Review of Star Wars: Darth Vader vol. 4: End of Games by Kieron Gillen

Volume 4 completes the 25 comic run covering Darth Vader’s adventures between the first and second Star Wars movies (i.e., Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back).  It’s everything you would hope for from a Darth Vader story—it’s visually gorgeous, fills in gaps between the movies, and Vader remains the sort of utterly amoral (with one exception) villain that we can’t help but root for (a little bit).  Volume 4 (and comic no. 25) has the prettiest cover of the bunch, with Vader’s helmet melding into the Death Star and X-Wings racing past (albeit with points deducted for limited connection to the contents—the new Death Star makes an appearance but still remains far less finished and there are no X-Wings.  All in all, it makes for a nice story that is admirable both for keeping it brief and for fitting in with the canon of the movies.

darth-vader-vol-4-cover

Volume 4 opens after the end of the Shu-Torun War featured in Volume 3.  Vader is back in the Emperor’s good graces, and Cylo has been branded a traitor to the Empire.  Vader splits his efforts between tracking down Cylo and Dr, Aphra, delegating the latter to the assassin droids Triple-Zero and Beetee.

It’s all very cool and literally every panel is gorgeous.  It, I think, does the best it can in a limited run wedged between movies decades old.  The fatal flaw is that nothing that happens and no new character, alien, or planet featured can be all that important—otherwise why don’t they show up in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, or The Force Awakens?  Darth Vader is a complete badass throughout, but his approach to things is already pretty predictable by Volume 4.  Triple-Zero and Beetee are mildly amusing, if derivative and really predictable.  What the Vader do accomplish, on the other hand, is to show how Vader avoided falling out of—or, more accurately, regained—favor after the Death Star disaster, his relationship at that time with the Emperor, and how he reacted to learning of Luke.

4 of 5 Stars.

Advertisements

About H.P.

Blogs on speculative fiction books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Science Fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Review of Star Wars: Darth Vader vol. 4: End of Games by Kieron Gillen

  1. Cambias says:

    Why should Vader be out of favor after the Death Star? It was Tarkin’s baby; Darth was the only person who wasn’t completely taken with the concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Reading Update 2016 | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s