What this issue lacks in intense non-stop action, it makes up for it intense non-stop awesomeness. I’m going on three reviews here when I say that this is the best Star Wars series being published. All three of the issues thus far are better than the movie prequels… all of them. When I read this book I remember why the Star Wars franchise is cool, why people latch on to it and don’t want to let go of that feeling. I haven’t felt that way about this franchise in a long, long time. If you recall in the last issue Vader killed several Imperial Guards that completely failed the Emperor. He took two of the remaining guards with him to explore the source of their interference with the force. They come upon the destroyed Star Destroyer that has yet to be reported missing and Vader wants to check it out. Vader has them take him in and as one of the Guards informs him that they won’t be able to land, Vader jumps out of the ship. It’s here that we see how bad ass Vader is. No gravity, the vacuum of space and he Forces his way to the destroyer and moves like a gymnast. Hands down it was one of my favorite scenes of the series thus far. After accessing the ships logs he has them pick him so that they can head down to the surface and track the few ships that made it out of the Destroyer.
After landing they find the ships, but no survivors. Vader states that they were ambushed and that the bodies were eaten. How does he know? Pssh, he’s Vader. The trio continues to move through the jungle habitat until a huge blue lizard gets the jump on them. The lizard smashes one of the guards killing him underneath his giant foot. Vader calmly stands swinging his light saber in a circle and then sends it flying through the creatures head. With all of this happening, the Ninth Assassin is just coasting behind them avoiding conflict and remaining hidden until he makes his move.
Until this series I would have told you that John Ostander was my favorite Star Wars writer, but I think Siedell is neck in neck with him. When you read this, it feels like Vader from the movies. I know that this Vader is younger and still willing to take chances like jumping out into the vacuum of space, but it’s still the same character. The characters in this issue I enjoyed the most were the Imperial Guards. They function almost as comedic relief at times and other times they just make Vader look amazing. Their lack of abilities reminds me of the saying, “If you want to look better get an ugly friend.” It’s the same concept really. Though Vader isn’t inept, the guards who are bad asses on their own and capable of taking down Jedi, look inexperienced compared to him.
Hands down this is the best art of any Star Wars series and that's with a new artist on the book. Vader jumping out of the space ship is fantastic looking and your inner fanboy will jump for joy. The art does a fantastic job of bringing the imagination of the story to life. Vader moving swiftly through the ship is not only cool looking, but cleverly colored. As he nears the foreground of the page the coloring becomes darker and darker. The action sequences are very easy to follow which only serves to make them more intense.
I don’t even care if you read the first two issues or not, you should buy this issue. You should probably buy them all, but if you have to pick, start somewhere. If you’ve ever remotely liked or enjoyed Star Warsyou should check this series out. I’ve been burnt out on this franchise for a long time now, but a series like this is quick to remind me why I liked it in the first place. And if that’s not enough of a reason for you to buy it, then get it because Vader is a bad ass!
Writer: Tim Siedell
Artist: Ivan Fernandez
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 6/19/13