There is one release left in the twenty five issue run of Marvel’s Darth Vader comic. The entire run has had its ups and downs, but at the core the comic has delivered a satisfying portrayal of the Dark Lord of the Sith. The comic has shown him being ruthless, but also cunning. Above all it has showcased his control and mastery of the force, and how he can dominate over anyone when using it. The penultimate issue in the series takes a bit of a risk in the story it tells, but it pays off and adds the character.
The ending of the twenty third issue left on an interesting cliffhanger. Having Vader deactivated by Cylo was a great twist and left you wondering how he would get away. I had a feeling he would find a way to overpower Cylo with the force. I wouldn’t have been surprised for the Emperor to show up and help save Vader. They decided to go with Vader saving himself, which makes more sense for the character.
In saving himself the author, Gillen, takes us back to the fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin. It’s is a risky thing to show in the comic. The new cannon has stayed away from things from the prequel era films. They released the Obi-Wan and Anakin comic, but very little else from the prequel era. To show something from Revenge of the Sith and try to expand on Vader’s turn is risky, but I think it is handled extremely well in the comic. We see Vader fight Obi-Wan again, but this time succeed. He also doubles down on all of his actions cementing his path on the Dark Side.
The only issue I have is it brings into question of how Luke is able to redeem Vader. With them showing him killing Ob-Wan and turning away from Padme it begs the question of how Luke was able to reach him. I’ll go with it is more amazing for Luke to be able to reach the good in such a tortured and evil soul. They do a good job in showing how Vader must accept and embrace his anger in this instance to save himself. By turning his back again on his good he is able to overcome Cylo and kill him. He has to do this in order to survive and become powerful.
I enjoyed this issue immensely and I am excited to see where the conclusion is heading. The only problem I had with this edition is the ending. I didn’t like the dialogue given to the Emperor and exchange with Dr. Aphra. I’ve been mixed on the Aphra character. I think she could be used again if she survives the series, but I don’t see how she does unless she knows something the Emperor wants. Maybe they will tie Aphra into the Jakku story introduced in Aftermath, because she knows information about what is buried in the desert
The final issue of this run of comics should be interesting. There are loose ends to tie up, and I expect to see Vader show why he is a Sith Lord once again. The comic has done this in its best issues, and I expect the finale to showcase some fantastic action. I’m also curious about how they will tie up all the story lines. I’m hoping something in the last issue ties into Rogue One, but not sure if they go that route. I think it is a good idea to end on a high note, and lead into seeing more of Vader in Rogue One.