Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #3

This damn Clone Trooper named Hock has become the best thing to happen to Star Wars since Boba Fett and that’s saying something. Fett’s popularity is owed in large part to the fans, but with that came his annoying appearance everywhere. Also the fact that the expanded universe found a way to bring him back from the dead only made Fett the Wolverine of the Star Wars universe. There’s been a Fett shaped hole in my heart because of the annoyance of his popularity, but thankfully Siedell found a way to fill that hole… Hock Malsuum. Malsuum has gone back to work for the Empire and has found his way into Vader’s squad. This issue is about the “biggest battlefield disaster the Empire had ever known.” I mean that’s all I really need to say about the issue. Malssum sees the problem with everything going on and ends up saving his own ass in the process which leads to him helping Vader and winning his trust 100%... at least we think that for now.

I really don’t need to say anything about the battle since it is the majority of the issue. Malsuum continues to show why he’s incredibly bad-ass and why he’s a mutation from the original clones. He does have a great moment in which he misses the company of the other clones and even gives a great line that explains perhaps why the Troopers in the original movie trilogy are such terrible shots (it’s very funny).

SW Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #3 CoverTim Siedell knocks it out of the part again. I’m not kidding when I say that Hock Malsuum is one of the best things to ever happen to Star Wars. It’s almost a shame that they’re not going to be able to use him in the films so way because it would be awesome to see him in motion. Siedell continues to narrate the story from Malsuum’s point of view and keeps Vader at bay. Vader speaks a little in this issue, but seeing the world through Malsuum’s eyes is magical. His narration when he meets the Emperor fills you with the same excitement and that’s a credit to Siedell’s writing. I actually found myself cheering for the Empire which is something I’ve never done before.

Gabriel Guzman’s artwork brings Siedell’s script to life. His characterization of Malssum is great as he adds so much personality to the character with the visuals. Malssum’s mannerisms especially when he feels accomplished in winning Vader’s trust are great. You can see his silent moment of joy as it puts you right there with him.

I’m almost running out of things to say about this series what with it being so consistently great, but I’ll continuing talking about it for those that may forget why they should be reading it. I’ve said previously that this is the only Star Wars title I’m currently reading and that’s because I don’t think any of the others could hold a torch to what the creative team is accomplishing here. If you love Star Wars because of the strong characters, look no further than this series for enjoyment.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Tim Siedell Artist: Gabriel Guzman Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 2/19/14