As much as I love STAR WARS, and even enjoyed Tom Veitch's first Dark Empire, this graphic novel was horrible. I'm not sure if it's canon or not (I suspect it is), but any STAR WARS fan should skip this one.
Dark Empire II, by Tom Veitch, may possibly be the worst STAR WARS comic I have ever read. The characters are dull and flat, with little development put into any. The Emperor's revived clone (again) is utterly ridiculous. Luke is dumb. Han and Leia's relationship is as good as Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman's in EP III. C-3PO is annoying. Han's pals are pointless. There wasn't a single character that had any resounding impact on anything.
The plot itself suffers from repetition (cf Dark Empire I) and a lack of excitement. My major issue here was that Veitch uses text boxes and practically guides the reader along matter-of-factly. This negates any sort of impact the dialogue would have, and it makes the reader feel like a 4 year old. Plus, it's just poorly written.
The dialogue itself is ridiculous, especially when it comes to the Empire. I cannot imagine Palpatine saying anything like he would as he's portrayed in this book.
Another disappointing thing was how silly the conflicts were. It seems as if every Imperial product was magically enhanced and powered by the Dark Side, all done through the Emperor and his mastery of the Force. Pssh.
And Luke falling in love with that one lady over the course of three panels? What?!
Since I'm on a roll here, the artwork was mostly horrid, too. Not to say that it wasn't good, cause it was, but perspective seemed way off, and colors were weak and awkward. Sure, this is a 15 year old comic, so part of that's understandable, but still, much was lacking in the art department.
My copy of Dark Empire II also includes the final volume of the series, the short run called Empire's End. Since there really was no conclusion whatsoever for Dark Empire II, and since I was highly disappointed in the read, I decided to skip reading Empire's End and instead look at only the pictures. This was a more pleasant experience, to say the least.
Was there any saving grace to Dark Empire II? I'd like to say yes, but I'd be lying. It felt like sitting through a repeat viewing of EP I, but only the poor parts. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, not even absolute die-hard STAR WARS fans, nor do I ever see myself reading it again. Just a waste of time as far as I'm concerned.
NOTE: I don't like writing negative reviews. They make me feel like a sleemo. Sorry. I did enjoy Dark Empire I, for what it's worth. I just don't see the point of the sequel...