Writer – Kieron Gillen
Artist – Salvador Larroca
When the Darth Vader ongoing series was announced it seemed like an odd choice. While Vader is the most popular of the Sith Lords following a villain as he goes about killing the heroic rebels and bringing fear throughout the galaxy does not really seem like a fun read. However, Kieron Gillen does a great job of weaving a story of honor, betrayal, and dark justice following one of the most infamous villains in the Star Wars galaxy.
The story takes place shortly after the destruction of the Death Star and follows Darth Vader as he deals with his fall from grace due to the loss of the battle station. While Vader has his primary mission from the Emperor, Vader also has his own agenda that leads to him dealing with Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, and teaming up with a rogue scientist and her two murderous droids. The fifth issue brings everything to an intense climax where Vader confronts an unexpected enemy. It should also be noted that in some of the issues they refer to events from the main Star Wars comic, but it is not necessary to follow that series to enjoy and understand the story of this series.
The art of Darth Vader is great. Everything looks like it does in the movies and any new locations fit perfectly with the whole of the Star Wars universe. The art of Salvador Larroca is complemented by the great colors of Edgar Delgado who uses a very intense dark palate that does not fall into the traps of the sloppy ‘black and red’ style that some modern colorists do when attempting to make things dark. There is a good range of color and it goes a long way toward building the emotion of the scene. The art tells a good part of the story as well, especially during the many wordless scenes that occur throughout the series.
This comic does not fall into the traps of trying to be an anti-hero book or trying to make a villain into a sympathetic character. Vader is evil and does what he must to complete his mission. The artwork is great and it assists the storytelling as Vader is not the most talkative of characters. It is great to see Vader as both a servant of the Emperor and working his own agenda. Darth Vader trying to find the identity of the pilot who destroyed the Death Star and hunt down anyone who might be a threat to him reclaiming his former status makes for a very interesting read that will keep you guessing as to what will come next.
While this book may be a little too dark for younger readers, it is a great read for anyone who loves the Star Wars universe and wants to see why Darth Vader was so feared in the original trilogy. The series does not require knowing anything beyond the movies and while it is connected to the main series it does not cross over in any significant way thus far. While I wasn’t too excited about this series in the beginning it has grown to be my favorite of the current ongoing Star Wars comics.
5/5 – A compelling read that builds into a great action/mystery series
jared @ scarlet-rhapsody.com