Darth Vader #6 REVIEW

Darth Vader #6
Marvel Comics

Written By: Charles Soule
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks By: Cam Smith
Colors by: David Curiel

Not even Darth Vader expected the Imperial Inquisition when he returned from his deadly mission to take a lightsaber crystal from a Jedi. Evil never rests and the Emperor immediately had new plans for Vader in this stunning series set shortly after the events of Episode III. The artwork continues to provide a visual feast for my eyes as every facet of Ex-Anakin’s new and bleak existence comes to life in each panel. I still can’t get used to the cartoonish look of the Emperor, but this issue was on point for seamlessly introducing the first chronological appearance of the deadly Inquisitors from Star Wars: Rebels.I’ve called Soule’s work on the 2017 run of Darth Vader the “true sequel to Revenge of the Sith”. In keeping with that same spirit, Soule has now shifted into a powerful prequel for Rebels. Palpatine still plays the ultimate puppet master in his endeavor to both secure his Empire and train his more-machine-than-Sith apprentice. The issue continues to do justice and stay true to the roots of the Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker mythos by revealing Vader actually engineered his own armor. It’s an excellent callback to a former life that is becoming more of a distant echo in the mind of Vader as his journey on the path of the Dark Side progresses rapidly with each issue. No matter how evil the former junkyard slave becomes, he’s still good at fixing things.

I’ve called Soule’s work on the 2017 run of Darth Vader the “true sequel to Revenge of the Sith”. In keeping with that same spirit, Soule has now shifted into a powerful prequel for Rebels. Palpatine still plays the ultimate puppet master in his endeavor to both secure his Empire and train his more-machine-than-Sith apprentice. The issue continues to do justice and stay true to the roots of the Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker mythos by revealing Vader actually engineered his own armor. It’s an excellent callback to a former life that is becoming more of a distant echo in the mind of Vader as his journey on the path of the Dark Side progresses rapidly with each issue. No matter how evil the former junkyard slave becomes, he’s still good at fixing things.

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The highlight of this issue is the introduction of the Inquisitors. Fans of Rebels are well acquainted with the villains from the Disney XD show and especially the Grand Inquisitor (voiced by Jason Isaacs). The show already revealed the Inquisitor was once a lightsider, but at this point in his story, he’s fresh off his tenure as a drone of the Jedi Order. The Grand Inquisitor (Are we ever going to learn his name?) and Vader face off in a thrilling lightsaber battle that happens so soon after Vader’s last adventure he hasn’t even had the time to personalize his lightsaber hilt to the classic “dark shroud appearance”. These details make the fight even more impactful and the reader can see how much Vader has already grown as a Sith in such a short time after his trial in the last arc.

This issue is going to be the start of something wildly entertaining and deliver the fans something they’ve always wanted to see. The Jedi Master of half-truths, Obi-Wan Kenobi, told us in 1977 that Vader hunted down and destroyed the Jedi. After Episode III, we learned the clones did the heavy lifting in Order 66. Fans of the Dark Lord have felt cheated for years. Wasn’t it Vader who killed the Jedi!?

Now, with the Inquisitors at his command, the true Jedi Purge begins. And it turns out, Palpatine didn’t want to kill all the Jedi, just the ones he couldn’t twist to his means. It appears that ALL the Inquisitors were actually former Jedi in some regard and there are more Rebels cameos in the end of the issue from the Seventh Sister, Fifth Brother, and Eighth Brother. These particular Inquisitors all appeared in the Season 2 finale of Rebels, as well as their Master, Darth Vader. But that story is still years away from these events.

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I welled with excitement and tears of sadism when I realized this arc begins the hunt for remaining Jedi. As Palpatine points out, only the strongest and most cunning of the Order would have survived Order 66. Vader has the task of hunting them down while babysitting Dark Side neophytes with helicopter lightsaber blades. I loved the cameos in this issue and the connection to the larger canon of Star Wars media. And I was especially excited by the last panel’s cameo. If I am not mistaken, it appeared to reveal the Jedi Librarian, Jocasta Nu, deep in hiding in a cave with a fuzzy white rodent on her leg. As a fan of the old Legends novels featuring the Young Jedi Knights, I immediately thought of Master Ikrit. Much like the Monty Python rabbit, he was tiny yet fierce and managed to survive the Jedi Purge in the Legends continuity.

Whether the future issues feature the return of Jedi Master Space Bunny or more cameos by future Star Wars characters, I am thrilled to, finally, see Darth Vader personally hunt down and exterminate the Jedi. There is very little to critique here except that I will have a hard time waiting for the next issue! In the meantime, Darth Vader #6 receives full marks from me for more Dark Side destruction at the hands of the Sith in the early days of the Imperial Era.

What did YOU think of Darth Vader #6? Sound off to me on twitter (@JSandlinWriter) Check out my podcast with @JamesGavsie on the GWW Radio network: #WhoWouldWin? https://thegww.com/category/podcasts/whowouldwin/

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