Darth Vader (2020) #8 Review

by NumidianPrime on December 19, 2020

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

This month's installment in the Darth Vader series continues Vader's trial by fire on Mustafar after he faced the Emperor's dissatisfaction and survived an encounter with the Sith assassin Ochi. Now Vader finds himself in the lair of the Eye of Webbish Bog.

I was a little more mixed on this issue than I've been on most of the other issues in the series. When the idea of an arc that elaborates on idea from The Rise of Skywalker was first revealed, I was pretty excited to find out some more about the vague details the film had given us, but so far it feels like this story has given us very few things that we didn't already know about. This criticism will be alleviated somewhat if future issues do end up providing some answers, but for now it's a little frustrating to spend an entire issue in the lair of the Eye of Webbish Bog and learn nothing about what it is, how it's related to the Emperor, how long it's been there, and why Vader never knew about it until now despite living very nearby on Mustafar. Part of me worries there just aren't answers to those questions right now and they didn't think this comic was the place to create them, and if that's the case I wonder if we would have been better served waiting for these concepts to be explored later on. 

The arc also feels a little bit stretched out. I initially assumed the arc would be broken into two halves, one on Mustafar and one on Exegol, but now it seems like we won't get to Exegol until the arc after this. It looks like the next issue might be dedicated to another whole fight with Ochi, even though the issue before this was also about one of those, and then we'll get an issue about Vader's journey to Exegol. The flashbacks to events from Vader's life during the films were an interesting aspect of the series at first but after eight issues it's starting to feel in places like it just fills up the page count. 

All of this isn't to say I didn't enjoy the issue at all, there were still a number of things I enjoyed quite a bit. I've mostly liked what this series did with Ochi's character, making him an overconfident and cocky loudmouth. Sly Moore's appearance was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed her scene with Ochi. While the flashbacks are starting to feel tired in places, they're also occasionally used to good effect. Ienco's art is as good as ever and I continue to be happy with having a consistent creative team on this series, giving it all a unique voice. 

My opinion on both this issue and the arc in general will probably be decided by how the rest of the story goes. While I am starting to get a little concerned about the overall series, I have been mostly enjoying it, so I haven't completely lost faith in it yet. I'm still looking forward to seeing what happens next and hope that I enjoy it more.

Our Score:


A Look Inside