Darth Vader #23
Darth Vader #23
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado
Darth Vader #23 is Cylo’s big play for power. With the Executor is under his control, his only seeming threat is Lord Vader himself. How can Cylo possibly pose a threat to Vader when he only has one pawn left up his sleeve? The answer is a good one and it adds some punch to this farewell arc.
The issue opens with Aphra and the murder bots as they assess the situation following Cylo’s seizure of the Executor. Aphra easily gets the best lines in this issue as she later engages Cylo’s forces with the help of Black Krrsantan. It’s one of the highlights of the issue. Elsewhere Cylo smugly stands on the bridge of the Executor as he tries to secure his success. He sends Morit to reactivate the engines, which simply leads him to a long overdue fight with Vader. That one ends as you might expect. What is a surprise is how the issue leaves off. Vader confronts Cylo, but the cybernetic wizard pulls one last hat trick to give himself the upper hand. The art in that last scene really sells the moment, and it’s a great way to leave the issue on a dramatic note.
However, it does raise a lot of questions. Somewhere in all of this is the Emperor. While the galaxy at large doesn’t know of his powers, we the reader do. How will he come to play in the final issues of this series? Will he keep his skills hidden and allow his subjects to save the day? Then there’s Aphra. She refuses to tuck tail and run again knowing that Vader will just track her down inevitably. Will she be the one to save him? With just two issues left, there are a lot of possibilities and it’ll be interesting to see how things play out.
Taking the readers along this visual joy ride is some more nice artwork from Larroca and Delgado. Right from the get go Larroca captures the motion of the action, from Aphra’s uneasy equilibrium to the sudden shifting of the ship. There are a lot of great close-ups of the characters faces, helping to emphasize the emotion of the story. Interwoven between those panels is a great balance of transition shots, showing the action and flow of the story, as well as the scenery. Delgado helps keep things fresh by shifting the color pallette from the greens of space to the warm, blaster bolt filled scenes of the interior. All of it leads to a final, full page shot of Vader and Cylo in all its dramatic glory. It’s a great finish for the issue.
With a solid story and good artwork, I give Darth Vader #23 a five out of five metal bikinis. While we all know Vader will live, Gillen leaves us wondering how? As they say, it’s not the destination, but the journey, and this one is proving its worth.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.