Everything comes around eventually, apparently even Darth Vader. Marvel Comics’ latest issue of Star Wars uses Darth quite a bit actually and it all takes place on Tatooine, but is it good?
Star Wars #4 (Marvel Comics)
If you’re just joining us you’re in luck, as this issue is a nice jumping on point. The first three issues were essentially a long action sequence as Darth Vader took on Han, Chewie, Leia, Luke and the robots as they attempted to blow up an Empire-run weapons factory. They succeeded, but only barely and now they’re licking their wounds. Meanwhile Darth Vader is on a mission, a dual mission, and he’s asked Jabba the Hutt for help. All he needs is two bounty hunters and his needs met. This issue cuts between our heroes figuring out what’s next and Darth Vader hanging out with Jabba.
More of this please.
Writer Jason Aaron balances this issue out very well between the two settings and while the heroes portion is a bit boring, it’s spruced up enough by Darth and Jabba’s day out. It does seem odd they’re hanging out—why Darth would accept Jabba’s request to party is beyond me—but it allows Aaron to stick Darth into a setting we’re familiar with. If you aren’t thinking, “omg Darth is hanging with the same dudes and same locations we’ll visit in Return of the Jedi” you’re just not a fan. There isn’t much action to speak of this issue and instead the story is all about characters making choices and Darth Vader reflecting on his time on Tatooine. A new plot element is introduced in regards to Han Solo and the cliffhanger that we leave off on is set up nicely.
This makes the “who shot first” argument moot.
The art by John Cassaday continues to shine, although he doesn’t have much to draw besides cinematic panels of characaters talking. His Luke is fantastic this issue, which was a bit wonky in previous issues and he nails Jabba on all fronts. There’s a sequence between a bounty hunter and some Rodians, the same group from which a Rodian was involved when Han shot first (or did he!?), that’s a bit tame. Cassaday draws most of these panels in close up shots which loses the sense of space between the characaters. I suspect this is so he doesn’t have to draw tons of detailed background character seeing as they’re in a bar of some sort, but damn is the tense scene made a bit too flat.
This moment is fantastic!
Is It Good?
Star Wars continues to be the strongest of the series of the Marvel Star Wars comics with good balance and attention to character.