Have we all recovered from Vader Down yet? No? It’s okay, me neither. This week, Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca take us on a brand new adventure to the planet Shu-Torun where the ore barons are rebelling and being very inconvenient for the Empire. Who else would the Emperor dispatch to deal with the situation but Darth Vader?
While it’s probably not completely mandatory, I strongly suggest picking up and reading the Darth Vader Annual before delving into this arc as it provides all of the backstory. The dynamics between Vader and Queen Trios are what really make this issue stand out to me. In a way, it’s like a mirror to the dynamic between Vader and Palpatine in that you have an individual who is used to having power and to having their orders obeyed who is then faced with a stronger individual that they must defer to. I’m curious to see how far it’s taken and how far Trios and Vader can push each other before one of them snaps.
The shift from Skywalkers to royalty is certainly a welcome one at this point in the series. It’s a nice change of pace in the book’s second year before that storyline became stale. Plus, Shu-Torun also gives the creative team a chance to expand the universe and create another monarchy for a particular brand of Star Wars nerd to geek out of.
Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without expressing A LOT OF CONCERN IN REGARDS TO THE SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF DOCTOR APHRA. (I’ve got my eye on you, Gillen. I’ve read too many of your comics to think she’s safe!)
Oh and also? The cover of this issue by Mark Brooks along with the one teased at the end of the issue is drop death gorgeous.
Darth Vader #16 is a worthwhile follow up to Vader Down and I’m excited to see where the story goes!