Vader – Dark Visions #4

Vader – Dark Visions #4 (of 5)

Writer: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Artist: Stephen Mooney
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Greg Smallwood

Dark Visions #4 tells the tale of a kid who watches his father die, grows up, joins the Rebellion, becomes a pilot, then fights Vader and gets everyone killed. It’s not about a hero, it’s about a person who had a shot and blew it every time they got one. It’s a dark, grim tale.

The story starts off in the past on Coruscant. An unnamed kid watches as his dad is caught by stormtroopers while smuggling guns. He and his father practiced a maneuver which would let him get away, but the kid freezes and can’t take the shot. His dad dies because of it. Fast forward to the present, and we see some X-wings in space playing dead in order to track and Imperial vessel to a hidden starfighter factory. The comic jumps again into the past, but not as far this time, as it shows the kid joining the Rebellion and wanting to be a pilot. It goes back to the present to show the X-wings attacking the Imperial factory. Vader is there and jumps in his TIE fighter to engage them. Another flashback, this one showing the prep before this mission, and the kid volunteering himself for the job. Back to the present, Vader kills them all, one-by-one, the kid has a shot to take out Vader and he doesn’t even pull the trigger. He flies back to the Rebel base, and unknowingly, Vader follows and wipes them out.

Again, it’s a dark story, but it doesn’t really work. First off, there’s not enough there for the reader to bond with the main character, or any of the characters, so you don’t care if they fail or die. Secondly, the story jumps around a lot, and it doesn’t help. Sometimes you can bounce around like that to cause tension and amp up the story, but in this case it just hurts the flow of the tale. It probably would have worked better if it was told chronologically, with less ambiguity regarding the unnamed kid. However, I’m not sure how much of a difference it would have made given the depressing end. The story is still about a person who fails twice in life, and both times people die because of it. They don’t learn a lesson because they end up dying. The only one who can learn a lesson is the reader. I’m beginning to wonder if “Hopeless” is because the writer is a very grim, pessimistic storyteller.

The artwork is fine. There’s good detail, a good likeness of Vader, nice visuals of the action, and the characters look good. The panel layouts and action transitions all work well. I even like how they handled the targeting panels. But it’s hard to get invested when the story isn’t pulling you in. While the artwork is good, it’s not enough to make up for the story.

With a grim story that doesn’t have much impact on the Star Wars universe, doesn’t add anything extra to Vader, and lacks the emotional grab to get readers invested in the characters, this one falls far short of the mark. I give it a two out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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