Story: Dennis Hopeless Hallum
Art: David Lopez, Javi Pina
Colors: Muntsa Vicente
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
What They Say:
THE STAR-CROSSED LOVER! DARTH VADER, a name that strikes fear in the hearts of countless across the galaxy…but there is one lonely heart that beats just for him. What is it like to be in love with LORD VADER? And what fate will befall one who is infatuated with the tall, dark mystery behind the mask?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The first couple of issues of this run have been a bit of a mixed bag but there have been interesting aspects to explore with a Vader anthology book. With this issue, Dennis Hallum has found a story that works really well for me and also clicks in a big way thanks to David Lopez and Javi Pina’s artwork. The cold harshness of the Empire is a big part of the draw visually of everything Imperial but bringing in something softer and romanticized contrasts it well and provides a different way to view things that you might not have before. It also delves lightly into some interesting story ideas and the whole romanticization and idolization of Vader that comes from someone (who used to be) mysterious and is genuinely powerful.
With this story, taking place when the Death Star was in existence, focuses on Vader coming into it for repairs and cybernetic work done by the doctor that works on him. Well, that’s not true. That’s the trapping for all of this. The real story is the nurse that assist the doctor everywhere but in the actual procedures. She’s completely smitten by Vader and has such a fascination with him while never really speaking or being acknowledged by him that she’s experiencing quite a number of fantasies about him. It’s delightful watching her so enthralled by him with her big eyes, the softness and roundness of her design, that all makes it clear just how far gone she is. That she collects things that are left behind from the surgeries and repairs like bits and bolts and blood is disturbing to be sure, and when she gets his torn cloak it’s even worse.
But just seeing him through her eyes, her powerful wounded warrior that protects her and that she can protect is just beautiful. Lopez has some stunning panels and pages showing these alternate views that are like Knights and Maidens kind of material that sells it powerfully. The near-painted looks just adds even more to it as Munsta Vicente delivers panel after panel. And as much as I love these dream pages that shows her view of him, Vicente does some gorgeous color work on the rest of the book with how the death star looks but also just the color design for the nurse. It stands out amid all the other things we’ve seen but fits perfectly and draws you to her and her expressiveness in each and every panel.
With a couple of books in hand that were interesting but didn’t feel like they quite came together well, the third installment of Dark Visions delivers from start to finish. I do wish the nurse had been named as she deserves to be remembered as this is a great story for showing how even the most disturbing of people can be idolized and romanticized by someone. Hallum’s story is very well-paced with some great inner monologue material that’s contrasted by how she has to act in public. But the artwork just takes everything up several notches, from the normal material to the dream sequences that elevate the whole thing into something magical. I’d love to see more of things like this from time to time.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: April 24th, 2019