Darth Vader #20

Darth Vader #20

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks

Darth Vader #20 opens on a Star Destroyer looming above Kuat and the construction of the Super Star Destroyer Executor. There the Emperor reveals his plans to Vader and sicks him on Cylo. However Vader has some stops to make, an old inspector to visit, and a doctor to take care of. While Darth Vader #20 ends there, the comic continues with a bonus mini-comic called The Misadventures of Triple-Zero and Beetee. It makes for a good issue.

In the last issue, the Emperor teased that he would reveal his plans to Vader. He makes good on that promise by sharing his side of the story with all the events that have transpired in the series thus far. He talks about the Sith of old, learning from their mistakes, utilizing minions, Cylo being one of many who created Vader, being intrigued by Cylo’s work, and coming to the conclusion that Cylo must be disposed of. It’s a lot of exposition on the Emperor’s part, and only mildly revealing. The real shocker is Vader’s attitude to the Emperor. Vader doesn’t cower to him. He calls the Emperor out on making a mistake, on his honeyed words hiding the whole truth, and asserts his own power. It’s a defining moment for someone who started this series out in disgrace for his defeat at Yavin and was actually forced to serve others and bear the oversight of watchdogs.

From there, Vader heads to Anthan 13 once again, this time to meet with Inspector Thanoth. The issue boldly continues the conversation heavy focus of the story by beginning a lengthy conversation between Thanoth and Vader. Thanoth goes on to explain how he found Vader out and why he decided to approach him with Aphra’s location rather than revealing his treachery. It’s six pages of talking on top of the seven pages between the Emperor and Vader. Add on a couple pages of Triple-Zero talking and only one action page and you get an issue heavily focused on conversation. It’s an interesting move on Gillen’s part. It wraps up the Cylo story to an extent, finishes off the Thanoth storythread, sets Aphra’s fate into motion once again, and perhaps wraps up the greater story arc of Vader’s redemption in the Imperial hierarchy. While it’s not an earth shattering storyline or one filled with epic imagery, it’s not bad and it does move the story forward. It also leaves a lot of expectation for what’s to come. Will Aphra die? How will Cylo meet Vader in the face of death? And what will happen to Tagge who’s fancy new flagship will one day become Vader’s? Are his days numbered as well? Lots of questions, but good ones that compel readers to stay invested and see what comes next.

And speaking of next, there’s the mini-comic at the end of the issue.

The Misadventures of Triple-Zero and Beetee

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciller/Inker: Mike Norton
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Caramagna

The mini-comic is ten pages long and follows Aphra’s murder bots as they go on a little side trip for repairs and ordinance. They head to the Wreck Belt of Lotho Minor to meet with a man named Ruen who’s a bit of a droid repair man with lots of extra parts and armaments. Ruen tries to double-cross them, but the droids get the better of him in the end. It’s entertaining and packs in some action. The art isn’t as good as the main title, but it’s not bad. As bonus comics go, it’s a fun one and helps round out the issue.

Overall, as talky as the issue might have been, I give Darth Vader #20 a five out of five metal bikinis as still enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully we’ll also get some more misadventures from Aphra’s murder bots.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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