As I pointed out on this week’s AiPT! Comics podcast, the cover for Vader – Dark Visions is probably going to sell this comic more than any review could. Darth Vader is pulling off the evil knight look like a boss. In this first issue we get a taste of the lost stories putting Vader at the center of mythical lore and alien histories.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
If you’re still on the fence you should probably know Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and Paolo Villanelli are top notch creators. Villanelle just came off the excellent Star Wars: Lando – Double Or Nothing and Hallum has written his fair share of excellent comics (Spider-Woman comes to mind).
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Star Wars is a universe that is rich in aliens. There are all sorts and they’re all regarded as normal and almost boring to most characters in the movies and comics. It makes the stories seem vivid and real in a way that is casual and believable. Hallum writes a strong issue from the perspective of a young boy from a new alien race (or at least new to me) observing the world around him. As the story opens we learn about his world’s culture, the fears they have, and the obvious faith-based choices they make due to a local danger. Hallum does a great job putting you in the boy’s shoes via captions while Villanelli literally shows you over-the-shoulder angles at opportune times to convey that too. By the end of the issue, you’ll be filled with the same sort of wonderment one would come to expect to see a character like Darth Vader doing his amazing feats.
The cover art is not a lie either. Greg Smallwood’s art is incredible and while it’s not exactly depicted in the issue, Vader does in fact ride an alien horse into battle. Speaking of battle, the fight sequences in this issue are insane. By the end, it’s obvious Darth Vader is basically a superhero, practically flying in some scenes to make deep cuts into the enemy. He’s tenacious in this issue and he fights with a ferocity that makes him practically a force of nature.
Villanelli brings his A game and then some. Incredible shots of Vader plunging his lightsaber into the enemy (and blood gushing from the wood) will stick out. There’s great scope and scale displayed on the page too, further making you gape in awe of his power. The colors by Arif Prianto are great, making sure to cast a red glow from Darth Vader’s lightsaber whenever he can. It’s a great way to convey his evil almost magical ability to fight.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The complexity of the story resides in the boy who has no idea what neither a Sith nor aliens are. That’s an interesting perspective, but there isn’t much more here. It’s a fight comic that shows an almost overpowered Darth Vader in action. Some of the stuff he does here makes you wonder why he had a hard time with anybody. It’s entertaining though!
Is it good?
It’s always good to get another perspective or opinion and this issue does so for the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. He is a hero of a people and it shows even when he’s blowing up Rebellion ships he’s also doing some good in the universe. Sure he’s an authoritarian evil monster, but it’s interesting to see how sometimes the Empire conquer worst monsters than themselves in the universe. Told like a short story, this one-shot adventure is filled with wonderment only the Sith Lord himself could bring.