We still have a little over six months before the Force Awakens blows all of our minds. Until then we have the new Marvel Star Wars comics to tie us over, all of which have been good to great. The best among them may very well be Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Darth Vader. It has been interesting to get the chance to see what Darth Vader was doing between the events of New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Does Darth Vader’s momentum continue? Let’s find out.
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
For the last four issues of Darth Vader we have spent a lot of time seeing how Darth Vader was building his own rebellion within the Empire. That planning finally came to a head in Darth Vader #5 with the emperor revealing his own private soldiers. The reveal wasn’t a surprise given the conflict Kieron Gillen has been building since the first issue, what was the surprise was these characters fighting abilities.
With the new character reveals Kieron Gillen was able to mix in familiar visuals with a new take. We’ve seen plenty of combat situations involving either Jedi, Sith or bounty hunters before. Those battles are common place in the Star Wars Universe. Taking those archetypes Gillen was able to mix them together into a more tech-organic set of fighters. This type of introduction opens up further possibilities for what type of antagonist Vader and other Star Wars characters can go up against.
Seeing the two humans that got to mix it up with Vader use lightsabers, jetboots and other tech to replicate moves we see Force users execute made for a different type of fight. It was during this brief fight that Salvador Larroca was really able to shine as he was able to get across Vader’s surprise over the new characters fighting abilities. It’s that surprise that made the ending when Emperor Palpatine showed himself as the one who commissioned these characters to be created an even better reveal. This is something that added to the tension we saw develop between Palpatine and Vader during the course of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Overall: Darth Vader #5 continued to give depth to Vader’s character without ever going in a direction that makes the character unrecognizable. Seeing Darth Vader’s plans to create an army of his be squashed a bit by Emperor Palpatines on private army was well executed. It gave additional layer of tension that Kieron Gillen has been building between the two after the events of the first Death Star’s explosion. How these new characters are used moving forward makes for an exciting prospect that just has me itching to get my hands on the next issue of Darth Vader.