Back in issue 16 of Darth Vader we see the Dark Lord assault an Ore Baron’s citadel with a large force of stormtroopers over open ground when the AT-AT’s were restricted by the close quarters of the inner crust of Shu-Torun. The Lords of the Rings styled assault on Mordor’s gate isn’t as recognizable at first to me so I missed it in that issue.
However issue 17 brings the power of the dwarf lords.
Writer: Keiron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Mark Brooks
So we begin with the Ore Barons (aka LOTR dwarf lords) contemplating what to do about the Imperial Emissary aka Darth Vader. He’s taken down one of their citadels and the newly placed Queen Trios is siding with him and the Empire. They decide to send a lava-sub type assault vessel (Lava Leviathan) at one of the Queen’s palace where she, Vader, Cylo and his twin light saber wielding rivals to Vader are having a conversation about how to stop the revolt.
Well Vader and even the twins aren’t having that. The trio plus Trios hop in one of her craft and let Vader and twins do their light saber thing to the Leviathan. Well it doesn’t take long for Vader and the others to tear up the sub. They come back and decide that the the ones being disrespected are them by the arrogant Ore Barons.
Vader has a panel where he talks about Queen Trios’ religion and how he doesn’t know her faith well but he’s sure the Ore Barons attacking her sacred palace is sacrilege. We then are shown Cylo speaking to Grand General Tagge. Tagge is a man of conservative thinking. He knows Vader is the bold and wars favor the bold. However Tagge is also a numbers man, he has great insight into battle. Stating Vader can a single grand victory in the same time Tagge could win a thousand of smaller victories.
It gives you some real mindset into Tagge’s way of thinking a very conservative mind that still has big picture but would prefer chipping away at the resolution rather then the broad light saber strokes Vader takes. Tagge also lets Cylo know who he’d prefer to win the rivalry, not so directly letting Cylo know he wishes the Empire (or in a metaphorical sense Cylo’s cronies) win over Vader.
Vader and the rest start to contemplate their next move as he watches one of the twins battle in a nearby arena inside the palace. While there one of the twins the female, comes to him and asks him if he would be able to teach her. Seems she knows that only one of the group is going to remain alive and she wants the strength to slay her brother when the time comes. Vader as cold as ice tells her he will teach her nothing…
While standing around and giving little blondie her lesson in asking him any-dam-thing. TripleZero and Beetee arrive to inform him that the dwarven bountyhunter BeeBox has returned to claim the bounty on Dr. Aphra… ahh Aphra… my future wife… *swoons*
As Vader arrives in the room to meet Beebox he stutters, he didn’t know the bounty was issued by him. Remember back in issue #16 the sender of the bounty had their identity hidden via hologram.
As Vader meets with the pint sized bounty hunter Beebox is holding a sheet over a lump of stuff.. yet no beautiful archaeologist Dr. Aphra in the room… hmm odd maybe shes in a holding cell? Blasphemous! Let her out! My delicate flower must be freed to let her beauty grow.
A panel later Beebox lets Vader know he had to use a disintigrator on Aphra…. WHAT THE HELL a Desin-ta-what My balls-De-senta-grator!? *RAGE BREATHING* O… K… Urge to kill rising…. Rising… RISING…. then the sheet is pulled back to reveal…
OH MY SKIES—-NOOOOOOOOOOOO , Nooooooooooo *takes a breath* Noooooooooooo! Why…. Why is she a pile of mess…. she was in the Rebels cells in their secret prison!? Is this issue of Vader ahead of the Star Wars book accidentally?! What happened WHY MY APHRA!? WHY? ……………*sobs*……………
So… *snif* BeeBox shows V-vader the.. pile… of.. .. *blows nose*… bones and flesh. *cries*… “This is not the girl.” Vader says… *perks up* Wha? What what? Vader Saying its not my baby Aphra? Is he sure? Please be sure!? Vader turns… Beebox says he wouldn’t lie to him.. (YES HE WOULD VADER! KILL HIM HE TRIED TO HURT APHRA!) Vader doesn’t disappoint. He chokes Beebox, with the force choke killing him. GOOD! You evil traitorous dwarf!…
Ahem *adjusts shirt* So.. now that that shit is over. Vader leaves Beebox’s body and we see Vader order TripleZero to let the other hunters know not to make Beebox’s mistake. Poor Beebox, I actually liked him for a while to. A very distinctive looking character that crossed the wrong dark lord. The last few pages are the Ore Barons discussing the loss of the Leviathan and what can be done next to stop Vader and the Queen. Then a new hologram enters the conversation. Cylo… traitor! Hmmm more cloak and dagger is already taking place.
Man, what can I say about this issue except wow. I loved almost every part of it except that bad joke about Aphra’s death… ahem. We’ll never speak of that again. Larroca’s art is always on point of course and Gillen’s story is still solid, though I wouldn’t have killed off Beebox so easily/early. Other then that it was an awesome issue… 9/10 blaster rifles.