Darth Vader #2 Review

By
comic books:
Thomas Bacon

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3.5
On June 21, 2017
Last modified:June 21, 2017

Summary:

An unexpected detour sees Darth Vader prove himself in battle against the Empire itself!

Here’s the challenge facing Darth Vader: In the aftermath of Order 66, his challenge is to find a living Jedi Knight, defeat them in battle, and claim their lightsaber for his own. Just a few weeks ago, it wouldn’t have been hard for the Sith Lord to find and kill a Jedi. Now, though, Jedi Knights are few and far between – slaughtered by the Clone Troopers at Palpatine’s command.

Writer Charles Soule has set himself on a difficult path, and Darth Vader #2 sees him embrace it with a creative flair that’s wonderful to read. We’re introduced to two new concepts in Star Wars lore, and both fit perfectly with everything we’ve seen before. It turns out that some Jedi Knights take what’s called the ‘Barash Vow’ – a vow that cuts them off from the wider Jedi Order. As a one-time Jedi Master himself, Vader is well aware of the Barash Vow, and sets his sights on these disassociated Jedi. His first target is a new character named Kirak Infil’a, and he sounds to be something of a warrior.

The second original concept, and equally intriguing, is a Jedi Temple in space. It’s described as the Brighthorne Mid-Rim Jedi Outpost, and it’s essentially a Jedi Temple crossed with a space station, complete with your traditional Jedi statues. Sure, these outposts will have been raided by the Empire, but it suggests there may be old Jedi buildings literally floating in the void, placed at key strategic waypoints. Personally, I love the idea.

In narrative terms, Darth Vader #2 is a simple tale. The iconic villain desires information on Jedi who have sworn the Barash Vow, and heads to a place where he knows there will be Jedi records. Rather than simply announce his presence to the Clone Troopers, Vader chooses to take them on as a test of his abilities. It’s breathtaking, and yet you can’t help feeling that Darth Vader himself will be unhappy with the outcome; after all, he needed to claim a fallen Jedi’s lightsaber in order to triumph.

Along the way, Soule weaves in subtle dialogue to fix a long-standing question for Star Wars fans: When did the Empire begin phasing out the clones? It seems Palpatine decided to do this early on, with Clone Troopers already discussing their forced ‘retirement.’ Pleasingly, the dialogue is natural and effective; the continuity nod is done with enough subtlety that most readers will simply breeze over it.

Soule works well with artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, who really does seem to be enjoying the chance to explore the styles and designs of the GFFA. Camuncoli particularly shines in the dogfight, in my view, and he captures the feel of A New Hope‘s famous dogfights with skill. Unfortunately, when it comes to the ground battles, Camuncoli struggles a little more. There’s one specific scene that should have been a lot more effective, but unfortunately he slightly distorts the shape of Vader’s figure.

All in all, this is a fairly strong issue. Charles Soule packs it with creative ideas and subtle continuity fixes, ensuring Star Wars fans will find a lot to discuss in Darth Vader #2.

Darth Vader #2 Review
Good

An unexpected detour sees Darth Vader prove himself in battle against the Empire itself!