image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Volume 3

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 2, 2020

 

Summary

 

Bernadette walks through the Jovian base and is confronted by several soldiers, but they step aside when she shows them her necklace. Using the Crossbone X1, Kincade smashes through the wall leading into Dogatie’s chamber. Several soldiers target the Crossbone X1 with machine guns and bazookas, but Yona and Jared disable them in hand-to-hand combat. Kincade goes on foot, along with Tobia, and demands that Dogatie call back his forces and abandon his plan to attack Earth. Kincade threatens to kill Dogatie if he doesn’t comply, but Dogatie says nothing. Tobia notices that Dogatie is sitting inside a tank filled with liquid and wonders if he’s human. Dogatie laughs, and Kincade and the rest of the team fire their machine guns at the tank, destroying it. Umon wonders if they did it, but a damaged robotic Dogatie emerges and attacks Kincade until Zabine knocks off its head. Zabine wonders if it was an android, but Kincade says that it was more like a humanoid doll. The voice of Dogatie announces that he has made nine copies of his personality and uploaded them to bio units. The Crossbone team sees a chamber filled with large tubs, and the voice of Dogatie explains that the bio units all share his judgement and speak as he would. He reveals that he was issuing orders to the Empire forces up to now, and the Crossbone Vanguard acted more quickly than he expected - too quick for his bio unit to escape from Io. The voice explains that only one of the 10 Dogaties is the original, but all the bio units have moved out, so the Crossbone Vanguard is too late. He reveals that his invasion force has already left for Earth, and their reward for attacking the base is to die when it self-destructs in just under six minutes. Umon thinks that’s crazy because thousands of Jovians in the base will also die, but the Dogatie bio unit doesn’t see a problem. Yona says they need to contact the Mother Vanguard, but Kincade counters that it doesn’t matter because the ship can’t even move now, so there’s no escape. Kincade grabs a Jovian admiral by the neck and demands to know if there’s a way to stop the self-destruct, but the admiral answers that the override code would only be known by someone close to Dogatie, like his deceased wife. Kincade announces that he’s going to stop the reactor core and returns to the Crossbone X1’s cockpit. He tells Tobia and the others to try to access the Dogatie bio unit to manually stop the self-destruct, and he takes off and descends deeper into the base. Kincade is attacked by Vagons during his descent, and he futilely attempts to convince them that Dogatie betrayed them. Kincade fights off the enemy, and the timer hits one minute. Tobia runs off, and Jovian soldiers emerge from a hidden door and open fire. Kincade nearly reaches the reactor core, but the Vagons halt his progress. The timer hits zero, but the base doesn’t explode because Bernadette entered the code. The head of the Dogatie bio unit calls her Tetenith, and she refers to him as “father.” She tells Dogatie that he was wrong about the people of Earth being horrible. She tells Tobia that her real name is Tetenith Dogatie, and that she’s the daughter of Dogatie. Elsewhere, the massive Jupitris 9 takes off from the Jupiter colony and heads for Earth.

 

