By Greg Pak, Raffaele Ienco, and Neeraj Menon
After a long hiatus, Darth Vader #3 brings back the series featuring everyone’s favorite dark lord of the Sith. It has been quite some time since the previous two issues and readers would do themselves a service by rereading issues #1 and #2. For those who may not wish to do so, Darth Vader is on a quest to see who has been harboring Luke Skywalker away from him throughout his entire life. This search leads Vader down a path where he believes he will find his answers by tracing the steps of Padme before her death. In pursuing this clue, Darth Vader forms an alliance with Sabe, one of Padme’s shadows, who believes Vader will help her find Padme’s murderer. Vader and Sabe travel to Naboo, where they team up with former royal captains Tycho and Tonra to see a holo recording of Padme’s apartment shortly before her death.
It is hard jumping back into a series after a long break, but Greg Pak is successful in making the return to this series enjoyable, even if a lot of the details are forgotten. The biggest attractor for this series is how Darth Vader is portrayed. He is angry, moody, and prone to homicidal tendencies, which gives the reader a character accurate to how we saw him in the films. Another subject that Pak touches upon is some nostalgia for the prequel era, especially Episode I: The Phantom Menace. We get numerous scenes in which Vader looks back on familiar places and things that he interacted with during the first film in the prequel trilogy that tug on our heartstrings and remember a more hopeful Anakin Skywalker. The supporting cast for this issue can be a little lackluster though. Vader’s droid, ZED-6-7, relies on making comments about how everyone should fear and respect Vader without providing much other input. It also isn’t until the end of this issue that we start to get interested in the stories of the two captains and Sabe.
The art in Darth Vader #3 is provided by Raffaele Ienco, and Neeraj Menon. There is nothing to complain about in regard to art in this issue. Do you want to see Vader and scenes from the movies accurately depicted. Done. Do you want to see Vader facing off against giant fish monsters deep under Naboo waters. Look no further. This accuracy for scenes depicting characters and scenes from the movie is very important because it enhances the story that has a great focus on Vader and the reader recollecting from the past. A nice touch, that was included in the other issues, is the filter in which Vader looks back on his memories. They are always shown in red and could symbolize the anger Vader feels looking through the masked lenses of his new persona.
With Marvel comics making a comeback on the shelves of your local comic shops, readers should be able to once again be excited for the new canon being added into the Star Wars universe through Darth Vader #3.