DARTH VADER returns to the place of his birth as he seeks the path to his destiny. Echoes from the past reach out to him — both from his own, and from the dark history of the SITH.
Vader returns to Mustafar with Imperial architects to start on the design for what will become Vader’s Fortress. He returns on board the freshly restored Padmé’s Nubian ship. During re-entry into the bruning atmosphere of the planet, he disables the shiedls, much to the dismay of his passengers. On landing it is clear, that he did not want the ship to look the same again. On board is an artefact given to him by the Emperor. The mask of Momin, who has heretical Sith lord not mention by the Sith or the Jedi. Vader has chosen to return to Mustafar, due to the dark power he experienced when he was making his lightsaber crystal ‘bleed’. The first design is rejected, and the architect is sent back to the ship. On his return he finds her slaughtered on the ramp and is attacked by another Imperial wearing the mask of Momin. Vader cuts him down, even with the corrupting power of the mask he is now match for him. He sees a holo on display showing another design for his fortress.
The direct edition cover shows Vader ‘hovering’ over a lake of lava on Mustafar. A bright and vibrant illustration and a very good cover. The variant available is from the continuing series of Galactic Icons by Rod Reis. This time around, it is the smuggler Hondo Ohnaka. He’s become a bit of a fan favourite from the animated series, so a popular choice for me.
In my last review, I did say I felt slightly sorry for Vader and obviously the goading that I picked up on hit dead centre. The re-entry into Mustafar’s atmosphere taking a toll on the shiny hull of Padmé’s former ship. Destroying the hull surface after seeing his reflection previously hit’s home and shows how cruel the Emperor is to him.
The helmet of Momin, a heretical Sith, is a nice twist. Obviously, the helmet has powers that makes it seem like it could be used like a holocron to teach its wearer. Curiosity got the better of both the Imperial architects accompanying Vader and the price was paid for that. Will we be seeing Vader remove his own mask and don it for himself? The Emperor claims that the helmet has taught him but doesn’t elaborate on exactly how.
Apart from a couple of frames, the artwork is up to the usual standard which has barely faltered since issue 1. The storyline keeps an interesting pace, but what pleases me most is the way that it fit’s so well into what we already know will eventually happen. Not just with films, comics and other literature, but with the content of the story in the preceding 20 issues.
It’s interesting that next month we are going to see the insides of Vader’s Castle courtesy of Cavan Scott and his new 5-part series for IDW, albeit from a slightly unique perspective. Here we see the birth of the concept for the imposing structure we see in Rogue One.
The cover of issue 22 reminded me of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and I came up with my own caption for it… “Alas heretic Momin, I want to know your secrets so well!”. It will definitely be interesting what knowledge Momin does have to impart on Vader.
This issue was released on 12th September 2018 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.