Bernadette’s position as Dogatie’s daughter brings in supplies from the Jovian people, due to the Crossbone Vanguard having exhausted its own supplies in the battle, including medical supplies to treat casualties on both sides. Some Jovian pilots assist in repairs to the Mother Vanguard, which finally returns to space to begin its pursuit of the Jupitris 9. On the Jupitris 9, Karas asks Barnes why he doesn’t wear a helmet in battle, and Barnes answers that he hasn’t done so since his son died. Karas then tells Barnes that he’s being assigned to the special Death Gale Team. In the mobile suit hangar, Barnes sees the Quavarze, Totuga and Abejo, along with his squadmates, Giri Gaducca Aspis and Rosemarie Raspberry. Barnes is shocked that a child like Giri is his commanding officer, and Giri informs him that they have been assigned a special mission directly by Dogatie. On the bridge of the Mother Vanguard, Bernadette addresses the crew and explains that she is Dogatie’s biological daughter, but she wasn’t there as a saboteur or spy. She wanted to see Earth, her mother’s homeland, so she could understand her farther’s intentions. The only way to do this was to slip in with the exchange students at the relay station. She says she’ll leave her fate to Berah, but she wants to join them on the journey to Earth. Berah agrees take Bernadette on and says anyone judging Bernadette by her family name is by extension doing the same with her and the Ronahs. Tobia is relieved and sees that he got worried for nothing, while Zabine decides that Bernadette will make a good hostage. Later, Bernadette takes a shower with Berah and asks Berah why she’s being so nice to the daughter of her enemy. Berah mentions that she was once also considered a princess, and Bernadette recalls reading how Berah rebelled against her grandfather’s ideas. Berah asks Bernadette what she plans to do on Earth, and Bernadette answers that she doesn’t know, but she thinks Dogatie isn’t bad at heart and can be dissuaded from his plan. Bernadette wonders if she’s betrayed Jupiter, and Berah answers that if what she did was for the good of Jupiter, she didn’t betray anyone. Later, Tobia crawls through an air duct to visit Bernadette because her room is under guard. He asks if she’s ok, and she answers that she understands Berah’s decision because some people might be suspicious of her. She apologizes for lying to Tobia, and he responds that it doesn’t bother him. However, all his work was for nothing because he assumed the crew might torture her, so he planted bombs everywhere that would allow them to escape, and now he has to remove them. Tobia vows to protect Bernadette and says goodbye. He then goes out into space to assist Kincade and Ronim with repairs to the ship’s sail. Kincade explains that the Minovsky Drive allows the Mother Vanguard to accelerate faster than other ships and doesn’t require fuel, and Ronim adds that it can only be installed on larger ships due to its size. Kincade mentions that this kind of technology isn’t public yet, so the Empire doesn’t even know about it. That means they can use it for a surprise attack, and Tobia hopes they’re not on a suicide run. Ronim mentions that they logically don’t stand a chance, and Kincade says while that’s possible, it’s more important how many in the crew feel that way because discontent is dangerous. He asks Yona about Zabine, and she answers that Umon is watching him. Umon follows Zabine and thinks that something is wrong, but just then someone smacks him on the head and knocks him out. Zabine and his fellow mutineers then grab Bernadette and capture the bridge, taking Berah hostage. One of the bridge crew manages to announce over the radio that they’ve been betrayed, and Zabine’s followers attack Kincade out in space. Kincade and the others get back inside the ship, and he blames himself for not being able to stop what he knew would happen. Berah asks Zabine what his intentions are, and he answers that his goal is to revive Cosmo Babylonia, and this was the best means to do so. He then notes that she didn’t support Cosmo Babylonia, yet she used the name Crossbone Vanguard. Zabine announces to the ship that there’s no way to defeat the Empire, so their only option is to surrender. Berah asks if he knows the Empire’s goals, and Zabine answers that defeating the Earth Federation is something he’d have to do later anyway. He explains that the Jovians’ devotion to authority is perfect for aristocracy, so if he can get into a leadership position, he can manipulate the Empire to meet his goals. Berah thinks his plan won’t work, but Zabine doesn’t see why since he’s handing over the Mother Vanguard, Berah and Bernadette. The Jovian battleship Llivia then pulls up next to them.

 

Zabine addresses the crew again and tells them not to resist since he already has Berah as a hostage. Karas calls and asks if the ship is under control, and Zabine answers that it almost is. Karas asks him to send Bernadette over, and Zabine mentions the conditions they agreed to. Karas answers that Berah’s safety is assured, and that all Crossbone Vanguard pilots other than Zabine will be declared war criminals. Zabine agrees and has his prisoners moved. He tells Berah that she will be part of the new aristocracy, but she refuses. An explosion goes off in the corridor, and Tobia rushes toward Zabine. Zabine fires his gun, but Tobia dodges the bullet and head butts him. Jared throws a knife at Zabine’s right hand, and Tobia bites his arm. Zabine breaks free and gets away, with Kincade in pursuit. Karas is disappointed since they almost won, but Giri comments that non-Jovians aren’t dependable. Karas mentions that even if they got Bernadette back they were going to destroy the Mother Vanguard, and he tells Giri not to let him down. The Llivia then deploys a giant claw and grapples onto the Mother Vanguard, setting off an explosion. Zabine’s Crossbone X2 and Kincade’s Crossbone X1 fight in space, but Zabine finds himself at a disadvantage due to his injured right hand. Kincade then comes under attack from Giri’s Quavarze, Barnes’ Totuga and Rosemarie’s Abejo. He struggles to dodge their attacks and sees that they’re completely different from previous enemies. Ronim and several other crew launch in Batallas to back up Kincade, and his unit is quickly destroyed by Barnes. Giri moves in behind Kincade and comments that the three Death Gale units were created specifically as a counter to the Crossbone Gundams. He then uses his beam saw to cut off the Crossbone X1’s arms. The three Death Gale members then charge in to kill Kincade.

