By Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, David Curiel, Joe Caramagna, Heather Antos, Jordan D. White
The confrontation between Darth Vader and Jocasta Nu comes to its inevitable conclusion, rounding out “The Dying Light” arc. Packed with action and the general tone you’ve come to expect from Star Wars, it gives somewhat of an insightful look into how Vader turned into the harsh figure he came to be by the beginning of A New Hope. While very traditional in this respect, it does have some surprises that fit in with the time period and even ends on a satisfyingly positive note.
Charles Soule has been the latest in a streak of writers to capture the spirit of Vader perfectly. That doesn’t end here, as he goes deeper down the rabbit hole of being a lord of the Sith for the newly created Empire. His short, to the point lines exude his familiar threatening persona. This issue also marks the start of the divide between what the Emperor wants and what Vader needs, taking steps towards maintaining an independent agenda. But while the results of these decisions may be a little morbid, there’s still some dark humor. An encounter with clone stormtroopers mistaking him for a Jedi will get the most laughs, at the expense of the commander in charge.
But while Vader is done quite well, the credit has to be given to Soule for making Jocasta Nu such a formidable opponent. The use of artifacts within the Jedi Temple gave her a unique twist when compared to previous opponents. With both blaster and lightsaber, she holds her own against overwhelming odds. The ending was never in doubt, but the struggle turns out much longer than it needed to be. She even serves as a much needed step in Vader’s development. Her words have a great impact on him, still learning from Jedi masters even as a Sith. How her actions come full circle is an interesting addition to stories down the road. Whether this is picked up by another writer or left here leaves a little food for thought.
Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art is stunning in creating the environments and armors of the world. Confrontations with stormtroopers are highly detailed and maintain the pace of the action going forward. His art style has made the Vader of this era have a unique look compared to the other series, which works in its favor. David Curiel’s colors work best in the reflections of blasters and lightsabers, not restricting the aura cast by these weapons. From smaller scenes to wide-angle shots, it’s much appreciated that they still have an impact.
Mostly an action issue, Vader still does what’s necessary in this line of comics. It makes the reader believe that they are still in this wonderful world learning about the smaller steps between the greater moments. Darth Vader is delightfully dark, the stormtroopers are helpless to his might, and the Force always finds a way. It’s everything you could ask of Star Wars and it fills in some character development in new ways. It’s plenty of fun for fans of any caliber.