Published: October 9, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Penciler: Stefano Landini
Cover Artist: Nic Klein
HUNTING THE HUNTERS! DARTH VADER is trapped, alone, and surrounded by deadly bounty hunters…but the SITH LORD is never truly alone as long as he wields the Dark Side of The Force! VALANCE and his gang of bounty hunters soon find that the hunters have become the hunted, as Vader picks them off one-by-one — and he’s helped by one of Valance’s own!
Last issue saw Thompson ramping the pace and action up a hundred-fold; a well-timed change in the story. With the gorgeous artwork of Landini, the two worked together to create an enthralling story. Will this issue keep up the pace?
For the most part, the answer is yes, there is a huge amount of action here, and i’ll get to that in a bit. While I say for the most part, there are a few occasions where we have flashbacks to some of the characters. I’ll be honest, it really through me. The pace is as intense as it was last issue, if not more so, and then we get thrown out of the story to look at some character development points! I’m not entirely sure it works here, which is a shame as the idea that comes through them, I found very intriguing. For the members of the team we lose, they’re fighting because they have lost loved ones to Vader, they are so angry from their loss they have not been able to carry on. And the one who has taken it from them? He is fighting with such anger because he lost Padme… ok you can see where this is going. These characters, including Vader, have the same sort of back story. I like the mirroring of it and it’s the sort of thing I’d expect from Thompson… just not in the middle of this issue! I love character moments, it’s what I love about Star Wars, yet surely, they could have gone elsewhere?
Do not let that former point put you off though, as this is a very minor point when compared to the overriding positive about this issue, the artwork. Wait for your jaws to drop as Landini has outdone himself. The first full page panel with Vader straight away had me going wow. It reminded me so much of the Vader we see in Rogue One, that evil, that menace. The reflection of the lightsaber in the armour just adds that bit of extra. That would have been enough for me, but it seems every time we saw Vader, my jaw went down another notch. The views through the macro binoculars were incredible, then the smoke and dust surrounding Vader, it just got better and better. With so much action that is ‘said’ through images as opposed to words, this issue needed the art to carry it through, but this is something else. By themselves, a lot of these panels work beautifully and could enrapture you for hours.
And that’s mainly it for the issue! It’s short in the sense that this is a comic of action. It’s a quick read with not much time for anything else. It would be easy to see this as a flaw, but it just works so well. Yes, there are some issues with pacing as Thompson tries to add some character moments but I hate to say it, they’re just not needed. The intensity of Vader, the gorgeous artwork, the only thing I want to see is Vader doing his thing. We’ve had the build-up in the first two issues, now I just want Vader, Vader, Vader. I imagine next week will see Thompson slamming the brakes on a bit as we have to deal with Dengar’s betrayal, but I can’t wait to read more Vader and (especially) see more of Landini’s Vader…
Target Vader is a six-part series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic bookstores. This issue retails at $3.99.