Target Vader #5 Review

by Ellie J. on November 13, 2019

Author: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Cris Bolson, Roberto di Salvo, Marco Failla
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Target Vader continues along the path to Empire Strikes Back with #5. In the previous issues, Beilert Valance and a group of other bounty hunters were hired by the Hidden Hand (the Rebellion masquerading as a criminal syndicate) to assassinate Darth Vader. Most of the bounty hunters were killed immediately in the following battle, due to being sold out by Dengar, who was secretly working for Vader. Valance was captured last issue, and this issue continues the story with his interrogation... a few pages after the issue starts, that is.

Previous issues also had flashbacks to Valance's past, and this issue is no different. This time though, the flashbacks were actually really good. After a year of hyping it up, we finally see how Valance got the majority of his injuries. We already saw him lose his eye in the Han Solo: Imperial Cadet miniseries, but this issue shows how he lost his arm and legs. Turns out, he was at the Battle of Mimban (Yes, the same one from Solo: A Star Wars Story), and was blown up by a giant blaster bolt. It's a really cool connection that ties Solo to the rest of the Star Wars universe even more.

Back in the present, Valance is interrogated by Vader. He doesn't give up any information about the Rebels, and soon manages to escape. He nearly does it, but Vader was ready for him. Vader takes Valance back to Chorin, his home planet, and he finds the graves of everyone he knew. Then, Target Vader has one last plot twist before the final issue: (Spoilers ahead obviously) Vader recruits Valance back into the Empire, and gives him a mission to lead the Rebels posing as the Hidden Hand right into Vader's trap.

This issue was really good. I wasn't really into the series at the start; the bounty hunters were all pretty boring (Except Valance and Dengar), and the flashbacks weren't very interesting. But this issue really kicked things up a notch, and I loved every page of it. The story is starting to lead up to Empire Ascendant (albiet without the Destination: Hoth banner that other Star Wars series are getting), and the art from the three artists is really good. I'm super-hyped for the final issue next month!

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