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Comic Book / Agent of the Empire

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"The names Cross, Jahan Cross."

Agent of the Empire is a Star Wars Legends comic book series from Dark Horse Comics written by John Ostrander. Set between 3 BBY and 0 BBY, the miniseries will follow the Imperial Intelligence agent Jahan Cross and his droid IN-GA 44 whose undercover assignments for the Empire take them across the galaxy to exotic locales, filled with danger and intrigue.

The first series, Iron Eclipse has him deal with the architect of the Stark-Hyperspace War, and his long overdue karmic payback. A sequel series, Hard Target, takes place on Alderaan and deals with Jahan Cross following up on the legacy of Count Dooku's noble house as well as corruption in the Imperial government.

This comic series contains the following:

  • Action Girl: Bron's security chief Candra Tymon.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Count Borgin is willing to bribe, kill and manipulate anyone to become Regent, and later Count, of Serenno.
  • Ambadassador: Cross is a badass spy but always introduces himself as a special envoy with the diplomatic service, and some of his lines indicate that he isn't lying about that.
    • His father is a straighter example, warily representing the Empire while recognizing how much things have changed since the Old Republic, being well aware of his son's activities and confronting him about them while retaining an open mind to Jahan's answers.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Jahan works for the Empire because he believes in what it stands for, and he has good reason to. It's worth noting that he doesn't share most Imperials' Fantastic Racism (his relationship with Alessi is rather easygoing, and he seems unimpressed with when a coworker calls him a "slithering wermo").
    • Iaclyn Stark is set up as a ruthless evil mastermind who sees his sister as an expendable pawn and has been trying to marry her off for political capital. Then it turns out he's trying to get Elli married and sent away to keep her safe from what is about to happen, is willing to spare Cross at her request despite the dangers that would pose, and isn't the mastermind but rather the subordinate of his father, who is shown to be all too willing to kill Iaclyn, making it questionable just how much of his crimes throughout the arc were even done willingly.
  • Big Bad: Iaco Stark is the mastermind of his own ''murder.'
    • The second series has its villain revealed to be the Empire itself.
  • Call-Back: The first arc is about the Stark family from the Stark-Hyperspace War from way back in Republic.
  • Call-Forward: A ship known as the Grinning Liar is given clearance to land on Serenno. The Grinning Liar is the ship of Chak and Kee in Legacy, about a hundred and forty years later. Given Chak is a Wookiee, and already was established to be alive at this point, it likely is no coincidence.
  • Captain Ersatz: Jahan Cross is one for James Bond, specifically a combination of the Connery and Craig versions.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Jahan and Han used to be classmates in the Imperial Academy. As we know, Han used to be an Imperial cadet.
  • Continuity Porn:
    • We finally get to see Dooku's homeworld and a substantial portion of the second trade takes place on Alderaan.
    • Jahan teases Han by telling him he could never outfly Soontir Fel. That would be the Ace Pilot Soontir Fel from X-Wing Rogue Squadron.
    • Leia and Bail are also accompanied by Winter, who Jahan jokingly mistakes for Leia.
  • Cowboy Cop: Jahan has a thing for exceeding his orders and causing a lot of gunfights and chaos.
  • Da Chief: You might have missed it, but Jahan's "M" is Imperial Intelligence Director Armand Isard, the father of Ysanne Isard (a major villain in the X-Wing novel series). True to form, he's constantly chewing Cross out for the trail of collateral damage he leaves and giving him morally ambiguous assignments.
  • For the Evulz: Darth Vader forces the heirs of Serenno's Great Houses to murder their patriarchs as punishment for the Clone Wars.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Alessi Quon, who provides Jahan with gadgets and analysis's of plans, and shows more loyalty and usefulness towards him than Isard.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Iaco Stark becomes one of these after cybernetics have warped his mind.
  • Handsome Lech: Jahan Cross appears to be one.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: After Cross uncovers an Imperial officer's corruption, he's asked this. The answer's "No", and the officer responds predictably, though as it happens he underestimated Cross severely.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Cross is a well-sculpted guy who strips down once or twice.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Jahan tells the deranged cyborg Iaco Stark that the galaxy would never accept being ruled over by someone as deranged and Obviously Evil as him. Stark laughs at this, pointing out that they already let Palpatine rule them.
  • Latex Perfection: Jahan wears a mask or two that does this.
  • Love Martyr: In the second story, Ramchak the pirate admits that Jahan is probably right for saying that he's being used as a pawn by the woman he loves, but notes that total love isn't something that can just be ignored, and it feels worth it to him right now.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Jahan has shades of this but it's a much less prevalent attitude than with other Imperials. He's happy doing dirty work for the Empire but actually wants it to be for the Empire versus the corrupt elite which rules it.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Jahan Cross stashes the heir to the Dooku family on Alderaan.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Count Borgin is very insulting towards his brother-in-law Count Malvern, albeit largely behind his back.
  • Odd Friendship: Jahan Cross is a loyalist Imperial spy and is, apparently, close friends with Bail Organa. Doubles as a Failed a Spot Check given Jahan Cross should pick up on the fact that Bail Organa is the biggest threat to the Empire there is.
  • One Degree of Separation: Jahan knew Boba Fett, Han Solo, and Princess Leia before any of them knew each other. His backstory kind of justifies it; he was in the military (like Han) as a prerequisite to carry on his family's history of diplomatic service (like Leia's), and deals with bounty hunters and other crooks (like Fett) as an intel agent.
  • Overt Agent: Jahan seems to have problems with this.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Averted, surprisingly. IN-GA is supposed to be a sexy human replica robot but Jahan Stark doesn't like droids which look that way.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Implied for Hard Targets. Jahan Cross goes to elaborate lengths to save the young Count of Serenno. In the end, he manages to save him. Where does he select for him to hide out? Alderaan.
  • Shoot the Dog: Cross apparently killing Candra Tymon with a calculating gambit and a bomb as part of his plan to fake Bron Dooku's death. despite her good intentions and the chemistry between them stands out as his worst act in the series, even if it did help her accomplish saving Bron.
  • Spy Drama: Dirty Martini variant. It has glamorous settings, big explosions, and beautiful women, but the main character works for an Evil Empire (though he himself isn't really that evil) battling evil enemies.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Sergeant Myrsk and Corporal Dimity in the first arc, who kept the peace in the Corporate Sector and do a fairly decent job chasing Cross when he's been framed for murder.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Count Borgin has one in the post-Clone Wars flashback after being forced to kill his own father.
  • Villain of Another Story: Ysanne Isard is the Big Bad of various other Star Wars arcs, but here is only a minor character who tips off Cross (albeit in an insulting fashion) that he's been used to kill an innocent man, which helps shape his feelings for the rest of the arc.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Bron Dooku has been well-educated by his father and is forlornly aware of how he's a political pawn who will probably be murdered by whoever takes over as Regent.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: Jahan Cross' one line. He's perfectly willing to kill anyone else who stands in his way.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Jahan Cross is a master of these. It's especially evident in the final issue as he reveals his plan to Count Borgin right before getting him killed.
  • You Have Failed Me: Count Borgin leaves his loyal Dragon to bleed out from a blaster wound after failing to capture Bron, telling him that it just saves him the trouble of having him shot.