Another week of me making sad faces because this comic does NOT pick up from that awesome Vader Down cliffhanger but I shall quickly change that sad face into one of glee because this issue of Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen and Leinil Yu has EVERYTHING. It has a brand new royal court! It has the Murder Bots! It has Vader getting to be badass and ruthlessly efficient! Truly, this is New York’s hottest club.
Vader travels to Shu-torun, a planet both rich in ore and noble court traditions in order to emphasize the power of the Empire. His guide and escort upon reaching the planet is the youngest princess, Trios, who stands to inherit no major position upon her father’s death. Meanwhile, the Murder Bots are sneaking around trying to complete their own mission, which will, unsurprisingly, probably end with blood.
I can truly say without reservation that I loved this issue. According to Gillen’s social media, this Annual serves as a lead in of sorts for the next story arc after Vader Down concludes which is, in itself, intriguing. Plus, it’s hard to turn down an issue in which Vader gets to just destroy people who stand against him. But what I really really loved about this was the royal court and traditions of Shu-torun. What’s not to love about a court where formal wear involves glowing things on your fingertips? I love that we’re getting to see not only more new planets but also new planets that have monarchies.
Princess Trios is an interesting character. As Vader himself notes, she’s “admirable” and the issue certainly sets her up to have a future role in the Star Wars galaxy along with an intriguing dynamic with Vader.
Oh? And that gift that Vader brings to the Royals of Shu-torun? Stone. Cold. Cruel.
Vader Annual gets a hell yeah! on my scale of enthusiasm along with a strong recommendation that you read it.