Darth Vader has never seemed so weak, which is why it’s so damn fun to read Marvel’s new series. Is it good?
Darth Vader #5 (Marvel Comics)
Vader has enlisted a girl named Aphra who’s quite good at requisitioning weapons to aid him in creating a droid army. Vader has fallen out of favor with the Emperor and he’s positioning himself to regain his respect. This issue opens with him ready to unleash his small army and show the Emperor’s new second in command who’s boss.
Wait. Is this ripping off the whale monsters from Avengers 1?!
The appeal of this issue lies in the ultimate reveal by issue’s end and I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it. I don’t want to ruin it, but it has something to do with the Emperor supposedly enlisting a group to replace Vader. I say seemingly because it’s more than probably this is just a test to ensure Vader is at the top of his game. What makes this extra preposterous is the approach these enlisted men are taking. Sure the Emperor is very evil, but it seems to go against everything a Sith should believe in. The concept is intriguing however, because I don’t think we’ve seen this approach taken before, but it doesn’t resonate.
Writer Kieron Gillen also gets away from the character development for Vader and Aphra that made the previous issues so interesting. Instead we’re given a few epic shots (which are truthfully pretty cool) and an issue that’s all about the plot twist. It doesn’t help that the twist requires Vader to be a total rube. We want to root for Vader, not cover our face in shame over Vader! A saving grace is the fantastic evil C-3P0 and R2-D2 lookalikes. Their incredibly evil nature will never get old and works so well when they’re so bumbling.
The art by Salvador Larroca works pretty well here. I can’t say his strength is in the cramped confines of a spaceship, but he gets to stretch his muscles a bit here and there. A scene where Vader faces two lightsaber wielding characters is particularly bland. It has to be the most boring room imaginable.
If those robots don’t make you groan I don’t know what will.
Is It Good?
This may be the weakest issue in the series so far. Very little character development is undertaken and the plot twist is bewildering.