Fourth issues in a series of five can be tricky. Sometimes they’re the beginning of the end and so they’re an extension of the final issue; other times they have so much to wrap up that they end up contributing to the overall story rather than finding their own identity. Unfortunately this issue is the former of the two. By no means is it a bad issue, in fact it’s a very good issue it just needs the other issues in the series to support it. The issue begins with possibly one of the most poetic things every written in the Star Wars universe and since it’s in the preview that’s everywhere I’m going to repeat it here:
“In his hands, a lightsaber sang.”
“Beautifully efficient. Nimble.”
Hock Malsuum our narrator is of course talking about Darth Vader as he has from the beginning of the series. The thing is, I might regret saying that this issue is less than perfect because I have an inkling of a feeling of what Siedell is doing with this issue and in fact the narration that has been running throughout the series, but the issue is whether or not this issue stands on its own and contain its own chapter of the tale completely and it does not.
Hock and Vader storm the planet in starfighters trying to put down the Separatists once and for all. Vader and Hock sense movement as other planes come out of the sky to surprise attack and destroy a rather large portion of Vader’s fleet. Hock figures out that it’s Kaddak just before he’s shot down by his clone brethren.
There’s a twist coming. It’s not spelled out completely yet, but there is something we’re not fully seeing right now in the story and that’s great. I’m sure the final issue in the series is going to be incredible, but this issues job was to wrap things up and prep for that ending. Hock is still a great character and depending on how things go with Kaddak, he could be the best new character in Star Wars for years to come.
Sidell’s narration is of course solid. Hock talks about Vader like a child idolizing his father and all along he doesn’t know that at this point in the story Vader is still young. Again I think this issue will read fantastically as a whole and Sidell gave us Star Wars poetry. Can’t complain about that.
In general Gabriel Guzman’s artwork is far above average compared to the vast majority of comic books out there. The most important thing about this series is that it should look like Star Wars and that it does. For what little Vader appears, he is magnificent and that’s all that matters.
I’m going to have to go with my gut for the rating on this one. Granted I have high expectations for Sidell and Vader, but with a month in-between issues my expectations reset just in time for a new issue. While I enjoyed this issue and found it entertaining, I know that the next is going to be far better because of the work done in this issue.
Writer: Tim Siedell Artist: Gabriel Guzman Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 3/19/14