Darth Vader #3

Darth Vader #3

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Olivier Coipel

I’m not sure what I think of Darth Vader #3. In this issue, Vader finally finds his Jedi and a lightsaber. However, Vader also gets his butt kicked. It doesn’t really match the Vader we expect to see, and without any insight into what Vader is thinking, it doesn’t do much to tell a Vader story. It’s an odd choice of storytelling.

The issue opens on the river moon of Al’doleem where Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a sits in meditation and spars with a Jedi training droid. When Vader arrives in the sky, Master Infil’a wastes no time in starting the butt whooping. He takes out Vader’s ship with some pieces of metal. Vader makes his way to a canyon where the Jedi Master quickly traps him with a wall and attacks him with a flood of water. Of course Vader manages to escape, but that only leads him to the next trap where he’s attacked by some birds and takes yet another beating. The birds actually tear up one of his legs revealing the metallic skeleton beneath. When Vader finally reaches the top of the Jedi’s mountain, he tries to retake the initiative, but the Jedi once again gets the upper hand. Vader loses a robotic leg, and then is flung off the mountain.

Throughout the entire issue, Vader pretty much gets beat up and defeated. There’s no hints of him becoming more powerful. No clues that he’s learning anything in this trial. Instead he’s just brute forcing his way through every obstacle, taking damage, and in the end getting thrown off a mountain. It illustrates how weak Vader is. Not only could he not defeat Obi-Wan, but he also can’t defeat this Jedi hermit who has been living in solitude for who knows how long. The dialog and the story aren’t bad, but the direction of the story is very odd and it counters what we normally think of with Vader. While that could be an interesting direction, so far Charles Soule hasn’t played up on it. In my opinion, the thing that is holding this series back is the lack of insight into Vader’s thoughts. It seriously handicaps the potential of the comic and ability to tell a worthwhile Vader story.

The artwork is pretty solid. The flow and illustration of the panels is easy to follow. There’s lots of details, nice coloring and lighting, and while it is a little cartoony, it still looks good. Overall it’s a nice style that works well with the story.

On one hand, Darth Vader #3 isn’t too bad. On the other hand, it’s missing out on a lot of potential and not accomplishing a whole lot. Still, I give this issue by itself a four out of five metal bikinis. It’s interesting and it raises a lot of questions, but it’s fate is largely tied to what will come next. Will we finally see Vader evolve into something stronger and more intimidating? Will he learn to become a more powerful Sith? That’s the hurdle Soule has to achieve. Hopefully he can do it in a worthwhile fashion.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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