Darth Vader (2020) #3 Review

by NumidianPrime on August 01, 2020

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Raffaele Ienco
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel

After a trageically long wait, this week saw the release of the third issue in Greg Pak's new Darth Vader run. In the aftermath of his fateful encounter with his son Luke, Vader finds himself on the hunt for the peple responsible for his son's upbringing. The trail leads him to Sabé, his wife's old handmaiden and protector, and the two of them set course for Naboo to continue their investigation.

This series has been by far the biggest surprise out of the current lineup for me. When it was initially announced, I had very low expectations. It's the third ongoing run focusing on the character in the last five years, not to mention miniseries and other appearances, so it didn't feel like there was much more that could be done with the character, but the series has been increasingly showing its potential with each passing issue. 

At the end of every issue so far, I've thought about places the series could go and dismissed the ideas as too outlandish, only to be proven wrong when the series goes even further beyond those ideas. This issue especially goes far further into connections than I was expecting, both to the prequel era and certain Expanded Universe elements. 

A lot of the elements of the series are the kinds of things that we've seen in previous Vader stories, both in terms of literal things that appear or happen and in terms of arcs and broad ideas, but the series manages to put enough of a new spin on them that it feels like an original and necessary story to be told, which is about the most you can hope for from a character with more than 40 years of history. Managing to create a story that feels like it adds something to his arc is an achievement in itself, and it does feel like it adds to his arc. This is a very different time period for Vader than in most of his other stories, and the plot can take him to places that he definitely could not go in other eras.

Ianco's art is engaging and captivating. It never took me out of the story and it did a very good job capturing various locations on Naboo that are ripped right from the films. It was almost surreal at times to see aspects of different eras mixed together in a new way.

I am far more invested in this series than I expected to be, and I'm finding that I can't wait to see both where the next issue goes and where the series in general goes. This issue had twists and turns that I very much was not expecting and I don't know where the series could be going next in the big picture. I'm worried about some of my favorite characters whose fates are up in the air and I'm very interested to see where Pak ends up taking this series in two or three arcs from now. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside