Darth Vader #2 (Comics Review)

Marvel launched its new line of Star Wars comics in January/February and one of the many new titles is Darth Vader, which is set in the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin and has Darth Vader trying to make up for his mistakes. Or at least, that’s what I think writer Kieron Gillen is attempting to do here, but the first issue fell flat for me as far as the story and the characters go, though the art wasn’t so bad and was fairly decent in places. Being a huge fan of the titular character, this did not seem like a good start to me at all, especially as I’m still sour on the whole deal with Marvel getting back the rights to these comics.

Darth Vader #2 continues the story of the titular character having been verbally punished by the Emperor and going on a crusade to hunt down the rebels who so confounded him at Yavin, particularly the young pilot who destroyed the Death Star, a supposedly impregnable battle station the size of a moon. And my issues with the story continued, what with General Tagge being an absolute ass in this issue, acting just like the pompous fool of an Imperial officer I’ve come to expect. The art was marginally better too.

I guess the conceit of this issue is that Vader has kind of become an object of ridicule among those highest in the Imperial military chain of command following Tarkin’s death in the debacle at Yavin. Because that’s pretty much how Tagge talks to him, condescendingly and with a hint of derision that would not be there otherwise. Especially not after the demonstration that Vader gave during the meet with Tarkin when it was announced that the Emperor had dissolved the Senate permanently, in Star Wars. And this whole thing further continues the trend begun in the last issue where powerful people continue to antagonize Vader for little effect, because he is so far above them in a class of his own that they really can’t compete with him in any way.

Much as with the first issue, where the Emperor came off as a real jerk and blamed Darth Vader for everything that went wrong, so we have here, though the situation is somewhat reversed and it is more about “Grand General” Tagge establishing his military command dominance over Darth Vader rather than anything else. For my part, I always thought that Vader was outside of the normal chain of command and that all Admirals and Generals ultimately answered to him as he was a… special envoy of the Emperor. But this issue disabuses me of that notion, and I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with it.

Primarily because it sets a precedent that Darth Vader is just a lackey to these non-Force individuals rather than being one of the best villains ever and also one of the most enduring characters from classic Star Wars. There’s some cloak-and-dagger stuff that Gillen sprinkles throughout the issue, but it comes off as rather silly, especially since there’s very little setup for it, and the resolution is also half-hearted. It makes Vader out to be more a know-it-all than he actually is and is something that must have felt… convenient to the writer.

I’m still not on-board with this new reimagining of the Star Wars universe. The main title is barely getting along as far as I’m concerned and this new series doesn’t help matters because it works as if there’s no 4 decades of history in the franchise and that we are all new to it. That’s not how any of it should work.

Salvador Larroca is the artist here with Edgar Delgado on colours, VC’s Joe Caramagna on letters and Adi Granov on the cover. As I said the last time, the artwork is mostly good. There are some panels where there’s a bit of a shine on Tagge’s face or some of the characters really scrunch up their eyes when talking, but by and large, serviceable artwork. The main thing here is that I’m just not all that excited about the artwork. It seems okay for me, when it really should be amazing. This is Darth Vader we are talking about after all!

Another meh issue.

Rating: 4/10

More Darth Vader: #1.

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Posted on March 2, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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