|DARTH VADER No. 5, July 2015|
When Kieron Gillen writes at the start of this comic book that a “crisis” has struck the galaxy, it is highly unlikely that the former computer games journalist was specifically referring to his interpretation of the Dark Lord of the Sith. But just reading the British author’s ‘opening crawl’ should make most readers realise just how far removed this “Marvel Worldwide” version of the former Jedi Knight is from anything which creator George Lucas ever conceived. Certainly the producer’s original motion picture trilogy never suggests that in-between films Darth Vader surrounds himself with a young teenage archaeologist, a couple of psychopathic droids, a wookie bounty hunter and “a personal army composed of battle droids from a forgotten factory on the planet Geonosis.”
Indeed the narrative to this “penultimate part of our opening arc” almost makes it impossible to reconcile any of Gillen’s narrative with official canon, even when the one-time “Warhammer Monthly” worker attempts to pay homage to the celluloid classics; such as the Sith apprentice’s “illegal boarding” of “the bad guy’s secret base”, which clearly attempts to replicate the suspense and excitement of the Empire’s firefight within the Rebel blockade runner Tantive IV.
Such difficulties are predominantly caused by the ex-music correspondent’s premise that the Emperor Palpatine is considering turning his back upon the “obsolete” Force and employing a retinue of technologically enhanced apprentices instead. Such a preposterous notion is deemed “blasphemous” by the black armoured giant. But it is much worse than that. It is downright idiotic and as foolish as the illustrations of Morit using his techno-implants to imitate closing a door using the force, and leaping away from Vader’s lightsabre using rocket boots!?!
In fact the only thing more ridiculous is Cylo-V’s entourage, which besides two Obi-Wan Kenobi wannabes, comprises of a goggle-eyed scientist, a Mon Calamari, a Trandoshan, an Imperial probe droid and more Jedi training remotes than you’d ever want to swing a laser-sword at… And Gillen would have the reader believe ‘these are the successors to the Force’ and are to replace Darth Vader as the right hand of the Emperor?
Perhaps just as befuddled as this title’s bibliophiles is Salvador Larroca, whose artwork begins well enough, with some excellent illustrations of the Sith’s battle with Cyclo-V’s humanoid security forces. But once Morit and Aiolin are introduced midway through the magazine, the Spanish cartographer’s pencilling deteriorates quite noticeably. So much so that by the end of the comic, the artist’s drawings of Vader’s replacements, especially the Trandoshan and Mon Calamari, are quite appalling.
|The variant cover art of "DARTH VADER" No. 5 by Salvador Larroca|