Darth Vader has been likely never faced such a daunting threat as he does in the “Into the Fire” story arc. Part six kicks off today, and he’s fighting the Emperor himself. The Emperor is testing him with the assistance of the assassin Ochi on the planet Exegol. That’s right, the very planet that was featured at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. For most, that’s enough reason to buy this book, but if you’re still on the fence, expect some of the most badass Darth Vader acts ever.
Seriously, this book is epic, as Darth Vader powers through everything the Emperor can throw at him. From a giant alien beast he draws to Exegol to some familiar-looking threats seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker being taken out quickly, Darth Vader is godly with his powers. If you haven’t guessed, the book is filled with action and huge moments. It’s not necessarily a character study, though Pak does get into some psychological elements near the end.
Ienco does an incredible job with scale and details. The alien Darth Vader brings to the planet is monstrous yet weird. There’s also a scene with many characters on the page all rendered in detail and looking great. A huge part of this book working is how Ienco draws familiar characters and environments seen in The Rise of Skywalker. Some might call it fan service, but it’s exciting to see the creators building on the movie world, especially from one of the most divisive films in the franchise.
That said, even if you detest The Rise of Skywalker, Pak is adding new ideas into the series that’s captivating. One might argue what is revealed could enhance and improve upon the idea of the Emperor coming back years later, since this story takes place after Empire Strikes Back. The story isn’t over yet in this chapter either, so it’ll be fun to explore the new reveals from this issue next month. Does a lot of it make sense? It’s hard to say since this issue is more about seeing familiar things and hoping for answers, but the coolness factor is large enough that it doesn’t matter all that much, especially since this is such an action-heavy issue.
This issue also delivers all the elements you’d want out of a Darth Vader title. Lightsaber fights, a conniving and evil Emperor, and even a broken down Darth Vader with used parts for arms and legs. It also delves into the realms of the Sith, which is exciting in its own right. Pak smartly connects the anger and fear of the Sith to Darth Vader’s personal journey by the end too.
We here at AIPT have argued this series is a must-read, and this issue continues that trend. That’s thanks to how much Darth Vader goes through as he attempts to pass the Emperor’s gauntlet while familiar visuals from the latest film delight. Darth Vader #11 delivers brutal action, exciting locales, and plenty of possibilities.
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