Published: June 26th, 2019
Writer: Greg Pak
Penciler: Ramón Bachs
Cover Artist: Terry & Rachel Dodson
YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT VADER! DARTH VADER may be the most feared man in the galaxy. But to the proud Grand Moffs of THE EMPIRE, he’s just the Emperor’s apprentice – below them in the hierarchy. But what fury burns in the heart of a SITH with such overwhelming rage when a mere Moff dares command him? And at what point does Darth Vader show them his true power?
The final issue is now done and dusted for this series, so let’s start with the covers as usual.
I must start by congratulating Terry and Rachel on Dodson on their direct edition covers for this series. They have been brilliantly consistent and this issue is no different. While accurate, they have all had a slight caricature fell to them and I’ve loved this. I would dearly like to see them given another opportunity to work on some more Star Wars comics in the near future.
Another puzzle piece completes the set and the final movie still are there as usual. Then there are the 2 that really stand out for me. Tommy Lee Edwards brings us a cover that is so highly detailed and for me has a bit of an Easter egg. You may not have noticed that Death Star is inverted as in Rogue One, something I haven’t seen any other artist go with.
Then there is the cover from Gabriele Doll’Otto. This is my favourite of this week’s releases and it was my cover of choice when picking up my copy. The use of lighting and darkness is brought together with a very accurate piece of artwork.
Now onto the pages in between and I must start by saying I wasn’t expecting that. That’s not the story, but the time period that it is set. Looking at the ships and everything else, it feels like this is slightly pre the era of Rebellion as we know it. In saying that, I don’t really care because I loved the story.
I’ve mentioned it before where the Emperor seems to test Vader by humiliating him and this is along the lines of the story here. Vader disobeys an order given by an Imperial General, who appeals his discord to Palpatine himself. From this Palpatine orders Vader to succumb to the direct command and will of the General as he only acts on the will of the Emperor. At that moment I thought Vader was going to flip, yet he yields, despite his perceived anger and rage. This will be the arrangement for the period of Vader to learn his lesson.
Over the following sequences, the Governor uses Vader as his personal weapon of choice. Sending him into more and more situations that are dangerous and he is pretty much thinking he’s getting one over on Vader. Then in the Kankalo Belt Containment Zone in the Mid Rim, Vader is ordered to find the ‘greatest threat’ and clear from the asteroid field on his own. The phrase ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ comes to mind at this point. Vader is at tipping point and he realises that his lesson has been learned, but deals with it in a way to befit the Dark Lord.
During his mission, he purposefully antagonises a space creature, which he lures to attack the bridge of the Star Destroyer and the Governor. To say it doesn’t end well for him is an understatement, but the Emperor agrees, Vader’s lesson has been learned.
The artwork is excellent and really does hold the storyline together so well. Ramón Bachs is not an artist I am fully conversant with, but I like the style he has used for this issue. Bria LaVorgna also rounds off the series with the very well written ‘Love and Sith Lords‘.
This story reinforces what we saw from Charles Soule and in some ways what we have seen more recently from Dennis ‘Hopeless’ Hallum. We all know that the Emperor seems him as malleable and in some ways a lap dog doing his bidding. This issue brings more credence to those and as I’ve said before, this shows Greg Pak’s knowledge and understanding of this Star Wars era and I feel that the main title comic will be in safe hands.
All in all, a great series to follow on from the Age of Republic series penned by Jody Houser. Now we move into the later phase with Age of Resistance. Tommy Taylor is in the box seat for this series, but I too will be handing over reviewing duties for the series to, Kat Rees-Jauke, one of our new recruits.
This issue was released on 26th June 2019 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.