Darth Vader #18

Darth Vader #18

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Kaare Andrews

Darth Vader #18 wades into the Shu-Torun War as treachery strikes at every turn. Vader and Queen Trios poise their forces for the final strike against Baron Rubix. Yet the cyborg inventor Cylo has other plans. Vader’s attack ship is sabotaged. Queen Trios’ allies turn against her. All seems lost except for one mistake, Cylo underestimates the Dark Lord of the Sith.

The issue begins with Triple Zero and Bee-Tee tossing bodies into the lava seas. It’s a fun opening with dark humor and colorful artwork. From there, they show the delving fleet, which is where things start to get confusing. I’m not really sure how these various craft are suppose to work. The main characters appear to be in drills that travel across the surface, through the air, and through the ground. The art tries to show the drills tunneling, but it’s difficult to follow along. The story doesn’t help a lot as at one point Vader’s drill is in the lithoporoite seam which won’t support the drill. Then the story says they’ve hit solid bedrock and that they’re stuck. Somehow they are ambushed underground by Rubix’s forces. The logic and flow of the story leaves a lot to be desired in terms of clarity and sense.

Regardless, things settle out from there. Vader deals with the ambush with a surprise attack from his droid allies. Triple Zero wastes time with a bizarre idea that doesn’t seem feasible given the circumstances, and Vader decides to just go on foot and leave everyone behind to fend for themselves. He takes the Jedi twins with him which of course leads to treachery on their part. Meanwhile Queen Trios deals with her own traitorous allies. Taking a page from Vader’s book, she dispatches them with lethal force and takes the initiative to conquer her enemies once and for all. The issue ends on a major cliffhanger as the battle between Vader, Aiolinn and Morit just gets started.

The artwork throughout the issue is pretty good. The characters look nice, the locations and backdrops add a richness to the story, and overall the coloring and lighting are top notch. However the flow and design definitely got muddled with the movement of the drills. Aside from that, the issue was well done.

The story falls a little short in that it feels way too much like a stepping stone to the next issue. The battle begins but we only see the first stages of it. Vader starts an epic battle with the Jedi twins on a lava bridge, but the issue ends right when it starts. It moves very fast which makes the issue feel very short. You can’t help but feel there should have been a little more. I think part of the problem is Triple Zero. There are two distinct scenes given to the murder bot, one with the opening, and then later when he suggests using blood fueled machines to help them escape. Neither scene was necessary to the issue, and could have been used instead to help flesh out the other more important scenes.

As is, Darth Vader #18 feels like it ends before any real punch can be delivered. It’s enjoyable, there’s some cool moments, but the build up to the big three-way lightsaber battle robs the issue of its impact. Thankfully, the next issue will have plenty to work with as we see the lightsaber battle unfold and a conclusion to the battle with Rubix. For now, I give Darth Vader #18 a four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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