Comic Review: Darth Vader (2017) #23

Published: November 14, 2018
Rated: T
Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover by: Elia Bonetti  & Giuseppe Camuncoli

The synopsis;

FORTRESS VADER” – PART 5 Darkness rises above MUSTAFAR as the brutal designs of LORD MOMIN begin to take shape. But the planet’s inhabitants cannot take this desecration lightly, and shape plans of their own.

The story;

Fortress Vader – Part V

Momin embarks on the task of building Vader his castle. Each failed attempt results in death by Vader and the mask of Momin being transferred to a new being’s body on each occasion.

The indigenous Mustafarian’s grow more concerned and organise insurgent attacks on their Imperial oppressors.

The ninth attempt pleases Vader and he can feel the power of the dark side exude from the castle. He enters the focusing chamber it is built upon to start the process of resurrecting his wife Padmé. Vader activates the chamber and can sense the dark side asking him to open the ‘door’.

Momin tries to persuade Vader that the time is not right to perform this ritual, but he presses ahead. In that moment a desperate call comes to him to say his forces are under yet another attack. His concentration broken, he closes the ‘door’ and warns Momin not to proceed without him.

He leaves the chamber and sees the insurgents heading for the castle and leaves the castle to encounter them.

Alone in the chamber Momin opens the ‘door’ for himself. The force of the event causes an explosion which hits Vader.

A familiar figure appears in the ‘doorway’ and he hands his mask to it. Momin has been resurrected.

The review;

This issues direct cover is a collaboration between 2 of my favourite artists in Elia Bonetti and Giuseppe Camuncoli. I love the way Vader looks on over the lava fields at his new fortress castle on Mustafar. There is another cover, which features IG-88 by Rod Reis. His Galactic Icons series has reached 31 of 36 and each one is excellent.

Charles Soule seems to set the bar higher with each issue. In a way this issue covers a 3 or even a 4 way battle. Vader with Momin, Mustafarian’s with Imperials, Vader with the Mustafarian’s and Momin with his own ability. Now, that might sound a complex plot, but the way in which it is told is simple.

Even when the story is slightly paraphrased as so much time passes between each build, you still get the sense of the pressures Momin is working under. Each failed attempt sees Vader take out his wrath on Momin for his failure, only to resurrect him by passing his mask on to the next unwilling recipient.

Vader becomes blinded by the task in hand regularly and while he is hell bent on achieving that goal, someone else seems to benefit. On this occasion we see Vader wanting to resurrect his late wife Padmé, but is distracted at the last moment, this leaves Momin with a chance to resurrect someone for himself while Vader goes to confront the insurgent locals. Momin’s betrayal of Vader is no real surprise, but isn’t this similar to the way Vader actually allows himself to be controlled and manipulated by the Emperor? For me this is a flaw in his character and you can see the young and helpful Anakin who wants to please his guests on Tatooine is in still somewhere inside that suit.

The artwork throughout this issue is as strong as ever. I must admit, I do feel this has improved with each issue, and that the bond between writer, artists, colourists and the rest of the team seems to have grown each time.

We can pretty much guess that it isn’t going to end well for Momin, but how is it going to end? Issue 24 may have the answer to that question or will we have to wait for the finale with issue 25?


This issue was released on 14th November 2018 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.