Script: Tim Siedell
Art: Gabriel Guzman
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Felipe Massafera
Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows all comes to a close in this final issue. The siege on Ostor reaches its conclusion with Commander Hock Malsuum coming to a realization of what he’s fighting for, with Siedell showing us that transformation and Guzman continuing to visually capture the galaxy far, far away.
Since the start of the miniseries, Tim Siedell has been telling this story through the eyes of Hock Malsuum. The last issue ended with Hock coming face to face with his reflection and where he’s heading in the service of the Empire. The series ends with us seeing how Hock comes to his final decision, and Siedell walks us through every step of the commander’s thought process, all while the conclusion of the battle wraps up in the panels. We knew what motivated Hock, we understood what he saw in the Imperial holoreels, and now we see how the former clone trooper deals with the truth.
While Hock deals with his own mental situation, the art by Gabriel Guzman illustrates the physical battle resolution, leading to some of the most intense panels and splashes that say everything about the Dark Lord of the Sith and the Empire’s way of ruling. Films use multiple frames and soundtracks to relay the intensity of a situation, but Guzman draws a few images that rival that. The tragic beauty of the city’s fall as Vader pursues the resistance is mind-blowing, and the splash after it reminds us all of Revenge of the Sith. Other metaphors are included as well that lead to the ending and show what truths lay deep beneath the mask even while our narrator fails to see them.
Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows shows the Dark Times from another perspective, and it’s one I respect a lot more for being told and truthful to the original trilogy. Siedell’s story works better as a graphic novel than single issues, so be sure to pick up the trade paperback when it’s released to enjoy the story and outstanding art work all together.
Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.