Darth Vader has never been put on the ropes so badly as he is in this new series by Marvel Comics (not counting Dark Horse comics). Can he get back into the good graces of the Emperor…and is it good?
Darth Vader #4 (Marvel Comics)
So far the story has been all about Darth Vader getting belittled by the Emperor as punishment for letting the Death Star blow up. This takes place right after A New Hope and Darth Vader is out of sorts as he’s no longer the second in command of the most powerful force in the universe. He’s attempting to do a few things at once. First is to figure out how to get back into the Emperor’s good graces, so he’s enlisted a weapons junker to help him build a robot army. Second is to figure out more on this Luke guy so he can bring him in as his protege. Last issue Darth and Aphra turned on two very evil robots to aid them on this little mission. This issue opens with the characters landing on Geonosis, a planet Darth shared with his ex for a time.
I’m starting to love this evil robot.
Written by Kieron Gillen, this issue flows better than the last issue. This may in part be due to all the characters being together rather than separated. Aphra gets an empowering moment near the end that shows her fearlessness and also expresses her understanding of the reality of working for Darth Vader. The evil robots get plenty of time to be funny in a dark way and Darth Vader has moments of reflection mixed in too. The general mission they’re on is interesting in a science fiction way I won’t ruin here, but it’s definitely a compelling machine factory.
The issue also concludes in a satisfying way as the stakes are risen tenfold. It’s also going to be interesting to see how Aphra is used moving forward now that her main use to Vader is over.
The art by Salvador Larroca is much improved this issue as well, partly because the action and settings change up nicely throughout. The alien Vader attacks is also quite a sight, albeit a little reminiscent of the monster Ripley had to take out. Generally speaking Larroca offers a very glossy sheen to the universe that’s probably the easiest to imagine on the screen.
Vader vs. Alien Queen, who you got?
Is It Good?
Leading up to this issue I was losing hope but this issue brings back some great pacing and fantastic character moments to make this the strongest issue yet in the series.