The first issue of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca‘s new ongoing series, Darth Vader is now out and primarily centers around the title character. This issue, along with Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars, take place between episodes A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
This time around, I am catch myself reading everything Vader says in the voice of Mr. James Earl Jones, the iconic voice behind the Dark Lord in the original trilogy and Episode III. This issue gives us a further glimpse into Vader’s personality, which has come a long away since the little whiney kid from the prequels. There isn’t too much story development in this issue however, we get to see how complex Vader really is. One second he is portrayed as this respected, intimidating bad ass, the next we see he is still a very flawed human under that helmet who also allows his emotions to get the best of him.
This issue opens up with Vader barging into Jabba the Hutt Palace. Vader is not quite the negotiating type, nor does he have the time or patience to deal with those he sees beneath him, which is everyone. Vader makes his way into Jabba’s lair, killing a few guards along the way. This first half of this issue does an amazing job depicting how forceful the Dark Lord can be, but Jabba foolishly challenges Vader. He even goes as far as threatening to turn Vader into the rebels for a bounty. Vader then force chokes Jabba into submission and he agrees to help the Dark Lord with whatever he requests.
After the meeting with Jabba the Hutt, we rewind to the previous day where we see the Emperor, also known as Darth Sidious, scolding Vader over the destruction of the Death Star, in which he holds Vader responsible for. It is amazing to see that there is someone who actually can belittle the dark lord the way the Sidious does and still walk away unharmed. This scene reminds me of a parents lecturing a child, except that child over 6 foot tall and can force choke you.
An unknown agent who is reporting to the Emperor walks into the room and Vader immediately questions his presence. Sidious refuses to tell him the identity of the mysterious fellow and dismisses his apprentice. Before walking out of the room, Sidious then asks Vader if he has anything else to report. Vader thinks back at some of the things he had recently discovered, such as the Jedi who had destroyed the death star was also wielding Vader’s original lightsaber. It seems that at this point Vader could have very well gathered that Skywalker could be his child.
Back to the present, Vader is instructing the two bounty hunters, Boba Fett & Black Krrsantan, to search and capture the Jedi, Luke Skywalker, as well as the mysterious agent who Sidious was speaking with in secrecy.
Before departing from Tatooine, Vader made some time to slaughter several Tusken Raiders. In case you needed a refresher, The Tuskan Raiders were the ones who had kidnapped Vader/Anakin’s mother. For some odd reason I found this last scene hilarious. I literally laughed out loud. I promise it’s not because of the bloodbath that ensued but as I was reading this, I imagined Vader saying “Hold up guys, BRB.. Gonna go pwn some Tuskan noobs real quick.”
The artwork was one of my favorite things about this issue. Salvador Larroca, the brilliant artist behind the issue really does justice to these characters, which was one thing I felt Star Wars #1 lacked.
Overall, there isn’t too much that is going on in this issue but I still enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favorite but I appreciate the importance of character development, even if the story itself is a bit lagging. I hope to see more of the different sides of Vader and how he is portrayed in the upcoming issues. As Marvel has easily proven in the past, I trust the character development will be impressive.