The final hurrah of the famed Darth Vader!
Ok not really, but it is the final issue for his self-title comic book. It’s been over a week thinking of me sitting at my screen trying to figure out what to write to really sum up my feelings for what was my favorite title in the Star Wars comics lines.
I have to tip my hat to Larroca for sticking it with for 25 issues. That’s quite the a feat for today’s market hell it was a feat back when I actually cared about comics back in the ’90s. He had some issues where the linework seemed rougher then others but in that same breathe there were pages that made me think that he had to take weeks to draw/layout.
Also I’ll be giving a nod to Delgado’s colors, a lot is given to the Artist aka the Penciller/Inker (or both in lots of cases) but a poorly executed color wash can make or break the artistic look to a book. It can even hurt the sequential flow of a book with bad colors, trust me… I read Dark Empire once my favorite of all Star Wars books (Thanks Darkhorse!) but after looking back without the rose-colored glasses the color in my opinion became tired later on when there needed to be restful areas but the bleak look to everything hurt it.
Finally Kieron Gillen, the writer of said journey. Creating Vader as the protagonist could possibly be the hardest comic story to pull off in history but somehow it worked. Giving Vader his own hero’s journey as the villain. His own rogue type of Han Solo/Indiana Jones (Dr. Aphra) his own Princess as (Queen Trios), his own elder mentor (The Emperor) and even a pair of droids for comic relief. I tip of the hat and a pint lifted in your honor sir.
You even gave his own rogues guild to fight and a rival for his position with a secret that is revealed as his creator ( Cylo the I am your high collared wearing father). I have to say after reading the finish to the series I am pleasantly pleased.
I wont go into huge depths of the issue since there were many great moments during the issue so instead I’ll give some of my favorite highlights.
Cylo’s Demise: Let’s get this out now, I was no fan of Cylo and was glad to see him go. Hell I was hoping Gillen would kill him off quickly so we could have another better villain take on Vader but alas we couldn’t. His death (as well as his clones) was something to cherish.
Aphra’s Death: This one hurt.. a lot. Aphra is one of the best characters created in a long time…. a long time… in the Star Wars galaxy. Better then those bullshit cat bounty hunters, better then some kid befriending Chewie on a side mission in a mining dispute, better then some gawd awful buffed up Hutt walking on CloneWars Maul spider legs… I mean fuck all… I’d take her over Maul… yes I said it.. and let it be known. I FUCKING HATE DARTH MAUL. He wasn’t “awesome” or mysterious, he wasn’t cool and a ninja. He was a second rate sith who killed an old man who was outcasted from his AARP meetings and then got chopped in half and fell down a tube. DONE. .. fucking DONE.
So with the new version of Indiana Jones in space and working for Darth Vader I got a real sense of Dr. Jones meets Wrenga Jixton meets well anyone with a booty like hers. I was sad to see her blown out an airlock.. but somehow I had a reservation to Vader’s personal execution of her and doing so in that way which he knew she dreaded. Perhaps….
The death of Grand General Cassio Tagge: I pronounce the name “Tag” as the ge on the end should be silent… as he is now. Kidding aside I was torn on this one. Tagge was a pretty pissy military opponent for Vader to deal with but he was also a Death Star I survivor. I would have preferred that Gillen kept him alive to kill off in a different later book, or maybe introduce his sister from legends from their home world but as the scene progressed there was little doubt to the general’s fate.
A New Hope: We are so trained automatically to think A New Hope means hope for the rebel alliance in their desperate fight against the all mighty Empire.
But with this last page of the initial story we see that it’s more then just the galaxy’s hope against the Evil Empire but a chance for Vader to become something more then a death machine of Palpatine. A chance for him to regain something of his humanity, his chance to be a father. To be near a living breathing piece of Padme, to no longer be a soul trapped in a mechanical body but something … more. Luke was more then the rebels hope, he was Vader’s as well. It’s also the final scene on the Executor as Vader awaits his chance to take the Super Star Destroyer on his hunt for this boy to bring him under his own shadow.
Ressurection Dr. Jones errr Aphra: Lets rethink what we know about Vader, he is still a cold hearted villain with now a renewed maniacal fervor to find the boy that carries on his old name. Somewhere I think Vader needed make Aphra think she needed to think he thought she was dead and stay that way. He could have killed her easily enough with a force choke as he did with Tagge, aaaaand he was going to back in an earlier issue. But she gave him a chance for his son. I think somewhere he was giving her a final test. Instead of a lightsaber to the neck or a force choked death he was going to put her in the most heinous of situations she dreaded. Being blown out into hard vaccuum of space. She always hinted at how it scared her and Vader knew this. He also had to keep her quiet so instead of just slaying her there he puts her in the airlock.
Now… some of you think Aphra outwitted Vader here. I beg to differ, why doesn’t he care where Bee-tee and Triple-Zero are at as they know full well the boys identity to? I’m betting Vader knows shes alive and are using them as his watchdogs in case he does need her again but had to keep her in such a fearful state that he had to convince her that if she lived through her being blown out the airlock she would never dare bring herself into the known galaxy again. Running in fear of death.. from not being dead can do that. Hence Vader is a chessmaster as he was in ANH as he probably assumed Aphra had something set up in case she guessed on how cold and callus his final act with her would be. Publicly he executes her. Privately he keeps his tabs on her insuring she thinks he doesn’t know she’s survived.
A great read I must say. I’m glad I was able to be here first hand to see it and to see Aphra get her own title later on. All in all a 10 of 10 in my records as this closes the book on the final issue of Dar- wait what the devil… a story of… a devil?
Named Anakin Skywalker that left the desert long ago but returned and slaughters villages full of Tusken raiders…. but one survived the slaughter to find a fellow village of Sandpeople but in their fear of the “dark one” returning they sacrifice this survivor to his visage to help ward against further intrusions of this demon.
Wow even a little tidbit at the end. Well played sirs… well played.
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