Star Wars has been in very good hands again with Marvel ever since the Disney took the franchise over. Their new Vader series is a look into an unseen period where the Dark Lord of the Sith still has that “new armor smell” and no red lightsaber. My partner in crime, The Dull Knight, reviewed their first issue and raved about it. I offered to take on the second issue in this new title that belongs in everyone’s pull list.
Issue two finds Vader in search of a Jedi to hunt down for a lightsaber to steal. My favorite part about how Vader is portrayed here is that he’s not the calm, methodical legend we all know and love. Instead, he’s still young and reckless. He’s unaccustomed to this new biomechanical form and is essentially flexing his muscles to see what he’s capable of. The lack of a lightsaber drives this home because he has to rely on strategy and the raw power of the force to overcome obstacles. I don’t envy the task of the creative team here because they have to convey this pivotal developmental period in a character known for speaking little and without the benefit of facial expression. Doing this on a comic book panel is no small feat yet I feel they’ve done an exceptional job thus far.
Readers are also treated to a look at the state of the galaxy post-Order 66 when the Empire is still new. Wounds from the Clones Wars are still very fresh with the dust still settling after a long period of unrest. I loved seeing the Clone Troopers on a remote outpost sorting through Jedi contraband. Hearing them openly discuss where they fall in this new Galactic Empire was fascinating. Their desire to do right by the Emperor and bring him the ‘Jedi’ that they believe Vader to be was a believable struggle. Fans of the movies only probably won’t appreciate that aspect of this issue as much as those who’ve seen the Clone Wars animated series (which you should see because it’s damn good).
The primary complaint I have with this issue and the first issue is that they should have been combined into a single plus-sized debut. They are both good comics, however, combined they could have been a great comic. I respect the slow-burn approach to a story yet it should never be for the purpose of spreading things out into more sellable content. To me, that’s how the first two issues came across since neither contained high points or arcs worthy of standing alone. Again, this is my primary complaint. I still enjoyed it immensely and cannot wait to pick up issue three in a few weeks.
My final rating of STAR WARS: Darth Vader #2 by Charles Soule is a 8.1 out of 10.
What’s your favorite Star Wars comic? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!
The Belligerent Barnes