The first Darth Vader Annual Ever…. *mask breathes* Impressive… Most Impressive.
Darth Vader Annual
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Leinil Yu
Inks: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Joe Carmagna
Cover: Leinil Yu
Keiron Gillen takes on writing a second Star Wars themed annual (see Star Wars annual 001) to bring us a story about the dark lord of the Sith.
The story opens with King of Shu-torun addressing his children, just before Vader arrives on planet. He’s greeted by the 3rd child of the King. Princess Trios. Vader isn’t pleased that the King hasn’t been meeting his quota. Princess Trio says that they have thrown a ball to impress the Dark Lord and think he’d enjoy seeing it. Vader of course isn’t amused. All the while he’s holding a box that he claims is a gift for the King and keeps the Princess’ servants mitts off of it. After the greeting procession goes back with Vader Bee-Tee and Triple-0 slowly leave Vader’s personal Tie and sneak inside the castle.
After the initial greetings Princess Trios leads Vader to the Grand Ballroom where the ore-dukes of the planet are holding a lavish event in his honor. Vader from the rip isn’t impressed, he actually tells her it’s a waste. But she replies that the ore-dukes need their ego’s stroked or they may lean towards the Rebellion.
While taking an ego inflated ore-duke’s pride down a few pegs the ball is attacked by anti-imperial dissidents. The dissidents open up on Vader who easily dispatches the squad of men. After dealing with the dissidents he demands an audience with the King, Princess Trios says that the elevator’s would probably be on guard by traitorous ore-dukes and they would need to take the underground tunnels instead. Vader reluctantly agrees…
While deep in the underground tunnels Vader and the Princess start to talk and Vader eludes to that the king should be proud of her… and her sacrafice for the greater good. The tunnels start to fill with hot ore and Vader quickly cuts a hole in the side of the tunnel wall to what the Princess mistakenly thinks Vader is doing to get into a side tunnel but instead he makes a floatilla with the chunk of wall he cut loose. He then thwacks the Princess on the back of the neck knocking her unconcious. He drapes her over his shoulder and floats to a nearby catwalk to get away.
The King enraged that Vader has lived starts shouting for guards to stop him. While Bee-tee and Triple-0 subtley offer him a poison laced drink which the king smacks to the floor while in a tirade. Triple-0 decides to let Bee-tee do what he does best and soon it’s a shooting gallery for the blast-o-mech droid.
Vader wakes the still unconscious princess to her dismay she sees the guards around the King’s chamber all killed at Vader’s hands and the Princess and he exchange words and she draws a blaster on him and he quickly slices off her hand holding it. Upon entering the King’s throne chamber Vader and the now one-handed Princess Trios see the carnage before them created by Bee-tee and Triple-0. The Princess goes to her dead father still sitting on the throne as Vader walks up to the dead man and throws the small box on the floor in front of the king’s feet. The box shatters and inside it is a meteorite shaped rock. The princess picks it up as Vader explains to her that it was a piece of Alderaan. Showing her what happens to planets who side with the overconfident rebels and resist the Emperor.
Calling her by her now new title Queen Trios he explains she will be responsible for subdueing the ore-dukes who were pressing the King to turn traitor against the Empire. Vader makes it clear she will subdue them or they will all be pacified. As she now Queen should not forget whom she serves.
All I can say is cool, not really part of the over-all story from the Star Wars and Darth Vader lines but Gillen made a good book about how cold and manipulative Vader can be while forcing his rage and anger on others. Something we haven’t seen much of lately in his title book. I give it 7.5 of 10 blaster rifles.