It was said that studying to become a Jedi master was a hard life with danger and uncertainty. In Star Wars: Darth Vader #6, we see that the instructional elements for a Sith are not at all easier, with the erstwhile Anakin Skywalker facing Palpatine's harsh discipline after the emo adventures on Naboo. His return to Coruscant is met with force lightning and accusations.
Aside from the surprising fact that the non-human "grand vizier" Mas Amedda now canonically survived past The Empire Strikes Back, this gives Vader a humbling moment of great clarity as he fights against the very people who empower him.
The eye candy from Raffaele Ienco, Neeraj Menon and Joe Caramagna (the latter wielding a wicked cackle) puts the reader right in the heart of the Empire at its apex. Greg Pak's script is drenched in canonical continuity, as shown by the score of sepia flashbacks to cinematic moments etched in fandom's memory. Alas, therein lies the issue: this slavishly stays close to things you already know while failing to deliver much that's new or innovative. Like many seasons of Saturday Night Live, this accurately mimics the details of the intellectual property without invoking its spirit. It's not a deficit of craft, but one of creativity. In and of itself, Star Wars has always shown there's nothing wrong with a cover or a remix, but unless you change it up a little, it's karaoke.
It is again disappointing to see Vader be a punching bag in his own comic, but this seems to be the directive of the Story Group. The mythic villain is replaced with the broken former slave pretending at power. RATING: MEH.
By Greg Pak, Raffaele Ienco, In-Hyuk Lee
THE PUNISHMENT! DARTH VADER failed to turn his son, Luke Skywalker, to the dark side of the Force. Luke was too weak to join his father in overthrowing EMPEROR PALPATINE. Vader sought revenge against those who hid Luke from him for all of these years and in doing so nearly betrayed his master. It did not go unnoticed by Palpatine. Time for Vader's next lesson.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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