Jedi News Comic Review: Darth Vader #17

Book III, Part 2

The Shu-Torun War

It is a time of rebuilding for the Empire. After the Death Star’s destruction, Darth Vader, the Emperor’s chief enforcer, struggled to keep his place after he was seemingly pitted against the operatives of the cyborg specialist, Cylo.

To regain allegiance from the planet Shu-Torun, Vader assassinated the royal family and placed its youngest daughter, Trios, on the throne. Nevertheless, talk of rebellion persisted. Tasked to intervene, Vader brought further destruction to the ore-rich planet and promised more if submission was not given.

Meanwhile, Vader’s secret ally, Dr. Aphra, remains in the hands of the rebels, and the Dark Lord has issued a bounty for her recovery…

The Review

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks

Darth Vader #17 doesn’t make any big moves, but the subtle plot building goes a long way in making the story enjoyable. Vader continues his war against the Ore Barons with Queen Trios by his side while letting bounty hunters track down Aphra. Cylo makes a move to usurp Vader, further complicating the plot, but also hints at a history with the Dark Lord of the Sith. Could Cylo actually be the one who help Sidious make this cyborg acolyte of the dark side?

First off, Mark Brooks knocks out another excellent cover. While it’s not a great representation of the content of the comic since there’s no AT-AT’s, TIE pilots, shadow scout troopers, snowtroopers or even stormtroopers, it is a beautiful looking picture. It harkens back to the painted style covers that Dave Dorman and Hugh Fleming did for Dark Horse. It lends a high art feel to the comic.

The interior art by Larroca and Delgado continues it’s clean, vivid colors and nice attention to details. There’s some really nice shots in this comic. While not every panel is jaw dropping, it all works well at conveying the story, the action and the characters.


As for the story, Gillen throws in some nice treats for readers. Right from the get go, Vader’s opening line sets the stage, “You look upon your inevitable fate. End this before I end you.” This leads to Vader storming a lava submarine and sinking it. But the dark lord doesn’t do it alone, the twins help him, and there’s a panel thrown in to show Vader’s singed cape and boots, indicating he’s not quite as all powerful as he’d like to believe. One story point that I really enjoyed is how Queen Trios is getting with the program and seeing things ala the Vader program, “The vessel belonged to Lord Rubix. I believe his should be the next delving-citadel to receive an Imperial education.” Where once she balked at destroying such precious pieces of infrastructure, she’s now fully on board with Vader and his reign of terror. But the real treat follows that page. The cyborg doctor Cylo hints that Vader should show him some respect “if he knew what he owed me.” The scene shows Cylo working on a robot hand, one very much like Anakin’s mechanical forelimb. Could Cylo be the one who helped Sidious rebuild Vader into a cyborg? If so, that would be a huge plot point to drop on readers. So far Cylo has been a somewhat throwaway character. He hasn’t done anything to earn the reader’s respect. But building Vader? That would certain get him some cred. The question is, what would Vader do if he found out?

Adding to the story, Tagge shows his true colors in opposing Vader’s rise to success, and one of the Twins makes some interesting conversation with Vader as she begs to be trained by him. Then there’s another doosey as the bounty hunter Beebox brings in Aphra. It not only shows readers what someone looks like when they’re disintegrated, but it also helps explain Vader’s comment to Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back when he says “No disintegrations.”

Overall, it’s a fun issue with some good artwork and storytelling moments. The plot is inching forwarding, but this issue helped justify a lot of what’s going on and added more meaning and complexity to the plot threads. I give it a five out of five.

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Skuldren runs Roqoo Depot with his co-admin Geralyn, covering Star Wars news, reviews, interviews and other sci-fi and fantasy material. He writes the The Databurst From the 501st covering all 501st events around the world each week, as well as the Podcasts in Review covering various Star Wars podcasts. And you can read many of his comic reviews right here on Jedi News.