The debut issue of the series ended with a shocker, Darth Vader facing down Padmé Amidala. Though we saw her die, there she was, alive and well. Star Wars: Darth Vader #2 doesn’t keep the mystery going long and the explanation is pretty obvious. But, the comic continues to excel at exploring Vader’s motivations and close up a nagging question from the prequels.
Writer Greg Pak delivers a solid second issue that delivers some action but mostly focuses on Vader. Through flashbacks, we get the sense of an individual torn by his history and haunted by it as well. There’s an overarching familiar tone to the comic. Pak presents Vader as a looming ghost stalking faux-Padmé. There’s an infusion of the familiar slasher/horror trope of the slow plodding killer hunting down his victim. It’s a genre infusion that I’ve yet to experience in Star Wars. It’s also an interesting mix for a universe whose various recent releases have reached out more to other genres to explore the familiar world.
Raffaele Ienco‘s art is key for the issue. Star Wars: Darth Vader #2 uses similar visual queues as the first issue. It bounces between Vader’s memories and the current situation. Neeraj Menon‘s colors are important for that. Vader’s memories are shown in red giving us a cold but angry perspective. We see the world and memories through his eyes. Literally coloring our view of his world. We get to see his perspective and how it has warped his mission. It makes his motivations understandable as the reader. But, it also doesn’t justify them since we know it’s a false viewpoint.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #2 is a solid second entry that continues Vader’s quest. What’s interesting is it also seems to address the open question of who knew about Padmé’s death? Star Wars: Darth Vader #2 has interesting implications about information and how it’s wielded and controlled in the Star Wars universe.
Closing unanswered questions while adding depth to Vader, it’s a series that expands Marvel’s positive mark on the world of Star Wars.
Story: Greg Pak Art: Raffaele Ienco
Color: Neeraj Menon Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review