Who Made Him This Weak? ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader #1’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Darth Vader has just left Cloud City on Bespin. There, Vader revealed to his son, Luke Skywalker, that he is his father. Luke escaped shortly afterwards and Lord Vader is disgusted at the weakness his son displayed. Vader knows that he will find him again, but he wants to know what made Luke like this. He rallies a small squad of Death Troopers and a forensics droid and they set out to investigate the origins of Luke Skywalker. Where better to start their search than on Tatooine?

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 cover by Inhyuk Lee
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 cover by Inhyuk Lee

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 relaunches the eponymous villain’s solo comic series in the shadow of Empire Strikes Back. Vader has been shaken by his encounter with his own son and he wants to lash out at the galaxy that kept them apart.
The theme of Marvel’s Darth Vader series so far has been wrenching humanity out of the cruel cyborg Sith we know and love. Greg Pak continues this tradition by showing us a father having a meltdown after meeting his son face-to-face for the first time. 
Of course, a Darth Vader meltdown is a bit different. His words and actions indicate a stoic deliberation to his followers, but his thoughts and memories betray that Vader’s psyche is shattering further. Luke’s escape brings back losing Padme which reminds him of losing his mother. That’s why Darth Vader needs something to punish right now.
The Death Troopers don’t get much to do in this issue, which is a little disappointing for a clone/stormtrooper obsessive like myself. The forensics droid, Z67, adds a bit of humor and levity to this otherwise bleak comic.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 art by Raffaele Ienco, Neeraj Menon, and letterer VC's Joe Caramagna
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 art by Raffaele Ienco, Neeraj Menon, and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna

Raffaele Ienco knocks it out of the park in this comic. His rendition of Darth Vader is unnerving and iconic. His detailing work is impeccable and the scene inside Luke’s old home on Tatooine is particularly affecting. Neeraj Menon’s color art regulates the tone, setting apart the darker scenes from the simply ominous. It all looks quite fantastic.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 is a powerful new start for this Dark Lord of the Sith. He needs to know where his son has been all these years, who hid him from Vader’s sight, and what made him the man he has become. It’s a brilliant read and easily earns a recommendation. Give this one a read.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 comes to us from writer Greg Pak, artist Raffaele Ienco, color artist Neeraj Menon, letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, cover artist Inhyuk Lee, and variant cover artists Mike del Mundo; Raffaele Ienco with Neeraj Menon; Tony Daniel with David Curiel; and Chris Sprouse with Karl Story and Neeraj Menon.
Final Score: 9.5/10

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