The beginning of a new arc! If you were left wanting more at the end of last month’s issue, you’re going to definitely get your fill here. I felt like I was a member of a completely silent audience watching Vader mercilessly make his way through the steps to finding out how he was so easily deceived by the Rebel Alliance. It appears that Brian Wood is pulling out all of the stops with this arc. It looks like it’s only going to be a two-part story, but he’s found a way to fill it with as much badass Vader action as he can. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m sure that I’ll just be bummed that it’s over. I always am. Ever since Brian Wood started this most recent volume of Star Wars, it’s been a guaranteed pull. In case you missed anything so far. The Empire has just suffered an embarrassing loss to the rebels. Colonel Bircher was a rebel spy who orchestrated the defeat of Vader’s former flagship, The Devastator. Birrah Seah, Vader’s own spy, allowed two rebel prisoners to escape during the battle, one being Luke Skywalker, and Vader’s name has been tarnished yet again. For fear of Vader’s wrath, Seah has fled. Vader seeks vindication. In secret, The Dark Lord of the Sith has assembled an elite squad of Stormtroopers to track down and destroy his enemies. Darth Vader is issuing his own orders and the systematic removal of his opposition has begun.
Wood’s script here is pretty genius. I’m a little biased when it comes to anything Vader related, but this is the kind of stuff that has been entertaining me in the expanded universe since I can remember. I actually felt sorry for anyone that was anywhere near Vader in this issue. This man is on a mission. He has been embarrassed for the last time. If you remember anything about A New Hope, you’ll know that Bothan spies were responsible for delivering the plans of the Death Star to the rebels. Here, Vader is in search of the most likely culprits who could have the ability of forging personnel files. Files that appear to be so legitimate, that they would be able to fool the Imperial Empire into thinking that Colonel Bircher was, indeed, the decorated officer that he appeared to be. When you want information about the Empire, you have to start with the Empire, it seems. There isn’t an Imperial officer that Vader trusts, and it looks like he will go through them all to find the answers that he needs. This felt like an incredibly short read. By the time it was over, I had to go through the book to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. But nope, I checked. I got it all.
Facundo Percio does a really good job with the whole thing. He gave the Empire a really terrific feel throughout the book. Somehow, though, he found a way to make them all appear to be completely inferior to Vader in every way. Of course, there isn’t one person that serves the Emperor that has the ability of not being overshadowed by Darth Vader, but I think that it’s safe to say that his dominance really comes through in this issue specifically.
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect next month. If it’s anything like it was here, I’ll probably have to take a nap or something afterwards. I see some pretty intense stuff coming up, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss a single thing.
Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Facundo Percio Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/8/14