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Is It Good? Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #4 Review

In last month’s issue, CT-5539/Hock helped bail Darth Vader out after a royal screw up during an invasion. Having completely earned the Dark Lord’s trust, the loyal clone warrior is offered a chance to be the Sith’s wingman in an aerial assault. Is it good?


Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #4 (Dark Horse Comics)


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Vader decides to stick around for the second attack on Ostor, this time utilizing his badass modified TIE fighter and having Hock on his wing.

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“I had it built for me at West Coast Customs… then I forced choked Xzibit.”

Unfortunately for the Imperial Forces, what starts out as a successful attack is suddenly thwarted by a swarm of Clone Wars era V-19 fighters.

Vader then proceeds to simultaneously impress Hock with his incredible dogfighting skills while also committing a completely boneheaded tactical decision. Hock bails out the Dark Lord (again), which results in him being shot out of the sky and abandoned on a desert floor (again).

He later wakes up to find himself in the enemy’s infirmary, where he is inexplicably allowed to get up and walk around. This leads him to discover the following pieces of very useful information:

-Kaddack, the psychotic clone from the series’ first issue, is the one who led the V-19 assault (and fulfills the story’s adherence to the Chekhov’s Gun Principal).

-Who the rebel’s forces leaders are and where they are standing.

But instead of using this information to kill them all, he decides to hold a philosophical debate with the leaders of his enemies followed by a hissy fit. He then decides that instead of taking out the trio of poorly armed, high value targets, he’s going to go after the dude who could totally kick his ass in a fight…and then things get weird.

Is It Good?

Well that deescalated pretty quickly. The issue is still very enjoyable (particularly the dog fight sequence at the beginning), but it’s by far the weakest part of what has otherwise been a masterful series.

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…but holy crap does it still look pretty.

Completely inexplicable actions by both Hock and his enemies detract from the tight, tension filled story that had been woven up to this point. It’s also a bit hard to believe that Vader would commit two such grievously stupid mistakes in a row.

Fortunately, the issue is salvaged by Tim Siedell’s knack for internal dialogue and Gabriel Guzman’s breathtaking pencils. A very unconventional (and surprising) ending also points to a great show down coming up in the final issue, which will hopefully pull everything back to the incredible quality of the series’ previous installments.

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