Darth Vader #22

Darth Vader #22 (of 25)

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado

There’s only three people left on Vader’s kill list, and Tulon Voidgazer is next in line. Can a cyberanimate rancor slow down the Dark Lord of the Sith? Either way, Cylo doesn’t seem to care as he has his sights set on a different prize. Meanwhile Dr. Aphra is at the end of her leash as she’s delivered to the Executor by Beetee, Triple-Zero and Black Krrsantan. But the doctor still has a few tricks up her sleeve. All in all, it’s not a bad issue.

Doctor Aphra opens the issue as she’s brought into custody aboard the Executor. She keeps it together even in the face of Triple-Zero’s non-stop taunting. While she only gets two pages in this issue, she makes them count as she pulls out a wildcard that just might secure her freedom. However, as the end of the comic shows, Vader won’t be far away. Then again, Aphra might have an opportunity to rescue Vader and get back in his good graces. Regardless, will have to wait and see how that one plays out.

Vader, on the other hand, spends most of his time on Cylo’s whaleship battling a cyborg rancor under Voidgazer’s control. The fight starts out with some lightsaber work as Vader starts chopping parts off. However, Voidgazer keeps the game going by cutting off the rancor’s pain receptors. After a couple physical blows, Vader decides to up the ante as well with a good ole Force choke. Yet Voidgazer has thought of that one, too. Unfortunately she talks too much for her own good, and Vader figures out how to stop the beast. Then it’s up to Voidgazer’s floating robot orbs to finish the job. It’s kind of a weak move as a bunch of floating droids doesn’t seem like much of a challenge for Vader. And really, they aren’t. He dispatches them and Voidgazer pretty handily, thus showing her reckless overconfidence. Still, she seems happy in death with the belief that her legacy will live on. Whatever it is, it appears to be something to do with the Executor and the Emperor. Does Cylo really think he can take out Vader and Emperor?

Looking at the story that’s evolving, Gillen is certainly doing a good job with the action. While there is drama at play, the biggest challenge is that the readers know Vader and the Emperor live. We know Cylo can’t kill them and that he and his henchmen will fail. So the question is whether Gillen can pull off a story in these last few issues that still has some surprise or impact. Darth Vader #22 doesn’t yield anything to that end yet, but there’s still time.

Artwise, Larroca and Delgado churn out another good looking comic. The panels have a nice presentation that shows off in equal parts the characters and the action. There’s some larger panels that give the rancor and the ships in space room to breath. Plus there are plenty of close-ups to reorient the focus on the characters. One of the more interesting panels is a shot of the rancor through a window that shows Voidgazer’s reflection layered on top of Vader. There’s a lot going on and it’s a type of shot you don’t normally see in a comic, but it works pretty good.

With good artwork and a fun story, Darth Vader #22 is pretty good. While there isn’t much in the way of surprises or shock, it’s still entertaining without a lot of big missteps. That said, I hope they do amp things up for the series finale. In the meantime, I give this one a four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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