DARTH VADER #4
Anakin Skywalker proves that hate triumphs in DARTH VARDER #4 from Marvel Comics. Writer Charles Soule saw Vader pushed to his limits only to fall at the end of issue #3, now he is truly angry and anger leads to… well, you know how it goes. With his body broken at the bottom of the mountain Darth Vader harnesses his rage to rip apart a droid and repair his damaged cybernetic limbs with the power of the force. This is a brutally awesome scene that shows just how powerful the dark side can be. As Jedi Master Infil’a plots his escape he is yet again confronted by the foe he thought he had vanquished. The weakness of the Jedi is demonstrated as Vader defeats the Jedi Master by endangering the lives of the populace. With conquered lightsaber in hand Vader finally sees the how power can truly be gained by using the lives of innocents as pawns in the greater scheme.
Both volumes of Darth Vader have been extremely strong since the Marvel take over of the license but there is something raw and ruthless about this incarnation from Charles Soule that I absolutely love. He is like untempered steel, slightly more fragile but incredibly volatile and over confident. I have always loved the character of Darth Vader and even felt remorse for him when I was a young child so seeing him in this untested state while he is learning the extent of his powers brings me pure joy. When he knows he is physically outmatched he pulls a trick out of the Emperor’s playbook and bends the masses to his will. Palpatine used the fear of the populace to gain control of the galaxy and Vader uses the Jedi’s desire to protect that populace against him. Once his control over the force was distracted the battle was lost and Vader could claim his prize.
The pencils from Giuseppe Camuncoli continues in its excellence. This issue above the others stands out as the dialogue is rather sparse thus leaving the art to tell most of the story. The entire sequence of Darth Vader rebuilding himself was done without words yet tone and pain were easily conveyed to the reader. The quest to build his Sith lightsaber is almost complete and I am eagerly looking forward to the next issue to see what happens. Filling in the gaps in Vader’s past is something I have been wanting to see for a long time, it is a time period completely left out of all movies and TV shows and I am glad it has found a home in comic book form with such a talented creative team.