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Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #4
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red’ #4 concludes the Dark Lord of the Sith’s latest path of terror

A testament to the terror of Darth Vader.

Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #4 seems to be dedicated to a singular purpose: showcasing that nothing can stop Darth Vader. And I do mean “nothing” – whether it’s a frozen wasteland, a mad scientist, or a living virus, the Dark Lord of the Sith will tear through everything in his path. It makes for some damn good storytelling, especially within the confines of the Star Wars universe.

The story that stuck out the most to me is “The Inhabitant” by Steve Orlando and Paul Davidson. Vader travels to the planet Uokara, which appears to be totally uninhabited. However, upon returning to his Star Destroyer, he learns that it may not have been as desolate as he thought. Orlando pushes Vader to his limits in “The Inhabitant”, pitting him against an opponent that attacks his mind as well as his body.

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Davidson matches the intensity of this script by drawing some intensely gripping images. The virus itself is a mass of scar tissue and fangs, taking a number of horrifying shapes. But his stand-out image features Vader wreathed in blood-red flames, standing tall in defiance of the plague wreaking his body.

Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #4
Marvel Comics

The Dark Lord of the Sith faces a similar situation in “Return To Hoth” from Frank Tieri and Danny Earls. Following the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader goes back to Hoth to find one of his probe droids – and encounters a number of obstacles. Tieri and Earls understand that Hoth is a scary, scary place; Wampas attack Vader at every angle, ripping through his armor as well as his TIE fighter. Tieri’s script constantly builds on the tension, as readers will never know what awaits Vader at every turn. Earls gives the Wampas a truly terrifying presence; they tower over Vader, with their immense strength throwing him off balance.

Finally, there’s the finale of “Hard Shutdown” from Jason Aaron, Leonard Kirk, and Romulo Farjado Jr. Vader finally gets his revenge on the scientist that shut him down, and all I can say is that it’s a fitting – if rather disturbing – end. Aaron is in his element writing Vader; he is one of a handful of writers that understands the true terror of the character. Kirk’s artwork only highlights that terror; Vader’s victims are jerked backwards into the dark, their necks are snapped, and the final page will make even the most ironclad of stomachs turn. It doesn’t help that Farjado drenches the page in liberal red, bringing to mind the carnage of a horror movie.

Darth Vader: Black White & Red #4 ends the series the same way it began: as a testament to the terror of Darth Vader. If you crave more Vader stories, then this series is definitely tailor made for you.

Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #4
‘Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red’ #4 concludes the Dark Lord of the Sith’s latest path of terror
Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #4
Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #4 ends the series the same way it began: as a testament to the terror of Darth Vader. If you crave more Vader stories, then this series is definitely tailor made for you.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.1
Ends the same way it began: on a strong note.
Some truly terrifying artwork.
A full display of Vader's resolve.
"The Inhabitant" is a truly unique story.
8
Good
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