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Star Wars: Darth Vader #16 Review

The Force is strong with this one.

Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli
Price: $3.49

Some of the last Jedi are totally screwed today as Darth Vader knows where they are and they have nowhere to escape. It’s exactly where you want an angry Darth Vader, but the war on Mon Cala rages on and Charles Soule aims to make every last Jedi matter.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Vader and his Inquisitors lead an elite squad of clone troopers to flush out the Jedi traitor beneath the waters of Mon Cala…and the oceans will burn with their fury.

Why does this matter?

The Jedi in this latest arc has been slim on the character front, but Soule aims to fix that here. Prepare for feels, drama, and tragedy like only Star Wars is capable of.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Vader is coming? Y’all done.

This issue is fearless in how it reveals the humanity of every last Jedi via well written and drawn flashbacks. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but the lead Jedi of this crew should have intense feelings of remorse and guilt, but based on his cocky nature I’m going to guess he won’t. Soule continues to do a great job revealing Jedi have their faults just as Sith do (even if they don’t murder blindly). This issue is quite good at making you care about the main Jedi’s padawans even though we don’t know a thing about them before this issue.

Vader is incredibly brutal in this issue with a ruthless turn that is yet another example of why we love this monster. The way he takes out the enemies in this issue is quite something and would be an interesting sight if we ever get to see a Force-wielding character fight underwater.

This issue also progresses Tarkin’s role as lead general and Soule continues to do a great job revealing that his job actually requires work and knowledge. It seems the Mon Cala people are quite resourceful and employ a tactic you won’t see coming (and it’s another idea that would be amazing in a film). Tarkin shows a side that you won’t see coming either, seeing as the character has always been ruthless and certain.

Giuseppe Camuncoli must focus most of his efforts on character emotions and acting, which he does quite well. The flashbacks wouldn’t mean anything if he didn’t make you care for these young Jedi who we learn more about in only a couple panels each. The ships continue to be excellently drawn, like Vader’s underwater cruiser, as well as the Star Destroyers and the Mon Cala trading ships.

You know he’s not a very good hero if he’s going to blow up his personal droid.

It can’t be perfect can it?

My only complaint with this issue, and it’s nitpicking since it’s so well done, is that the overall pace of this arc is thrown off. Issues previous to this barely touched on the Jedi, but now they get nearly every page. The balance between the war with the Mon Calamari is effectively reduced to two pages yet there seemed to be more to that battle in previous issues.

Vader fans will be sorry to see he’s not in this issue much. He gets to crush heads and generally act mad, but aside from that he’s a phantom as the Jedi make up the brunt of the story.

Is it good?

An excellent issue that will make you feel something for total unknown characters (who happen to be Jedi) that provides some excellent Tarkin character writing. Every issue seems to build on previous stories, or create excellent new ones.

Darth Vader #16
Is it good?
A strong chapter that focuses on some mysterious Jedi.
Get ready to feel something for these poor Jedi
The writing on Tarkin is excellent
Camuncoli dazzles with the ships
Not much Vader in this issue as it focuses nearly exclusively on the Jedi who have barely been in the story so far
9
Great
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