I’m very sad to see this book go. I know people think and say that when a mini-series ends, but then ultimately forget about it the next week, but not this series. I’ve been waiting for its return and I really hoped that it was a six issue series. I’m going to genuinely miss Tim Sidell’s corner of the Star Wars universe because it is some of the best storytelling the franchise has ever had. That’s right, ever and I’m including the films in there as well. The cover tells you everything you need to know about this issue so I’m not going to give my usual recap. The thing about this issue is that while the opening and battle are spectacular, the ending is the best part. There is hardly any dialogue, it’s just Vader proving why he’s one of the fiercest Sith/Jedi to ever wield the force, but when he does speak… it’s powerful and almost poetic.
Sidell pours personality into Vader. It sounds simple, but considering his face is hidden behind a mask and he hardly talks it’s actually no small task. Sure he had plenty of personality in the original trilogy, but he was also old and tired there so it’s not quite the same. Here he is young, skillful and no longer a whiner. That’s factually the best thing about his character in this series, he’s cocky and arrogant. In fact he’s so cocky he knows he’s not arrogant. What’s even crazier is that Sidell actually gives his character glimmers of Anakin from the prequels and you’ll like him for it.
The art has been fantastic on this series and that’s with a rotating cast of illustrators. Iván Fernández actually returns to the series having last illustrated the third issue. He’s definitely one of my favorites and he has a monumental task in this issue… make the final battle everything it’s been built up to be. In true Star Wars fashion the battle isn’t that long, but it does live up to the buildup. The thing about the fight is that it doesn’t start when Vader draws his light saber; it actually begins the minute he steps out of the temple. The brilliance is that the Ninth Assassin doesn’t know that and in fact most readers won’t catch that fact either.
Part of me wants to continue on and on about this issue and this series in general, but I really think that you should just read it. It’s the best Star Wars comic I’ve ever read and I’m not exaggerating that point. Hopefully Sidell and crew will be back for more Vader “the early years” because they’ve reignited a passion for this character that I thought was dead. If you missed out on this series then do yourself a favor and grab the issues from Dark Horse’s digital story or hit the back issue bins at your local shop. This series deserves your support so check it out.
Writer: Tim Siedell
Artist: Iván Fernández
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 8/21/13