Vader Gets More Than He Bargained For in Marvel's Darth Vader #3 - Star Wars News Net | Star Wars News Net
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Vader Gets More Than He Bargained For in Marvel’s Darth Vader #3

Written by Charles Soule

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli

  • Vader sets his sights on a Jedi who’s avoided Order 66…
  • a Jedi Master who’s long lived in seclusion…
  • a Jedi more powerful than any Vader has faced before…

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

 

 

When we left Darth Vader in the last issue, he had killed his way through some clone troopers to get to the identity of Kirak Infil’a, a Jedi Master who had taken the Barash Vow and therefore survived the Jedi purge. As this issue opens, we find the said Master on the River Moon of Al’doleem in the Mid-Rim practicing with his droid Arex. He refuses his droid’s idea that the easy path – abandoning his Jedi ways in order to survive – would be possible.

They are interrupted by the arrival of Vader’s ship. Infil’a is feeling the approaching darkness and the Jedi is not one to sit idly. You can say that he gave the art a fair shot and didn’t miss.

 

 

In spite of his ship being damaged and his droid’s advice to wait, Vader rushes into confrontation with Infil’a. You can see how far this version of Vader is from the cold menace that will frighten the Rebels and the galaxy in the future. The arrogance and rashness of Anakin are still there. Vader gives no thought to the fact that he is about to encounter someone living only in and for the Force for decades, on his own territory. And since he had so much ‘success’ in the past with it, his opening move is to try and Force choke Infil’a. But, this is a different kind of Jedi, a type that neither Anakin nor Vader have met before.

 

 

Infil’a confronts Vader about the Jedi deaths he felt and Vader claims he had killed them all and confirms that he had come to kill the Jedi Master. Infil’a declares his Barash Vow completed because he has his final path in front of him – to end the murderer of his brothers and sisters. He challenges Vader to climb the Passvaal Mountain, designed to test all the Jedi who came there, and find him on top. In reality, Infil’a wants to test Vader. And test him he does.

 

 

In the end, Infil’a orders his droid to turn off all the traps and obstacles, so he can confront Vader, who manages to get the first hit and destroy, or at least, disable Arex.

 

 

In a surprising turn of events for anyone who grew up with the Dark Lord of the Sith, Infil’a literally dismantles Vader. He proclaims him weak and sets the sight on his master, for which he knows must exist. Then he throws Vader down the enormous chasm and leaves him for dead, a classic Obi-Wan mistake, but we will get back to that.

 

 

Phew, what an issue!

I have to say that seeing Master Infil’a in action was something of a childhood-dream-come-true for me – a lone samurai destroying evil with ease. It was also fascinating to see Vader truly challenged, something we saw only in Return of the Jedi and not with the help of anger. Infil’a is intense, but he never loses his cool. If anything, while he is dismantling him in combat, he also analyzes the situation and Vader. And, he is right – this Vader is weak, at least compared to what he will become. He is still tethered to the past which is clear from his brash actions.

 

Of course, we know how this has to end for both Vader and Infil’a. The badass Master is in many ways Vader’s mirror image. He clearly isn’t beyond arrogance himself. Because, all he needed was one killing blow to slow down Palpatine’s plans. Instead, he chose to leave Vader alive thinking the fall would kill him. But, what is one little abyss when you are more machine than man? I tell you, it’s Obi-Wan on Mustafar all over again. And it will be the end of him too.

 

I would really want to know more about Kirak Infil’a. What were the transgressions that made him take the Barash Vow? Why did he chose the path of fighting (something uncharacteristic for a Jedi)? I am aware that we probably will not get any of that, and that is a shame, because the story about a lone samurai with a lightsaber and his travels would be amazing.

 

I loved Camuncoli’s art – he made Vader’s mask expressive as if it was a true face and made Infil’a fierce and elegant in combat.

 

This was truly a great issue. I am really enjoying the peek into Vader’s early days when he still had so much to overcome. It’s interesting that unlike in the first comic run, we don’t get a lot of insight into his thoughts and feelings, we just see his actions. Perhaps that will change as he learns more and more about the Dark Side and especially when he finally gets to corrupt the Kyber crystal. That is for the future though.

 

It will be fascinating to see how will Vader get out of this one. Will his droid assist him? How fierce will the final battle be? We’ll at least get a partial answer in…

 

 

THE NEXT ISSUE:

 

 

Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith #4

  • Vader’s first mission isn’t going well.
  • The dark side is the way of power.
  • But no one said it would be easy.

 

Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

 

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