REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader,’ Issue #6

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Darth Vader #6

As one arc ends, another begins in Star Wars: Darth Vader #6. Darth Vader still, despite being one of the most feared presence in the galaxy, has a lesson to learn from his master. Following the events of The Empire Strikes Back, the mechanical Dark Lord of the Sith has been rampaging through the galaxy to find who hid Luke Skywalkers’ existence from him.  Through his search, he also discovered the truth behind the death of Padmé Amidala which lead the former Jedi Knight through a pained journey of regret and unbalance. With his business concluded in Star Wars: Darth Vader #5, Darth Vader returns to Darth Sidious on Coruscant. Published by Marvel Comics, writer Greg Pak, artist Raffaele Ienco, colorist Neeraj Menon, letterer Joe Caramagna, and cover artist InHyuk Lee gives readers the Dark Lord in ways rarely seen as Emperor Palpatine displays his own ferocity and malice over his apprentice.

Darth Vader’s trek around the galaxy was not approved by Emperor Palpatine.  He failed to bring Luke Skywalker to the dark side. He did not report immediately to the Emperor’s summons. He allowed a known traitor the Empire, Sabé of the Amidalans, escape. All of which the Emperor deems as failures boarding on treason. For the Sith, fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to strength. Emperor Palpatine believes that Darth Vader has lost sight of his strength as he wallowed in his grief over Padmé. Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 opens with Darth Sidious reteach these lessons starting with fear.  

Darth Sidious begins to assault his apprentice with Sith lightning.  As Darth Vader begins the fight back, he is attacked by the Emperor’s royal guards as he is stripped of his lightsaber. Just as the mechanized Sith starts to gain the upper hand on his assailants,  Emperor Palpatine unleashes a crushing Force choke that renders Darth Vader helpless. While the master berates his apprentice in an effort to make him forget his past, Darth Vader has flashbacks to the pain that has inflicted through this very ability. The panels in this sequence have a petrifying beauty to them as the art team continues to absolutely nail the memories that Darth Vader is experiencing which parallel so well with whatever he is currently dealing with. Coupled with writers Pak’s masterful use of dialogue, Darth Sidious’s voice seemingly cackles off the page as his apprentice is reduced to nothing more than the shell he found the former Jedi as on Mustafar all those years ago.

Ultimately, Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 succeeds in piquing my interest in this new arc in the series. The previous five issues have seen Darth Vader absolutely run over everyone and everything in his path from a sando aqua monster to an entire faction of Amidala loyalists. By the end of Star Wars: Darth Vader #6, he is broken and completely overmatched by his master’s cruelty and power. It is difficult to imagine Darth Vader struggling in any capacity, however, this team has really given the Dark Lord of the Sith an uphill battle to climb lest he incurs the wrath of Darth Sidious again. I cannot wait to see what the Emperor has in store for his mechanized apprentice in the next issue.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 is available wherever comics are sold.

‘Star Wars: Darth Vader,’ Issue #6
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TL;DR

Ultimately, Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 succeeds in piquing my interest in this new arc in the series. The previous five issues have seen Darth Vader absolutely run over everyone and everything in his path from a sando aqua monster to an entire faction of Amidala loyalists. By the end of Star Wars: Darth Vader #6, he is broken and completely overmatched by his master’s cruelty and power. It is difficult to imagine Darth Vader struggling in any capacity, however, this team has really given the Dark Lord of the Sith an uphill battle to climb lest he incurs the wrath of Darth Sidious again. I cannot wait to see what the Emperor has in store for his mechanized apprentice in the next issue.