Disney gutted Lucas Films like a tauntaun and kept only the films and with that action have begun their own extended universe, this includes comics, novels and a fun animated TV show “Star Wars Rebels”. As an avid fan over the series both good and bad I of course treated the news with hesitation because I loved the previous extended universe. It is wide, varied and above all interesting, but like an altar boy after lights out I was going to have to get on with it.
And so I began my journey into this new universe with the Marvel Star Wars Darth Vader comic’s issue one and two. Issue one opens with Darth Vader visiting Jabba the Hutt and being a complete fucking bad ass! He kills two guards before he even meets with Jabba and the first words out of his mouth are “I have only Killed Two. Do not make me reconsider my generosity”, he then proceeds to kill more guards and then force choke Jabba into submission, this my friends is the Darth Vader we deserve, a powerful enemy that makes your think twice about crossing him, not a whining pussy who misses his mommy (sorry Hayden).
The story itself is set after the destruction of the death star with Darth Vader left alone to assume complete responsibility for failure, he is then put on a chain (held by Captain Tagge) for his punishment. Vader plays the dutiful apprentice and agrees, at this point I thought “great back to a whipped momma’s boy”, but in the next panel he threatens a ship commander to get him to Tatooine asap or there’ll be hell to pay, he then hires bounty hunters to find out who the rebel who destroyed the death star is. And we’re back to a bad ass character!
The 2nd issue begins with Darth Vader in a dog fight with space pirates (yes it’s as awesome as it sounds), afterwards there is an interaction with Vader and Tagge in which Tagge criticises the death star and goes on about he could have put the resources to better use all while reminding Vader that he is in command. Basically he’s trying to start a pissing contest with one of the most powerful people in the universe, smart!
Tagge sends Vader on a mission to secure info on the pirate ship before it self-destructs but insists he be accompanied by a babysitter just to remind him “who’s in charge”. Vader waltzes aboard kills everyone, destroys droids and gets the data all while walking away from the explosion in slow motion while a bitching guitar solo plays in the background (that last bit may have just been in my head). With that done its back on board the imperial ship to expose a traitor, put an admiral in his place and all before dinner.
With this comic we finally have a chance to see why Darth Vader is one of the most feared men in the universe and to explore his motivations and personality outside of the movies. The first few frames of the first issue alone portray Vader as a near unstoppable foe and even though he is mistrusted and under scrutiny from the emperor, he is still a powerful force that cannot be completely controlled by anyone, even the emperor.
A great setup to an ongoing series that makes you ask how Vader will accomplish his goals without the emperor find out. What else is he hiding from him? And will he do it alone?
The first two issues are a great opening to a story that is smartly written by people who understand the characters and the universe that they are working with in. It also has some stunning artwork giving depth to the characters and to the worlds visited. It all meshes well to create something that had me reaching for my wallet to buy the next one, once I have it read I will update with a new review, but for now I recommend this to all star wars fans.