After mixed-but-promising results from Soule’s first volume, I went into this one expecting him to start delivering on that promise. Vol. 2 is still something of a mixed bag however, as “Operation Starlight” shows that the writer’s run isn’t quite clicking in the way that I was hoping it would. I do have to give him credit for trying to build up the new villain he’s introduced to menace the Rebels here. We get Commander Zahra’s origin story here and the reason she’s got a mad-on for the Rebellion, and Leia specifically, makes a lot of sense. She’s also shown to be quite capable in terms of planning and hand-to-hand combat, and you get a sense that Zahra is actually working to earn her successes rather than have them handed to her by the dictates of the plot. Still, this two-part story which opens the volume didn’t offer any real surprises to it. Which extended to the solid-but-capable art from Ramon Rosanas.
That same sold-but-capable descriptor can be applied to Jan Bazaluda’s three-issue-arc as the Rebels try to solve the problem of their cracked codes. Fortunately for them, C-3P0 has a solution involving a droid stored in the Imperial Museum on Coruscant. That’s only part of the story as the rest of it involves some dicey negotiations, and nearly everything going wrong as they try to get the codes out. It’s all handled well enough, though, the stuff that Soule is doing with Lando and Lobot are the only bits that actually have any real drama to them. I mean, it’s hard to get worked up about Shara Bey’s fate at the end of the volume when we know that she eventually has to give birth to Poe Dameron. So it’s another volume that shows me that Soule has some decent ideas for his run, even if he’s not delivering them with the kind of interesting twists or surprises that would really grab me. We’ll see if Boba Fett and the “War of the Bounty Hunters” he brings with him will liven things up next time.