Fans who’ve been missing the daddy of all Star Wars villains in the recent movies in the franchise (save his awesome cameo role in Rogue One, of course) should be checking out Marvel’s Darth Vader comic book – if they haven’t already, that is.
Following on from Kieron Gillen’s acclaimed 2015 series, Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith from writer Charles Soule and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli explores Vader’s early days as the poster child of the Empire, beginning immediately after Anakin Skywalker’s transformation in Revenge of the Sith.
The genius of the series is how it joins the dots between the angry love-lorn Jedi Knight that Vader was with the merciless Sith seen in the Original Trilogy. Not only does it show us how he became much darker, but it also teases the cracks in the facade, the hints of humanity still in him that will eventually come out when he saves his son Luke from the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.
In the latest issue, Darth Vader #12, there’s one moment that explores the cracks in Vader’s Sith persona in a very literal way. In the previous installment, Vader had been the victim of an attack on his life, which has left him theorizing over who in the Empire tried to kill him. Could it be Darth Sidious himself?
As Vader retires to Coruscant to meditate, his doubts get the better of him and he cracks the viewing glass in front of him in anger. The comic makes it clear that, despite his actions in Episodes IV-VI, there was always a lot of conflict raging on underneath that expressionless mask.
The issue also reveals how Vader’s iconic lightsaber came to be. The series previously revealed how he corrupted a crystal that had belonged to another Jedi, but this saber didn’t have the recognizable hilt. In the assassination attempt last issue, this hilt was destroyed. Here, though, Vader finally creates the familiar silver and black model fans know and love.
Darth Vader #12 is available now in comic book shops everywhere, or on Amazon.