Comics from a Galaxy Far, Far Away 02: Darth Vader
A lot of people joke about this, but it’s no less true: Darth Vader is just a freaking middle management lackey, and this makes the whole idea that the property is one of the scariest, most powerful movie villains of all time just a tad less credible. In fact, it got me wondering how almost everyone in the world started to think that Darth Vader was this imposing boss man when all the property really was, was that brooding weirdo everyone in the office made fun of behind their back. So, when I read Marvel’s Star Wars: Darth Vader’s first volume, entitled The Imperial Machine, I was more than happy to find out that the depiction of the property in that series was true to its core. It didn’t portray Vader as some unstoppable force that chokes the shit out of anyone and anything that crosses his path; it showed a Darth Vader whose only words are “yes” whenever Darth Sidious tells him to do something.

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Don’t get me wrong, though: I found the first volume of the Darth Vader series to be a very enjoyable read. Yes, it’s given that Vader, in reality, answers to someone (well, to select group of people, really, depending on whether that certain someone decides to demote him or some shit), but what makes this series such an enjoyable read is how the property was portrayed as something that is less than perfect.
To be clear, the Imperial Machine storyline revolves around the point in time of the Star Wars universe where the Empire has just taken a huge blow when Luke Skywalker and the rebel alliance ejaculated some hot laser right into the Death Star’s gloryhole. As such, Darth Vader is not in good standing with his surrogate, pasty asshole of a surrogate dad. What happens next is a series of events that shows there is more to being a proper Sith lord than just lightsaber skills, force chokes, and being an overall douchebag to your fellowmen; Vader shows that with the way he put Palpatine/Sidious’ lessons to good use.

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Come to think of it, reading this volume will make you realize what the most powerful weapon of the sith really is: expert manipulation. Of course, there’s also how we see Vader’s character become more fleshed out and evolved, but those points are as obvious as saying that the name Luke starts with the letter “L”.
Then, of course, there’s Salvador Larroca’s art (and since I haven’t mentioned it, Jason Aaron penned this volume), which I initially found a bit lacking until I realized how awesome he was at drawing space operas. Draw some shitty superhero doing poses that make their dick bulge pop out, this guy did not. And it just made the Darth Vader series all the more enjoyable. So much so, that fill-in artists that came in succeeding volumes just felt wrong.
In any case, I highly recommend you pick this book up if you haven’t yet. Also, I hope the publisher retires the Aphra character. More on that soon.
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