Script: Brian Wood
Pencils: Facundo Percio
Inks: Dan Parsons
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Hugh Fleming
The Rebellion has a won a major victory after Yavin and gained countless strategic advantages with the Imperial turned spy for the Rebellion Colonel Bircher. Needless to say Darth Vader is not happy about this.
It’s easy to see why Darth Vader is so quick to get rid of his commanders during The Empire Strikes Back. After what has happened to Darth Vader and the Empire in Brian Wood’s 13 issues so far, I’m amazed that the Empire had any commanders left.
Vader has set his sights on not only finding who is responsible for allowing Bircher to rise so high in the Imperial ranks as a rebel spy, but finding his wayward acolyte Birra Seah and uncovering more information about Luke Skywalker. To accomplish all this he has assembled his own private squad of elite Stormtroopers who answer only to him.
Brian Wood has gone a very similar route as Haden Blackman did in Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, the whole story is told from the point of view of Ensign Nanda. She is young and naive, hopefully she fares better than Laurita Tohm did in the Ghost Prison story.
As befits a story centered around Darth Vader on a quest for revenge, this is a very dark chapter in Wood’s Star Wars run. While the action remains mostly PG, it’s definitely pushing the limits.
Darth Vader is a big scary imposing presence in the story. I do wish that he was represented as so in the art. If this issue had a weak point it would be Percio’s art. The art is not bad, it’s very similar to D’Anda’s style that we have seen in the previous issues. It just feels like Vader should be scarier and more menacing to match the feeling from the writing.
I am glad that the creative team decided to give a story focused entirely on Darth Vader after the dramatic turn of events in the previous issue. He has been used so sparingly in the story so far that it would feel weird to have him handed such a massive defeat and not want to exact his vengance.
Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.