Comic Vine Review

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Darth Vader #6 - Book I, Part VI: Vader

4

Vader now stands at the precipice. The slightest wrong move will spell his end before the Emperor and his newly assembled band of technological freaks.

The Good

After the shocking reveal of last issue, Darth Vader comes face-to-face with his master’s secret project, as well as the man himself. But he has no time to reflect or take it all in as the Emperor immediately declares a quick demonstration against his greatest disciple. What follows is a chaotic, pitched battle that leaves many dead and many questions still to answer. The issue then slows quite a bit for a conversation borne out of necessity and rage as well as a final twisting of the knife in Vader’s gut by issue’s end. Kieron Gillen wraps up what has been an excellent run redefining the dark lord of the Sith from his original role as enforcer and thug to Grand Moff Tarkin to fallen knight stripped of rank and title serving darkness. Gillen always leaned more to the latter, which is fine as that’s the one that feels more true to the core of what the character later became. The dialog here is, as always, his strongest suit when the two main characters converse. It feels like words and conversations left out of the source material, a task that’s incredibly difficult to accomplish as a secondhand writer to pre-established characters.

Salvador Larocca’s linework is super-detailed with thin outlines that create a sense of almost realism. With one notable exception, the visuals and body language of the characters do most of the heavy lifting in what has turned out to be a very conversation-heavy issue. Larocca still manages to convey an absolute metric TON of emotional subtlety from a man covered head-to-toe in armor and wearing an unmoving mask. There are lots of little ticks and details that manage to communicate to the audience the absolutely seething frustration and malice underneath all of Vader’s mechanized equipment. Edgar Delgado’s colors really stand out this issue, and that’s to take nothing away from his previous work, and part of that is the bizarre diversity of the characters. From genetically modified trandoshan to mon cal cyborg to droid swarm-wielding tech wizard, there’s a lot to render here and a lot of different colors to use. Delgado makes each one look and feel unique and real while ensuring that the world is just as dynamic as the people in it.

The Bad

This issue opens with what should be an absolute knock-down, drag-out brawl but comes off more as an old-school videogame’s boss rush where each enemy comes at you one at a time. It all winds up feeling too chaotic when it’s simply one-on-one and then too ordered when the proper brawl breaks out. The whole thing comes off as very counterintuitive and the conclusion of it is also something of a head-scratcher.

The Verdict

It’s a rare stumble in what is otherwise a fantastic issue. It’s always interesting when a creative team effectively reminds the reader that Darth Vader was the same person as Anakin Skywalker from the prequels. It’s surprisingly easy to view those as totally separate movies, and Gillen and Larocca are excellent at giving glimpses, in the form of brief flashbacks, to Vader’s past. And, of course, when news of his present reaches him, the book reaches a wonderful fever pitch of intensely satisfying emotional moments culminating with a giant question mark practically begging to see what’s next.


15 Comments

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JTMac005

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Can't wait to read this later!

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SynCig

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Edited By SynCig

I agree with the star rating for this one. I'd give it a four as well for somewhat similar reasons but I'd also add a story complaint into the negative which is really still spilling over from the end of last issue. I cannot stand the idea of Palpatine's secret project. Not so much the idea that he'd have potential replacements for Vader (that is very in line with Palpatine/Sidious' character) but the X-Men-espue quality of the characters. It feels too comic-booky and silly. On top of that, as pointed out in the review, the action sequences involving them weren't particularly well done.

Now on to the positives. This series has done a beautiful job of balancing prequel material and original trilogy material. I love Star Wars and despite the prequels maybe not living up to expectations, I still love them. So it is an absolute treat to see them acknowledge that part of Vader's life and really use it as motivation for his actions. The second half of this issue was stellar. It'd be a five if the whole thing was that but the beginning with the cyber experiments was enough to drag the score down to a four. Still a really good issue. Which is refreshing because issue 5 was a bit of a clunker in my opinion.