 

Berah assesses that they can’t do anything in their current situation, so Kincade is their only hope now. Without his arms, Kincade can only rely on head vulcans. Rosemarie sees that even without arms, they can’t get a clear shot at Kincade, and Giri rushes at Kincade in a high speed attack. Umon launches in a Batalla and sees that he can’t help Kincade. Judging all three units, Kincade sees that they each play to one strength of speed, attack power and defense, but each one is only stronger than the Crossbone X1 in that particular aspect. However, when all three attack as a team, it’s enough to overwhelm him. He realizes that he’ll never win if he can’t force the enemy to break formation. Karas calls Zabine and tells him to bring the Crossbone X2 to the Llivia and adds that there’s no need to fight, so he can watch them take care of things. As he retreats, he hopes that Kincade doesn’t lose so he can have a final showdown with him to determine who’s strongest. Tobia launches in his Pez Batalla and uses the beam axe to attack Barnes’ Totuga, to no effect. Kincade tells Tobia that he can’t just randomly charge in and attack. He then asks Tobia what his traps can do, and Tobia explains that he could use a laptop to make the ship’s propulsion system go out of control. Kincade says that he has one weapon they can use to attack the Llivia and explains his plan. Rosemarie finds Kincade by himself and moves in to attack. Kincade thinks that if each of the Death Gale units maximized one speciality, it means they had to sacrifice something in other areas. Rosemarie fires her needle gun and is shocked when Kincade takes the hit. He realizes that the Abejo lacks any attack that can cause fatal damage, and he charges at Giri, dodging the beam saw and unleashing a knife from the sole of his foot. Giri evades the knife, and Kincade maneuvers next to the Totuga and sees that it lacks speed. He uses his thrusters at maximum power to charge Barnes and slam the Totuga into the hull. He then gives the signal to Tobia, who activates the beam navigation system, which cuts off the sail and sends it crashing into the Llivia. Karas uses a space suit to board the Mother Vanguard’s bridge. The Death Gale units regroup to attack Kincade, and Giri comments that Kincade’s skills exceed his suit’s performance. Giri gets a call that if the Llivia doesn’t leave immediately, it won’t be able to catch up with the Jupitris 9, so he orders the Death Gale Team to retreat. Karas heads into space with Bernadette in tow, and Tobia quickly grabs them with the Pez Batalla’s right hand. Karas proclaims that Tobia could never beat him at his current level, and he sets off an explosion that destroys the Pez Batalla’s hand, allowing him to break free. He then floats up to the cockpit and tosses a grenade at it, which then explodes.

 

Commentary

 

This volume continues where the last left off with the Crossbone Vanguard attacking Io in an attempt to take down Dogatie. Unfortunately, they discover that it was all a trap because Dogatie has bio unit copies to serve as decoys, and his real force has already set off for Earth. We also discover that Bernadette is actually his daughter, Tetenith, which continues the Gundam tradition of a female character having a familial tie to the villains. Like other characters before her, she's convinced that she can dissuade her father from his plan for conquest, but Gundam history shows that her chances of success are zero. The Mother Vanguard hurries to catch up to Dogatie, but everything comes grinding to a halt when Zabine launches his mutiny. A lot of people end up supporting him, which raises the question of whether they were just dissatisfied crew, or if they were Cosmo Babylonia loyalists that he implanted from the start for this eventual outcome. Kincade was wise enough to never trust Zabine, and in the end they're able to foil his mutiny. Zabine hoped to join the Empire in triumph with the gifts of Bernadette and the Mother Vanguard, but instead he's forced to slink away in shame with his tail between his legs. The Death Gale Team presents an interesting challenge for Kincade, and it's a testament to his skills that he can still fight even without access to most of his weapons. Karas annoyingly shows up once again to menace everyone, leaving us with another cliffhanger and Tobia's fate hanging in the balance. I suspect he's going to be fine.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

image

image

image

image

image

imageimage

image
image
image
imageimage