Darth Vader #5

Darth Vader #5

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Francesco Mattina

Everyone loves to talk about lightsaber crystals and the new idea of Sith having to bleed them to turn them so they can use them. Darth Vader #5 dives into that subject completely as we see Palpatine instructing Vader on how to bleed the crystal, and we see Vader corrupt his very own kyber. On top of that, we see the origin of his Mustafar castle. For those who dig lightsaber lore, this one offers a lot to chew on.

The issue opens with a hologram of Sidious instructing Vader on what is to happen now that he has his own lightsaber. He sends him to Mustafar, to a dark locus of the Force, and gives him the mission of bleeding his lightsaber crystal. From there, the story manages to turn the bleeding into an all out battle between Vader and the lightsaber crystal. The crystal has a will of its own, which appears to naturally be that of the light side. It tries to turn Vader against the darkness. Vader denies the temptation and inevitably turns the crystal red. Vader isn’t very talkative, so much of the storytelling is reliant on the imagery of the panels.

On one hand, it’s interesting. This issue shows how Vader makes his Sith lightsaber, and it shows how he gets introduced to the location of his future castle on Mustafar. On the other hand, I’m not over the moon on the whole bleeding crystals thing, and Charles Soule doesn’t do much to further sell the idea. Vader’s stoic nature keeps readers from seeing inside his head, which in turn keeps us from feeling much emotion. Giuseppe’s stylistic approach to the artwork doesn’t overcome these boundaries. It feels like an anime cartoon, and there is a missing connection with what should be an emotional story. I imagine this story might work better for some fans, but it just didn’t work for me. It’s not a bad idea for a story, it just falls a little short of what it could be.

On a positive note, the cover is absolutely awesome. It’s interesting that this is the same artist who does the interiors.

With okay artwork and an okay story, I give this one a three out of five metal bikinis. It had potential, but it didn’t quite fulfill it. That said, due to the subject matter this issue covers, it actually is worth checking out for fans, especially those invested in the whole lightsaber bleeding ritual. The issue stands alone on its own well enough that there’s no real need to check out the other issues if you don’t want to.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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