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Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol. 8: Dark Droids
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol 8: Dark Droids’ review

Plenty of beautiful action scenes to punctuate Anakin’s challenge to retain the last bits of his humanity.

The Dark Droids crossover was an interesting concept that connected all monthly Star Wars comics, with capricious levels of pertinence by title. With the Scourge, a virus taking over droids throughout the galaxy, it was only a matter of time until the Dark Lord of the Sith was forced to confront this unrelenting menace. Seeing that Vader is mostly machine, he risks getting taken over entirely by this robotic curse and must find ways to terminate or dominate it.  While not revolutionary in its storytelling, the clear and efficient narrative crafted by Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco makes this tie-in a pleasure to read, even if you avoid the rest of the larger Dark Droids crossover. 

Collecting issues #37-41 of Darth Vader, the plot is pretty simple: the Scourged droids have taken control of Vader’s massive Executioner Star Destroyer and are working their tendrils towards taking control of Vader himself, extinguishing the last bit of his humanity (and flesh) in the process. The bulk of the storyline is Vader reflecting on his previous Jedi training to find a way to overcome this horde, but seeds of previous storylines are weaved throughout. We see these issues building on the previous encounter with Doctor Chelli Aphra and the ancient Zaly Shield, as well as dark side competitors operating in the Outer Rim. 

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Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol. 8: Dark Droids

Marvel Comics

Pak has always been a strong comic writer, especially when it comes to iconic characters like Darth Vader. As this book essentially acts as a prequel storyline, most readers know the eventual conclusion to this character’s arc. Yet, Pak finds effective ways to give suitable life to the iconic Dark Lord, while also providing him a good reason to be in this larger Dark Droids crossover. The enduring struggle between Anikan’s humanity and his corruption epitomized by his robotic visage is gratifyingly played with in this arc.  Vader essentially walks a line between both the world of the droids and the living, forcing him to reflect on which element of his being is the dominant form. 

Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol. 8: Dark Droids

Marvel Comics

I’ve always loved Raffaele Ienco’s art. His line work has precision that only adds to the cinematic flair of his well-blocked battle scenes. His figures are realistic while remaining firmly planted in the comic medium, thus avoiding a sense of uncanny valley in his character’s expressions. It’s a very attractive book that should get more attention for the quality of its craftsmen. 

Darth Vader’s foray into the Dark Droids event was surprisingly fun and appropriate, giving readers plenty of beautiful action scenes to punctuate Anakin’s challenge to retain the last bits of his humanity.  While this trade only provides a few variant covers as supplementals, it remains a worthy addition to Greg Pak’s ongoing exploration of the Dark Lord of the Sith. 

Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol. 8: Dark Droids
‘Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol 8: Dark Droids’ review
Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol. 8: Dark Droids
Darth Vader’s foray into the Dark Droids event was surprisingly fun and appropriate, giving readers plenty of beautiful action scenes to punctuate Anakin’s challenge to retain the last bits of his humanity.  While this trade only provides a few variant covers as supplementals, it remains a worthy addition to Greg Pak’s ongoing exploration of the Dark Lord of the Sith. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.8
Vader's human/mechanical dichotomy makes this tie-in with the Dark Droids crossover appropriate.
Great scripting from Greg Pak and art from Raffaele Ienco.
7.5
Good
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