12-4 months BBY
The title of this graphic novel is more or less self-explanatory. In the months before the Death Star becomes fully operational, a small group of overly-ambitious Grand Moffs plot to eliminate the Emperor and his dark enforcer, Darth Vader. Armed with a legion of specially-trained stormtroopers, bred especially for their invidious purposes, the conspirators see the perfect opportunity to strike. As Vader leaves to investigate reports of a rogue Jedi on an out-of-the-way planet and the Emperor prepares to board a shuttle to the Death Star, the Moffs set their plans. But their treachery runs on much deeper levels than some expected. Soon betrayal will run within and without this secret plot to destroy the Emperor.
While I managed to make the story sound interesting in my little introduction, it really isn't. Honestly, not much happens. Yes, there are some pretty sketchy Grand Moffs running around trying to overthrow the Emperor, but they just end up destroying themselves. Also, the "Jedi" Vader finds is just an idiotic force-user, eager to learn the ways of the Dark Side. Suffice to say she is quickly dispatched. The most exciting part of this story? The Royal Guards, bar-none. It feels like a nice little sample of what's in store for me with Crimson Empire.
Art-wise, there are pros and cons. The cover art, in my opinion, is horrible, as is the pencil work on the Emperor. The stormtroopers are also quite unsightly. However, there are a lot of cool character designs. One that particularly comes to mind is Grand Moff Trachta. For me, he looks like a mix between Wat Tambor and Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe.
Overall, I would would recommend skipping it. The graphic novel version was a bit elusive and I definitely paid more for that. Of course, I like to hear your opinions so feel free to comment if you think I didn't do this comic series justice!
Empire Volume Two: Darklighter, on the other hand, has already proven itself to be much more exciting.