The dark lord of the sith gets ever closer to the traitorous Dr. Cylo and his bio-enhanced cronies that try and stop our favorite bad guy. But Vader’s not going to let this band of merry band flee without paying a …. whew.. man I’m out of cheezy things to say… basically Vader being Vader.. enjoy!
Writer: Keiron Gillen
Pencils Inks: Salvador Larroca
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover: Larroca, Delgado
By the end of this issue I suspect that the Void gazer to be dead? Ya know why. The variant cover. Last time we got a variant cover of a character created from the Darth Vader series, it was Inspector Thanoth, and guess what happened, yep was killed by Vader. But he did go out like a true man so I’ll give him that. The Voidgazer I kind of pity though she wants to test Vader’s abilities versus her own but as Vader told her in the last issue, shes not stupid so why think you’re going to last against him? I like to think Cylo has inflated the ego of his minions and she believes she actually can battle a dark lord of the sith… most of us realize she won’t be able to… heck the smartest person in the series has turned out to be Dr. Aphra (my future wife) because she realized early on she was fodder for Vader ready to be off-ed on a whim if he chooses.
So anyways enough analyzing aside lets start the show..
We begin the issue with Dr. Aphra actually. Her capture from last issue seemed a bit less then refined even for a murderous protocol droid. However she uses her whit to overcome her capture just after being delivered to the imperial forces on the Executor.
Aphra waits until she’s been handed over the stormtroopers then makes sure TripleZero understands his primary mission is completed. Upon acknowledging that she orders him to help her escape. Seeing as only Vader and Aphra can give TripleZero priority commands he has to obey. Yes its a little cheesy and not the slickest since I was wanting Aphra to put her tomb-raiding skills on through the Executor to get away or even to get to Vader to plea for forgiveness. But I suppose it’s better seeing as how the rest of the issue goes.
I did notice Larroca’s line-weights thickened for Aphra in the second panel. As if he had intended to have her facing a different angle but rethought out it and had to re-ink that area (or re-PC black it as I’m sure he doesn’t use actual inks). Either way the thickeness of Aphras cheek was a little oddball for the previous work he’s had on her before. Not bad mind you just different.
So then we progress to the next scene where Vader’s fighting Voidgazers cybernetically enhanced … sighs… Rancor. Why people why is the Rancor the go-to big beast so much. Does no one remember the giant in the 1st Ewok’s movie? Eh ranting aside it was a cool fightscene. Vader takes on the big beast but unlike a certain blonde haired jedi in trainig he doesn’t need a gimmick or a door to stop a Rancor he just needs his trusty light-stabby stick and a lot of aim.
It seems Vader was a varsity javelin thrower for the Jedi Temple before becoming a Sith as we see this rare opportunity to study his throwing form. Notice the swift technique as he balances his weight of his mechanizes upper limbs to ensure his force guided throw wills stay true to target. The recipient of the Dark Lords chuck is the ever slow witted Rancor who takes it to the face like a newbie porno star. Not that I think moving would have helped because like Peter North the force was strong with him and I’m sure no matter where the receiver would try to dodge the Dark Lord would make sure to hit his mark. (didn’t think you’d get a Peter North today in a SW comic review did ya?)
I noticed that Larroca also went a bit more artistic during the fight scene with a circular panel to start its splash page off with then as Vader preps throw his saber you see him hold out his arms in a javelin throwing pose which as far as I can ever remember we’ve NEVER seen Vader make that pose before… and maybe it’s for the best to keep it in the comics as I’m not sure it’d transfer as well over to live action. Who’s read to see it in Rogue One?! ok I am ! pleeeeease please have Vader destroy these rebels the way he should! …. ahem.. well.
So on with the issue…
After face goring the Rancor and severing Voidgazers cybernetic link to it, the beast comes crashing down and Vader cuts into its scull to keep it dead, then uses the force to blow open the observation window exposing Voidgazer who happily comes into the Rancor’s pit to meet Vader head on. She has her floating shield and blaster droids with her and begins a barrage against the Dark lord of the sith.
However what she didn’t count on was Vader’s cunning. As we see Voidgazer’s droids continue to shoot at Vader he deflects them with his saber but the automatic shields they have keep the blaster bolts from hitting her while the attack droids continued to fire an an accelerated rate. Vader uses the force grab and twists one of the attack droid probes to face Voidgazer before she can command it to stop firing and it blasts her in the side.
She falls to the ground wounded as she congratulates Vader on his technique. She also tells him her legacy will live on as a trap she set would go off once she is dispatched.
Vader’s never been one for small talk when there’s business to be done and he finishes the dispatching. Gruesomely to but sadly off camera/panel it just shows him cutting down into what we assume is Voidgazers neck as that’s where he held his saber’s blade as she finished speaking. We see him complete the movement and walk away and just smoke trails come from the pile of droids and the corpse that was once the Voidgazer.
I don’t believe he really cared much about her plan, or ending her quickly. If you remember a few issues ago the female of the twins was pushed into a pit of lava and was horrifically burned. Vader pulled what was left of her from the lava and demanded her to speak before ending her but before doing so told her it would pass quickly. Probably because he had felt the burning scorch of lava around him as she was now experiencing. He kills her mercifully but here he finishes the coup de grace without much pity for Voidgazer.
After Vader leaves the body of Voidgazer he makes his way to the bridge of Cylo’s space-whale vessel (the brain room remember?) where he finds… no one. Only a collision course set in the vessels computer for the Kuat shipyards spacedock of the Executor. From afar Cylo and To-something the blonde male twin that pushed his sister into the Lava. They look on as the space whale smashes into the Executor, not making much of a dent in the enormous Super Star Destroyer mind you but Cylo is confident that with Vader stuck on the space whale ship and it being destroyed in the collision he’s seen the end of Darth Vader…
pfff…. we know better. What’s more interesting is before the collision we learn that Voidgazer set up a gas to flood the Executor’s compartments where Grand General Tagge and others were aboard including Dr. Aphra. I assume the gas isn’t fatal since that’d be a real cheap way to off Tagge and Aphra but I hope they let Aphra live on anyways.
As for the Emperor who was still on the Executor from last issue a Royal guard informs him that his personal section has it’s own life support but they have been cut off from the rest of the ship… maybe next issue we’ll see some Lords of the Sith like action from Palps and Vader.. man I hope so…
Either way this issue was solid a good 8 of 10 from me.