Review: The Past and Present Collide in Marvel’s Darth Vader #1
The wait is over. Darth Vader has returned in a new ongoing series written by Greg Pak. Possibly the most iconic villain to ever grace the movie screen, Darth Vader embarks on an adventure taking place after the events on Cloud City. Luke Skywalker, the man responsible for the destruction of the Death Star, now knows the truth. Darth Vader is his father. Now, Vader begins his search for everyone who kept his son from him. Let’s take a look into the first issue.
We begin with Vader having a flashback to recent events. He and Luke, father and son, dueling with their lightsabers. He cuts off Luke’s hand. He reaches out to him, attempts to persuade him to join him. Tells him of all the power of the dark side, but it doesn’t work. Luke’s will keeps him from giving in and he falls. Back to present time, Vader walks to his ship. He is planning to leave on a personal mission with a group of Death Troopers and a forensics droid named Zed 67. We cut to a panel showing a conversation with the Grand Vizier and Admiral Piett. Piett is informing him that the Millennium Falcon has escaped. The Vizier informs him that the Emperor wants to speak with Vader immediately. Piett attempts to reach Vader, but sees his personal ship flying into space before he has a chance. The Emperor seems to find it amusing that Vader has left. I am sure he senses that Vader is angry and about to go on a manhunt.
On Vader’s ship, Zed 67 attempts to speak with him and find out the parameters of the mission. Before he tells him anything, Vader adjusts the droids motivator to self-destruct if he ever tells anyone of the events that take place on this mission. He then tells the droid that they are going after everyone who hid Luke from him and made him “weak”. Vader doesn’t intend on asking them why they kept him hidden, he only wants revenge. As we all know, the wrath of Darth Vader is not something you want to be on the receiving end of. Zed 67 sets a course to the planet where the boy was first seen.
Just outside of Tatooine’s atmosphere, two bandits watch an Imperial shuttle head towards the planets surface. They are shocked to see it flying alone with no escort. This sparks their interest, they wonder how many credits could possibly on that ship. They make a transmission to their gang down on planet. Vader and his crew of Death Troopers land to find a garrison of stormtroopers and an Imperial lieutenant waiting for them. Vader has no time for small talk. He and his droid begin to search the local records for anything with ‘Skywalker’ attached.
Vader’s first place to check is the home that Luke grew up in. Zed 67 begins to tell him that this was once the home of Cliegg Lars and Shmi Skywalker, and then handed down to Owen and Beru Lars. During the time the droid is telling him this, Vader has more flash backs. This time it is when he was Anakin Skywalker. He sees his mother, Owen and Beru, and Padmé. All of the people he lost. Note at the end of all these flashbacks they all end in solid red. This brings out a rage in the dark lord and he ignites his light saber, ready to inflict rage on anyone he sees that caused his son to be weak. He knows this place has long been abandoned. Vader and Zed 67 then find the head stones of Cliegg and Shmi. We see another flashback of Anakin, on his knees in front of his mother’s grave. As they are standing there, an Imperial speeder begins approaching. One of the lieutenants is on his way to inform Vader that they have received some transmissions for him. All of a sudden, the speeder explodes into a burst of flames. It looks like the bandits we saw earlier have found the ship they saw. Unfortunately for them, they don’t know whose ship it is.
The bandits think they have eliminated everyone below, when they see a black figure emerge from the flames. They take an aggressive approach and fly their ship directly at the figure. Vader uses the force and destroys the top engines on the bandits ship. The bandits open fire on Vader, but he makes quick work of them. They never had a chance.
We then shift to Coruscant. Vader and his crew have made their way to Senator Padmé Amidala’s old apartment. Vader and Zed 67 go inside and begin looking around. Vader knows almost no one knew that she was pregnant. Zed 67 informs Vader that the security recordings for the time period after her death are missing. As they continue to look around, the droid finds a tiny scout transmitter on the wall. Someone has been watching the apartment.
The last planet of this issue is called Vendaxa. We see a small building being attached by some local squid looking creatures. Inside the building, a Gungan informs its commander that they are being attacked. Vader enters the building and slices down everything in his path. As he is taking everything down he looks over and sees the impossible. Padmé stands before him with a blaster drawn.
Review and Rating
This was an emotional and extremely interesting first issue of this series. I love the time period in which this story is taking place. As we all expected, Vader is on a trail of revenge and will cut down everyone who is in his way. It is expected but somehow is always interesting. I find the way that he is almost indestructible to be fascinating in these stories. But lets get to the crazy part: No way Padmé is still alive right? It has to be a clone or something. I was completely shocked when I read this for the first time. I can say that this series already has me hooked.