get to the Imperial base on the other side and grab a craft to take them to safety. She tells a story to hopefully calm down Skritt's nerves as they walk through the castle...
     Apparently a young woman needed a pilot to take a rare artifact to a collector on Rendel in the Kiva system. But Rendel was said to be a cursed moon and no one would take her up on her offer of one million credits to complete the task...except for Han Solo! I guess he's always up for an opportunity to cease more money.
     Han mentions Vandor, Kessel, and even Ushruu (making a connection to The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!!) as times when things went wrong, promising to Chewie that the same won't happen on this mission. He also references Beckett saying, "If a job sounds too good to be true..." Loving the connections to other canon material!
     So on Rendel, Han runs into an old friend named Karamu who is also of a dubious species who has come across trouble in the form of Zalla the Emerald Witch, a woman who has indeed cursed the moon to be covered in a giant briar patch with flowers that can make a person age! All seems lost for everyone involved until Chewie comes barreling in for the rescue.
     Other planet mentioned: Barbadel.
     I found the story of Zalla's past on Rendel to be a bit vague and broad, I would've liked some more details about how she and her sister were different and what kind of power it is that Zalla possesses. I felt like this issue left a lot up to the imagination that really should have been explained up front. I really liked the idea of the Emerald Witch though and her vicious plants...of course I love Poison Ivy so I guess the resemblance gave Zalla a one-up in my book. So this issue was overall a toss up for me. It could have been better with just a bit more explanation and in-depth venturing into the lore of Rendel. Just a few more panels on this would have made this issue superb. It was still a fun read though and I recommend this issue just as I recommend this whole series for its fun spooky Halloween-ness. The whole concept of this series is so cool! And I'm so glad the Story Group decided to put something like this out into the world! Can't wait to find out what happens with Lina's crew next and what new story will be told!


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