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Is It Good? Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #1 Review

Despite their accelerated aging, the soldiers bred on Kamino to fight in the Clone Wars who survived to see the rise of The Empire still had lives to live. For avid readers of the expanded universe, it’s fairly well established that many of them became disillusioned with the inferior fighting force they were being replaced with.

But for the clone that writer Tim Siedell’s story centers around, the disillusionment came early on in the war when his Jedi commander left him for dead after their gunship was attacked. It’s an interesting premise that could go any number of directions. Is it good?

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

The clone, who only refers to himself as CT-5539 near the end of the issue, gives us an accounting of his time in battle alongside the forces of the Republic. He also reminisces about his birth and training on Kamino, seeming to take comfort in the fact that he was part of a massive replicated unit rather than whining like a hipster about his desire to be an individual.

Right here is where the brilliance of Siedell’s script really grabbed me. I love Star Wars tales which involve the Kamino clones, but they can often stretch the Jango Fetties too far from how they’d been described to us numerous times before.

Long hair and alcoholism: Tell-tale signs of a great and conflicted fictional character.

But with CT-5539, Siedell gives us a clone trooper who seems to completely embrace his clone heritage while also differentiating himself via a seething anger over being a man left behind on the battlefield. He may just be a cog in the wheel, but now he’s pissed…and on a mission to find out of some badass he keeps hearing about named Darth Vader is the type of warrior he can proudly follow into battle once again.

“Rumor has it he got the guy from the Dos Equis commercials to drink an American beer…and then killed him.”

Admittedly, this issue overdoes it on the exposition (like, for the entire issue), but it still works…as long as stuff starts happening in the next chapter. With Sidell at the helm, I don’t think we need to worry about that.

Is It Good?

By the end of this one, I was fully invested in CT-5539 as a character. I also have no idea where the story is going to go, but I don’t mean that as a criticism at all. Instead, Siedell has given us a fascinating character embarking on a journey with limitless possibilities and outcomes.


  • Incredible art by Gabriel Guzman
  • Story sets up a believable Kamino-bred Clone War vet who is just individualistic enough to be believable and interesting.
  • Very intriguing premise
  • Lots of exposition…and entire issue’s worth, in fact.

The art in this issue is some of the best you could ever hope see. Every panel by Guzman is absolutely gorgeous and fits perfectly with the inner dialogue that CT-5539 is relating to the reader. Miniseries that start out strong like this one are generally front loaded with lots of action and intrigue only to peter out near the end. This one, however, ramps things up considerably just by expanding its premise and main character to a point that the wait for issue #2 will be excruciating.

Admittedly, there is a bit more exposition than is probably needed, especially for your average Star Wars fan. But Star Wars fans of all levels and interest should definitely be picking up this series.


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