Comic Review: Target Vader #5

Published: November 13, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Penciler: Cris Bolson, Roberto Di Salvo and Marco Faillo
Colourist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover Artist: Nic Klein

The synopsis;

THE GREAT ESCAPE! VALANCE has been betrayed, captured, and now stands alone. But nothing will stop THE HUNTER from finishing his prey… DARTH VADER, who is closing in on his own target, THE HIDDEN HAND, a mysterious syndicate working with scum, villainy… and the REBELLION? Can Valance use his training as a former Imperial to escape… or will he find out he has more in common with the Dark Lord than he could ever have imagined?!

The review;

Issue four was a very fast paced issue, all action without too much depth to it (which worked perfectly). Coupled with incredible artwork, the issue really showed what Landini and Thompson could do with this series. Although I want more and more action, I have a feeling that part five is going to slow things down a little for the penultimate issue of the series.

My only complaint of the last issue was the flashback scenes. With such an action-packed issue they seemed very ill timed and spluttered the pace of the story. Thompson comes back to this method for issue five and it works so much better. This issue works just like an episode of Lost, this is about Valance, and more importantly about his past. We see how his past has led him to this point in the story. It’s wonderful to see, in fact, since Imperial Cadet, it’s exactly what I’ve wanted to see. We get to see what happened in his early life, his father, a love interest, all of which have affected him. These scenes looked great, reminding me of the old Dark Horse comics form the nineties. We then move forward to scenes surrounding the events of Imperial Cadet. We see a return of Yurib, if briefly, who was one of my favourite characters from that series.  These are all important character moments, and now that Thompson has placed them right, they work beautifully. We get to empathise with this character, take a breath from the action, before we move foward towards the finale.

Along with these beautifully character moments is the artwork. On the Marvel website it says that the artist is still Landini, which I was really pleased about, but when opening the issue, it’s three different artists. These are not bad artists, but after the tremendous work of Landini in the previous issue I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Reading the issue, the artists do a good job. The flashback scenes are detailed and well throughout. As I’ve said, they remind me of older Star Wars series’, and I mean that as a compliment. The ‘present’ is very animated and stylised. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, but when compared with Landini, I don’t know if it works so well. Vader himself is very unique, which threw me slightly when I was reading the issue. That said, the use of action we don’t see, behind closed doors, is done with good effect.

This issue feels like the calm before the storm, the pause in the chaos so we can get our bearings. I love that we get to catch up on Valance since Imperial Cadet, I want to know more. Next issue promises to be a huge shoot ‘em up, Vader versus Valance and if previous issues are anything to go by, it’s not going to be a comic to miss…

Availability;

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.