Darth Vader is a monster freshly risen from the ashes of Anakin Skywalker–ready, willing and able to do whatever necessary to achieve his goals.
In an effort to acquire a Jedi’s kyber crystal to forge his new Sith lightsaber, Darth Vader confronted Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. Vader was handedly defeated and thrown off a mountain. Is this the end for our favorite Sith Lord? Let’s find out.
Vader’s first mission isn’t going well. The dark side is the way of power. But no one said it would be easy.
What’s the skinny?
After arriving on Al’doleem, Vader traversed a gauntlet of traps to reach the man he’d come to kill, Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. Master Infil’a defeated Vader with relative ease, tossed him off a mountain and proclaimed his self-imposed exile to be at an end. Having discovered Vader to be the source of the downfall of his Jedi brethren, Infil’a set off to leave the planet, destroy Vader’s master and rebuild the Jedi Order.
As Master Infil’a has been in seclusion for many years atop his mountain home, he’ll need to head to one of the planet’s nearby cities for transportation off world. It’s here we’ll see him encounter some old friends and a relic of the Clone Wars: a Jedi starfighter! While Infil’a works to get his ship up and running, a near-death Vader must find a way to repair his injured prosthetic limbs and defeat the incredibly powerful Jedi.
What’s the catch?
This is a great issue across the board. My one and only complaint is that the confrontation was a tad predictable. Once innocent people walked into the picture, it was clear where things were headed. I’ll hope for more surprises in the future.
Is it good?
Giuseppe Camuncoli is once again on his A game. The panels from Vader’s point of view during his efforts to repair himself were skillfully drawn with lots of little details. During Vader and Infil’a’s final confrontation, there are two panels in particular that really stick out. Each character is igniting his weapon and the pencil work, ink and colors all combine to create some truly epic, striking and powerful images. Each member of the art team complement each other well.
Part of the rage that drives Vader is his defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan and the damage his body suffered as a result. In this case it’s to Vader’s advantage that he’s a horribly deformed cyborg. Had he taken the fall that he did as a fully formed man, he almost certainly would’ve been killed. Lucky for him his armor and prosthetic limbs absorbed the majority of the damage. Yet even though he’s alive there’s still the problem of repairing his body. A lot of Star Wars fans tend to forget Vader grew up as a mechanical savant with the ability to build and repair nearly anything. Charles Soule isn’t one of those fans.
This issue delivers the final confrontation between Vader and Infil’a. Vader’s grief from Padme’s death is still very fresh, as is his ascendency to the ranks of the Sith. The combination of these two circumstances gives us a Vader that’s incredibly raw in his rage, hatred and grief. We don’t see the deadly calm yet powerful Vader that Luke and the rebellion faced. Darth Vader is a monster freshly risen from the ashes of Anakin Skywalker–ready, willing and able to do whatever necessary to achieve his goals.