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TheUltimateTitan

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interesting.

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Herx

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having read this weeks issue of star wars prior to darth vader i must say that the "cracking" scene in both was just outstanding. in the star wars issue due to the lack of dialogue and here, well i need not say more should i :P

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jstndmnd

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Edited By jstndmnd

@syncig: It feels too comic-booky and silly.

I'm dropping this comic because I also feel the comic-booky story. Star Wars has done a great job feeling like fluid story from the movies. Darth Vader feels very superhero comicish to me. I was hoping to see a more theatrical rise for Vader. I wanted to see in Vader a very movie paced rise from a NEW HOPE Vader where he basically cost the empire the death star to the fearsome Vader in Empire strikes back.

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owie

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owie  Moderator

I agree about the fight. At the end of last issue it seemed like it was going to be a big massive awesome battle, and it ended up being very artifically paced and stiff in its movements.

But, the ending was awesome. I like how this and Star Wars crossed over, although I wish they didn't both share the same scene, kind of repetitive.

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Teerack

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I've been loving this book. I keep hoping Vader will run into Starkiller though to make the Force Unleashed cannon.

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Deathpool10

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@teerack: I have been praying since issue one that Starkiller was going to come into it, i just want him to be completely canonical within the Star Wars Universe, and i think he is such an intriguing character.

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Teerack

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Edited By Teerack

@deathpool10 said:

@teerack: I have been praying since issue one that Starkiller was going to come into it, i just want him to be completely canonical within the Star Wars Universe, and i think he is such an intriguing character.

Yeah same. Since Star Wars: The Clone Wars got to finish up their loose ends in novels, comics, and Star Wars: Rebels I was hoping they could use this to finish Starkiller's story since TFU2 left us with a lot of questions wither or not Starkiller was a clone or the real Galen Marek. There needs to be more to the story or the empire would have had a lot more force adept clones.

TFU also had a really cool supporting cast with Maris Brood, Juno Eclipse, and Rahm Kota.

Fortunately they haven't done anything that makes it not fit into the time line and it's still the only origin we have for the rebel alliance symbol so I think it still counts.

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phocracker

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Cheesy throughout the first half, that ending was enough for me to read the issue again.

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ComicBookGuy303

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I read both Star Wars and Darth Vader back to back and I love how the ending of both books are interconnected. I am very much enjoying both books right now.

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Deathpool10

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@teerack: exactly, seen as though he is such an influential character in Star Wars, i hope we see him mentioned more often or else his death and whole creation will be meaningless.

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Teerack

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@teerack: exactly, seen as though he is such an influential character in Star Wars, i hope we see him mentioned more often or else his death and whole creation will be meaningless.

I keep hoping he will be part of Star Wars Rebels since David Filoni's TV shows seems to be the EU's gate way back to life. I'm so glad they managed to include Voss in that one episode making him cannon and allowing him to keep having content created for him. I always think back to that episode of Clone Wars where Cad Bane is stealing force sensitive babies and wish that they had named one of those babies Kyle Katarn so that he could have made it into the new Star Wars Cannon since it would make sense with him being only a few years older than Luke.

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wmarshal

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@teerack: I think dawn and tales of the jedi to be cannon, maybe some retouching, but over all great set up stories of the galaxy. Though not that worried or would feel that hurt if not, mostly because I separated the the two eras of publishers as the second and third age of star wars comics. Marvel first holding of the rights being the first.

As to these issue. It was pure fire. The new attribute that is the mech warriors pushes the bar that was set with the drones of the clone wars era to a new level. Dark Horse show some things close to these, in in-ga 44 and Guri. But, other then really Grievous, and that depends who is writing and what media, none really showed to be a threat to force users.

I have no complaints on it being comic booky, because the comics are what made me such a fan of star wars.

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mickeymayhew

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was this Gillen's last issue, or did I just read that bit of the review wrongly?