Darth Vader #8 Review: Seriously, That Meditation Scene

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Former Jedi Master Archivist Jocasta Nu has returned to Coruscant in search of an important entry in the Jedi Archives. Despite her best efforts, her arrival does not go unnoticed by the forces of the Empire. Before long, Darth Vader himself is made privy to an intruder.

Darth Vader #8 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Francesco Mattina
Darth Vader #8 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Francesco Mattina

This issue provides a new lesson in restraint for Darth Vader, as the Emperor requests that he stop treating their underlings with such violence and disdain. Palpatine does not disapprove of viewing them as contemptuous worms; he just doesn't want to rule "a galaxy of the dead."

As many good moments that are in this issue, from the aforementioned quelling of Vader's temper to a frankly gorgeous tapestry of what Vader's meditations look like from his point of view, this comic isn't paced very well.

The plot doesn't advance very much, and very little of significance happens. The plot advancement and character development are not in balance.

I gave Justice League #28 a pass despite it being arguably worse about this, but that comic had genuinely touching moments. Plus, the character development between the Justice League and their future children was imperative to the stakes of the plot.

Plus, the lesson of Darth Vader developing restraint doesn't stick. He clearly doesn't stop chocking out subordinates, just ask Admiral Motti and Admiral Ozzel. It still leads to an interesting moment in this comic, but we know this change doesn't last.

It works to flesh out Jocasta Nu and her plight as well, and that does work better. She's one of those side characters where there is a lot of wiggle room in the canon thanks to the purging of the Expanded Universe. She's a cool presence in the comic, and I look forward to her duel with Vader. It's just a bit disappointing that said duel didn't get around to starting this issue.

Darth Vader #8 art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, and David Curiel
Darth Vader #8 art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, and David Curiel

Giuseppe Camuncoli's artwork continues to be solid enough. I'm still not convinced that he's a great fit for the title, the meditation scene is damn beautiful. I'm not showing it here for your benefit and saving it for later, but it's incredible and almost makes the comic worthwhile by itself. The color work of David Curiel is quite solid in itself, and he makes works just as much to make the meditation scene phenomenal.

Despite being a slower issue, Darth Vader #8 is an engaging issue with good moments. It still earns a recommendation, and you should read it. Lord Vader is a compelling protagonist, and he is enjoyable to read about.
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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.