Is there any place better for a character to be than when they are down on their luck, or fighting against all odds? We root for them and cheer for them, because it’s so darn impossible and that’s why Darth Vader has been one of the best Star Wars books yet. I check out the latest issue to figure out the answer to the question: is it good?
Darth Vader #8 (Marvel Comics)
This is a pretty good issue, but it didn’t totally win me over by any means. It’s largely without Darth Vader within its pages and instead has Aphra taking the wheel for the first half. She’s attempting to steal from an Imperial Star Destroyer along with a slew of bounty hunters we know and love. Darth Vader continues to be on the emperor’s s--t list and he continues to do things to mess with his plans. This is because there’s a new guy in charge, and he isn’t even a Sith. It makes sense that Vader would be sabotaging things for the Empire since doing bad things is what Sith do, but it’s also shocking when you consider he’s always been an unfailing servant to the Emperor in the movies.
These machinations are interesting because they are so foreign to the Darth Vader character we know and love. The problem with this issue however is the heist Aphra pulls with the bounty hunters takes up 10 pages when it could have easily been given three or less. The art by Salvador Larroca doesn’t help its cause since his layouts are slower than most very few panels per page.
This can sometimes work, but there’s so little that goes on in each panel (which aren’t very exciting either) that it’s a very boring opening sequence. There’s a twist by the midway point of this issue, but it’s not enough to save what feels like a waste of time for something as simple as stealing money from the Empire.
Hardy har har.
The remaining issue devolves into politics as the head honcho orders people around and characters argue with their given tasks. This section feels overly long too, and honestly, who wants to hear characters whine about their missions? There’s a new threat to Luke Skywalker sure, but who really needs to hear Darth Vader get upset about it and want the mission for himself? Does it really need multiple panels to establish the threat?
The final portion of the issue introduces a new Empire investigator that could be interesting in the future issues. It definitely puts Darth Vader in a tight situation. The character can’t simply fight away an investigator but will need to use his smarts to out duel him.
The art by Larroca is certainly sharp and photographic in its detail. There are some epic panels too, showcasing the size of space that are nice to look at. The problem is this story moves so slowly his style just doesn’t work here. His style works great for this type of story, as it’s rife with talking heads. The man does a great job blocking shots when characters stand around that is for sure.
More of this guy please.
Is It Good?
A decent issue as far as setting up new threats and dynamics, but it’s so darn boring.