As Marvel’s Darth Vader series draws to an end with this penultimate issue, our anti-hero finds himself at the mercy of the traitorous scientist Cylo, who has managed to shut down the cybernetic suit that keeps the former Anakin Skywalker alive.
Facing death, Vader spends much of this issue reliving his disastrous lightsaber battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, which led to Vader’s imprisonment in the suit. This is one of the few times in the new series that refers back to the prequels. But even if you hated Episodes 1 through 3, you’ll appreciate the conflict rising with the Dark Lord of the Sith.
In many ways, Vader’s true fight is not with Cylo, but with the young Jedi he used to be. By the end of the issue, any vestiges of Anakin are banished (at least until Return of the Jedi).
While light on text, the issue shines a spotlight on artist Salvador Larroca’s drawings. The book makes good use of full pages to reimagine the lightsaber battle on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. Anakin’s rage is just as obvious thanks to the talents of Larroca and writer Kieron Gillen, as it was from the feature film.
With only one issue left, Gillen and team have a lot to wrap up. When they do, it will be with a bigger badder Vader.
Review by Tom Smithyman