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Darth Vader #25: The Force is Strong With This One

The Final Issue Ends With a Bang

Marvel’s adventures of Darth Vader ends with a bang, not a whimper.

With many loose threads hanging from the previous two years’ worth of comics, writer Kieron Gillen has his work cut out for him in the the final issue of the Darth Vader series. Vader must deal with personal and professional betrayers and a boss who is still unsure of Vader’s abilities and commitment following the destruction of the first Death Star.

While Vader’s motivations haven’t always been clear to the reader during the run of the Star Wars: Darth Vader comic book series, it’s now apparent that the Sith master — as well Gillen –- were playing the long game. By the end of the book, Vader has masterfully dealt with his enemies and firmly established himself as the Emperor’s trusted confidant. He’s also clearly now the quintessential bad guy depicted in The Empire Strikes Back.

In a nice bit of irony, we see Vader choke an incompetent imperial officer and put Admiral Ozzel in command of his flagship. Vader kills Ozzel himself in a scene that’s reminiscent of Episode V. Artist Salvador Larroca’s depiction of every character and setting is spot on, giving the reader the feeling of actually being in a Star Wars movie.

We leave Vader staring into the cosmos planning for the inevitable reunion with his son, Luke Skywalker. In his imagination, he reaches out to Luke’s hand -– the very one he would sever in Cloud City -– and simply says, “Soon.”

The oversized issue also includes a coda of sorts, where artist Max Fiumara masterfully depicts Tatooine’s Tusken raiders’ reaction to the Sith Lord. The last page is fitting, with the Sandpeople seen worshipping their enemy. It’s a feeling that many of us have once we close this chapter of Marvel’s Star Wars story.

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EDITOR’S NOTE 10/21/16 (SPOILERS AHEAD):

If wish to avoid spoilers, wait until you read Darth Vader #25 before you click the above or below links. The Star Wars Classified series has been renamed, and features a fan-favorite character from the Darth Vader series!

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Darth Vader #25, Marvel, Released October 5, 2016, written by Kieron Gillen, art by Salvador Larroca, colors by Edgar Delgado, letters by Joe Caramagna; $5.99.

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Written by Tom Smithyman

Tom Smithyman is a newspaperman turned marketing executive. A comic book enthusiast since the 70s, he tries to keep up with these alternate realities while juggling a professional career, family, community theater roles and passion for travel. Connect with him @tsmithyman and linkedin.com/in/tomsmithyman/