Running concurrently with Star Wars Vol. 1, this comic places Vader front and center as he deals with the Emperor’s displeasure and secrets following the destruction of the Death Star. Vader himself comes across as strong, furious, and cunning, managing to stay convincingly ahead of all of his adversaries, but most of the problems that this comic faces comes from author Kieron Gillen’s secondary characters.
These include sinister parodies of Threepio and Artoo, a terrified, juvenile Indiana Jones, an underutilized General to rival Vader,and the Emperor coming up with a groan worthy plot to test his apprentice. While Vader feels as dangerous as ever, it feels like he’s strangely out of place among the odd characters and head-scratching plots that surround him. Furthermore, its ending felt slightly cheap after Star Wars Vol. 1’s final scene was nearly identical.
As for the art, Salvador Larroca’s penciling is mostly strong, although the shadowing often winds up muddling faces and background details. Overall, however, it sets the mood adequately.
If you’re looking for more Vader, this is a quicker and more eye-pleasing alternative to Lords of the Sith. However, there’s something to be desired in the handling of its secondary characters and bizarre plots.