Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #1

Tim Siedell is back with another Vader series! Yes you should be excited and you’ll be more excited when I tell you what it’s about. For a while now the Vader series has been about the character in the days just after the third chapter of the movies. He’s still green and learning how to be more than just a warrior, but in the last volume we saw him take significant steps towards becoming a total bad-ass. In this volume he’s already a bad-ass and his legend is growing. The interesting thing about this issue is that Vader isn’t in it that much. He doesn’t narrate the story or even speak one word, but we do see him in battle several times. When you’re that much of a bad-ass you don’t need to talk you just show up and hand people their asses. Point in case, all the asses he hands including a few Jedi.

SW Darth Vader Cry of Shadows #1 CoverOur story is actually narrated by a man that looks familiar. We see him in a bar with a huge scar over his right eye as he sits and listens to Vader stories. He comments on how bar stories are usually full of holes and that maybe all the Vader stories are the same, but that he wants to believe in them. He decides to set out on his own, feeling he’s paid his debt to the famer he was staying with. He trims his hair and suddenly he resembles Jango Fett… a lot. Sure enough he’s one of the Clone Troopers from the second and third movie (fifth and sixth if you’re a purist).

I’m going to leave you there on the story because in order to explain what comes next I have to spoil a big chunk of the issue and I don’t want to do that. Siedell has done the unthinkable though… he made me give a shit about a clone. Seriously I could care less about any clone that’s not Boba and even he’s all but ruined. I’ve actually read other stories that have taken the point of view of a clone and they were not interesting in the least bit. Siedell takes a very interesting approach as he humanizes the Clone by dehumanizing the Jedi. He shows that even though his DNA is shared between many, he is still an individual and can appreciate life; it’s fantastic writing.

Though Vader only shows up for bad-ass scenes, they’re amazing none the less. There’s a scene with him standing above some fallen bodies with his back turned looking over his shoulder and its very samurai looking. It’s striking and incredible art for sure. Gabriel Guzman’s art work is very detailed, but compared to the art on the last series his style is looser. His character designs are thicker with grittier line work, but it still fits the story. Especially the latter half of the tale, that’s when Guzman really shines as an illustrator.

You should be very excited for this new Vader series because it’s actually the best Star Wars series that Dark Horse is publishing currently. That’s right, the regular series or the George Lucas spec script can’t touch this series. Come for Vader, but stay for the scarred Clone Trooper, trust me it’s well worth it.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Tim Siedell Artist: Gabriel Guzman Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/18/13