Book III, Part 1
It is a time of rebuilding for the Empire. After the Death Star’s destruction, Darth Vader, the Emperor’s chief enforcer, struggled to keep his place after he was seemingly put in a rivalry with the cybernetically-enhanced operatives of a cyborg specialist named Cylo.
Vader was sent to the ore-rich planet Shu-Torun to bring its leadership in line. After assassinating the ruling family and installing its youngest daughter as Queen, Vader promised worse for the planet should it not fall in line.
Soon after, one of Cylo’s agents, a cyborg Mon Calamari named General Karbin, laid a trap for Vader, setting the Dark Lord against a Rebel Fleet with no backup. Vader survived and made Karbin pay for his deception, but in doing so, his secret ally Doctor Aphra, was captured by Rebels…
Darth Vader 16 starts off where Darth Vader Annual 1 ended. It is Vader’s mission to bring the Ore-Barons of Shu-Torun in line. The Emperor is not pleased that Vader killed Karbin, but gives him an opportunity to redeem himself, BUT he has to work with Cylo, which is something that Vader does not want to do. The tension between Vader and Queen Trios is interesting, as she demands that Vader show her respect. Vader agrees to do so, in exchange for her not questioning him.
The comic moves very slowly, and we don’t even get to physically see the Ore-Barons, as the attack is a bombardment of some sort, using drones. At the end of the comic, we feel like there is not much excitement to be had, and the assault on Shu-Torun is nothing special or different. It is just there, and that seems to possibly be a problem for future issues.
My favorite part, is at the end, when Vader contacts bounty hunters to retrieve Aphra- dead or alive- and we get to see Zuckuss (no 4-Lom), Highsinger from Clone Wars, Dengar, and I think Cha Chanath, the Emperor’s bounty hunter; if I’m not mistaken, who made an appearance in the Lando comics.
All in all, this was a pretty boring issue, as we don’t really get to see anything definitive happen. Hopefully, the following issues will enhance this weak storyline. I give this comic 2 out of 5 Death Stars.