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The Overseer will not fail again. But what of you, Vader?
The trouble of a 1st issue is that it needs to build the setting and structure of the comic while at the same time get the readers to want to buy the next issue. Kieron Gillen and the team does exactly that, and does it well.
The comic is set after the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, in where (Spoilers…I guess?) the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon, gets blown up. Chaos looms in the galaxy, and Vader pays the price.He has failed his master Palpatine, and so loses his position to Grand General Tagge. Darth Vader gets rebuked so badly that Palpatine says “But (you) have proved yourself a blunt instrument, far better to be wielded than to wield…”
Wanting Palpatine’s favor back, Vader becomes desperate and aggressive to get what he wants; and what he wants is personal. He shows up to Jabba the Hutt a day earlier than their official meeting for the Empire to ask for bounty hunters to locate the mysterious X-Wing Pilot (whom, as the comic reveals, he already met face to face, and I’m not talking about Episode IV) & to find an agent Palpatine met. Action ensues in the palace, and Vader forces Jabba’s hand to allow his request. Being in Tatooine already, he also decides to murder a whole village of Tusken Raiders.
The 1st issue really sets up for what I think is going to be a great run. Kieron Gillen has shown that Vader is truly a force to be reckoned with and has shown Vader in a new light. Larroca’s art is stunning and draws Darth Vader so well. But it’s not without its downsides—the layout of the comics is a bit wonky and seems difficult to understand time to time. Larroca’s art feels too solid and so when the characters move, they seem to be more like statues. Adi Granov’s cover art doesn’t fail to please, and I somewhat wish he did the pencils on the series instead but Larroca will do it for me.
Final Score: 8.8/10