Darth Vader #4

Darth Vader #4

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Adi Granov

Darth Vader #4 hits its stride as the new characters come into play and the story heats up. The odd twists and turns up to this point finally click together. On top of that, there’s lots of action, fun dialog and great characters. I’ve been a little on the fence with this series, but this issue really turns it around into something I’m fully onboard with.

The issue opens with Geonosis. Vader returns to the planet in search of a droid factory. He’s assisted by his new allies Dr. Aphra–the droid archaeologist, and Triple Zero and BT–the droid assassins. Yet rather than just using this visit as a tie-in to Attack of the Clones and the battle of Geonosis, Kieron Gillen goes one step further and ties it in to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Vader and company find not just a droid factory, but a Geonosian queen. It’s a great element to throw into the story and makes for a fun way to bring in the droids and the Geonosians. Along the way, there’s some hints at what happened to Geonosis after the war which adds a nice bit to the overall universe.

After Vader’s encounter with the queen, and the bulk of the action, we get to see some of the plot threads pulled into play. One of Vader’s bounty hunters finds their prey, which in turn leads to a destination for the next issue. It also adds some mystery to the story and lots of motivation. Along side the plot building, the tail end of the story does some major character building with Aphra. We really get to see her character shine. Furthermore, readers get a good idea of just who she is and what makes her tick. All along the way, Vader is kept in character and definitely feels like Vader. His role is much more in the forefront than Darth Vader #3, which is where he belongs when the series is named after him. From cover to cover, Kieron does a solid job of nailing this issue with a fun story, fun dialog and great character work.

Visually, this is a nice looking comic, and there’s a lot to enjoy. Two things that really stood out are the coloring and lighting. On the surface of Geonosis, everything is bright and golden. Below the surface, the golden hue lingers, but shadowed in darkness. In transitions to blues as the story heads into the queen’s chamber. In Vader’s starship, there are green hues and blue hues, though it’s possible the blue represents another change in scenery, possibly the movement to the bounty hunter’s ship. Either way, the coloring emphasizes the journey through the scenery and makes the visuals pop. It also keeps things moving through the color scheme so the comic doesn’t drown out in any one particular color. Edgar Delgado keeps things fresh and vibrant. Of course the rest of the artwork is good, too. Salvador Larroca does a good job of portraying the characters and action, laying out the panels, and framing the shots. But the coloring really polishes it all off.

With a great story and solid artwork, Darth Vader #4 is definitely a comic you should check out. You’ll need to read the others for it to make sense, but I think it’s worth it. At this point, the plot points are falling together and everything is starting to make sense. More than that, it’s looking promising. While it’s not always easy to do a good Vader tale, the key can sometimes be the supporting cast, and this series is doing it right. With Aphra, Triple Zero and BT, this story has a lot of character. I give Darth Vader #4 a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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