Darth Vader is drowning, literally, at the start of today’s latest issue. It’s not a thing we normally see, as the Dark Lord of the Sith is usually on solid ground or at least near lava flows. How on Earth can he get himself out of this one? Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli aim to show us the way.
So what’s it about?
Read our exclusive preview to find out more.
Why does this matter?
One of the most exciting elements of this story arc is seeing Ackbar before he was a Rebel hero and master tactician of space battles. Soule is revealing the guy was a fearless warrior too, helping to develop him beyond his usual of making orders via chair.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue has three very good scenes revealing different sides of the war raging on Mon Cala. The first opens with Darth Vader who is drowning and close to death. He needs to escape the depths of the ocean, but how can he without a ship (or anyone to fight to get out)? Soule devises a clever escape which utilizes a Sith power in a clever way. This scene also builds up Vader’s anger, which is most likely boiling over as he wants to get some revenge on the Jedi who put him in the water.
The second scene involves Ackbar going full tilt as he battles the Empire. This scene shows off his heroism and also his strategic skills. Soule reveals he’s been tricking and beating the Empire for a long time now.
The third scene involves Tarkin and his subordinates. This arc has done a good job showing how Tarkin has advisors who think up plans and carry them through making the Empire more of a well oiled military operation than some phantom evil organization. Failure isn’t taken lightly in the Empire and it’s cool to see how Tarkin deals with an underling who can’t get the job done.
Soule has been very good at highlighting how Jedi aren’t perfect and there’s a good, but short scene revealing how the Jedi on Mon Cala probably has it coming. It’s a reminder that Sith and Jedi aren’t your typical hero vs. villain setups.
Camuncoli continues to do strong work with an easy to follow underwater scene that looks effortlessly done. You’ll be sold on Ackbar’s heroism due to the choreography of the scene, but also the facial expressions showing on Ackbar himself. The character acting is strong throughout and the final full-page spread of Star Destroyers is epic and realistically done.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a very slight awkwardness to the good guys anticipating Vader and Vader getting his soldiers in order. It requires some talking to get everyone on board and could have been a bit more seamlessly done to set up the big confrontation next issue. Speaking of the Jedi, so far we’ve barely met these characters and so far it’s hard to care about them, especially since we know Vader will be killing them all eventually.
Is It Good?
A great issue that shows three sides to the war very well. From the men on the ground fighting to Vader surviving, and Tarkin throwing around his general chops there’s so much to love about this Star Wars comic. It’s multilayered and highly entertaining.