Darth Vader #2

Darth Vader #2

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Jim Cheung and Matthew Wilson

Darth Vader #2 continues Vader’s quest to find a Jedi, kill them, and corrupt their kyber crystal. For this issue, that means attacking a Jedi outpost, killing clonetroopers, and finding the lead for his elusive Jedi. Unfortunately this issue doesn’t step up the quality of the storytelling, in my opinion.

Let’s start with the story. Palpatine wants Vader to go out and find his own lightsaber so he can change the color of the crystal to red. Part of the stipulation is that he has to take it from a Jedi, and pretty much all of them are dead. This issue takes place entirely in the Mid Rim on a Jedi outpost called Brighthome. It’s a neat looking space station filled with Jedi robes, lightsabers and holocrons. A bunch of clonetroopers are tasked with inventorying everything and it gives readers a brief glance at post Order 66 clones. However, Vader’s arrival is where things take a downward spiral. Inexplicably Vader decides to kill everyone instead of just transmitting his clearance codes and getting what he wants without killing his fellow allies. Okay, I get this leads to a more action packed story, I also get that it makes Vader more of a villain and shows his anger and hatred. But what I don’t get is all the other implications of this action. Is Vader working toward creating a stronger Empire? No. By killing everyone, he’s making it weaker. It also seems like a huge break in his past history. He had a good rapport with the clones. There’s no reason he should hate them. On the surface, it just doesn’t make any sense and seems like stupid storytelling.

Now here’s the thing, Soule could have used this as an opportunity to peek inside Vader’s head and explain to the reader why Vader is doing this. He could use this as an example of how Vader is forming a break between his past self and his current self. He could show how Vader has become so consumed in his pain and anger that he cares for no one now. He could have Vader blaming the clones for enabling Palpatine to defeat the Jedi and allowing everything to go wrong with him, the Order and Padme. After all, without the clones, Padme would still be alive. But Soule doesn’t use this as an opportunity for anything other than having Vader kill clonetroopers because hey, that would look cool.

Looks are the only thing going for this issue. Camuncoli, Smith and Curiel do a good job of showing the action and the characters. There’s a little bit of artistic license, most notably with Vader, but it looks good overall. The design of the Jedi outpost is pretty cool, and I had no problem following along with the action in this issue. It’s not the best looking artwork I’ve ever seen, and there’s not a lot of jaw dropping splash pages or panels, but it does its job without looking bad.

In the end, this new iteration of the Darth Vader series is still dragging its feet on proving itself a venture worth the resources being poured into it. Soule isn’t doing anything interesting with Vader. There’s no exploration of the character. The story is pretty straightforward and unimaginative so far. As such, I give this one a two and a half out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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