Published: June 12th, 2019
Writer: Dennis ‘Hopeless’ Hallum
Penciler: Geraldo Borges
Cover Artist: Greg Smallwood
NIGHTMARE ON THE OUTER RIM!
• A backwater jungle planet teeming with poisonous plants.
• The search for a device that can track the REBELS.
• A psychedelic nightmare triggered by the local flora — with a terror known as DARTH VADER!
Issue 5 sees the curtain finally fall on Dennis ‘Holpeless’ Hallum’s surreal Darth Vader series. And I do mean ‘surreal’, but with the utmost respect!
Before I get into my final analysis, I will check in with the covers, and boy is there a psychedelic theme to the direct edition. It somewhat reminds me of one of the early Microsoft Windows screen savers from the late 90’s, but way cooler. I love what Gregg Smallwood has done with this cover (and all his others too for the series) and once you’ve read the contents, it is on point for this issue.
I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of ACO before seeing this variant cover. I must say I really like this too and would like to see more from ACO in terms of covers for future Star Wars releases.
Ok, so let’s get into the pages in between, as they say. Vader and his stormtroopers are in pursuit of some stolen intel… wait, we’ve heard this one before haven’t we? No, not quite.
On a planet that is pretty fearsome, to say the least, the pursuit starts with Vader and co a few moves behind, but catching fast. The rebels hide the intel in a cantina and think they have go away, but the pursuers are soon there. One of the team escapes as the carnage begins, one man escapes. With Vader hot on his tail, he stumbles and lands on the poisonous Anxynth thorns, which cause hallucinations. This is where the fun really begins! Paranoia, anxiety and well, mass hysteria ensues for our poor rebel and being pursued by the Dark Lord of the Sith doesn’t really help the situation for him.
From this point on the portrayal of these hallucinations are brilliant. Wall hangings turning into rampaging beasts, his old colleagues turned to zombies attacking him and then Vader himself. His triangular mouthpiece turning into a fanged maw when he retrieves the intel from out beleaguered rebel.
The artwork from Geraldo Borges teamed with the colours of Marcio Menyz is a joy and they make the illustrations jump out at you from the page. Joe Caramanga has also done some awesome lettering for the major frames, especially the “Give it to me!” from Vader is top-notch.
I was doubtful about this series when it was announced and thought we didn’t need another Vader title so soon. I was wrong, this series has brought us a different spin on the average Star Wars storyline and put it on its head slightly. I think the timing of doing that and using this series to do it, was a clever move from Marvel.
More Star Wars from Dennis ‘Hopeless’ Hallum? YES PLEASE!
This issue was released on 12th June 2019 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.