How do you follow up a solidly good first issue that teased at plenty of future plot points? By focusing the second issue on just one of them. Darth Vader #2 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca is out today in which the creative team does precisely that. After the disaster of the Death Star’s destruction, Vader is in disgrace and now must follow the commands of Grand General Tagge as a part of the grand plan to strike back against the Rebellion… one corvette at a time. (Spoiler Alert: Vader does NOT win Coruscant’s Next Top Model in this issue. Sorry.)
Surprisingly, this series is turning out to be very character driven which is something I wouldn’t necessarily expect from a book about Darth Vader. As proven with the previous issue, Gillen definitely knows what he’s doing with Vader but the character that really stood out to me in this issue was Tagge. (That’s Grand General, by the way, not just General.) With the exception of Palpatine, it floors me that anyone in the Empire would have the balls to speak to someone as imposing as Darth Vader like Tagge did. If you thought how Tarkin acted in A New Hope was impressive… just read issue #2. This is a characterization that seems like it will pay off further down the line along perhaps before Vader discovers more about the Rebel pilot’s identity…
On the art front, Larroca continues to draw a pretty darn good Vader. He’s got a great eye for detail that translates to not just the iconic costume but also to things like holograms or distant ships through a viewport. Also, I’m not sure who’s having more fun with all these explosions: Gillen writing them or Larroca drawing and Edgar Delgado coloring them. Artistically speaking, having Larroca on interior art and Adi Granov on covers is a winning combination for this book.
Can we start spelling poor Kieron Gillen’s name right in the opening credits though? This is two issues in a row now where they’ve gotten it wrong.
Darth Vader #2 is another solid showing from the creative team and I’m definitely excited for the next issue.