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Star Wars: Darth Vader #25 Review

4 min read

“No Calm Before the Storm”

Creative Staff:
Story: Greg Pak
Art: Raffaele Ienco
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VCs Joe Caramagna

What They Say:
The Dark Lord of the Sith relentlessly tracks a corrupt Imperial governor. But is Vader still driven by his quest for order – or has his encounters with shades from the past awoken new motivations? Meanwhile, few figures in the galaxy are more different than Sabé, handmaiden of Padmé Amidala, and Ochi of Bestoon, assassin of the Sith. So when they’re forced to work together in Vader’s ambit and the knives inevitably come out, who’s still standing at the end? And what will that lonely soul have to say when Vader returns?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The current storyline is one that certainly makes a lot of sense to be happening amid other events between films and but it’s also feeling like it’s eating itself with all the characters involved. Greg Pak has made it interesting to see how it flows thanks to those that are aligned around Vader, such as Ochi and the various people working with Valance, which offers some solid variety. Raffaele Ienco returns back to the book with this issue and we get some solid stuff with the cast involved and just the way he handles Vader using the Force. Just the overall style of movement and intensity works well and Lopez’s color design also works really well, especially in the more Imperial aspects of this installment, making for a solid design overall.

As much as I do enjoy this storyline I really can’t wait until Ochi gets himself killed. And he has to at some point as he’s pushed so far past the point of usefulness for Vader and is such a loud character that I can see plenty of Imperials wanting to take him out. The main thrust moving events here is the Governor and her plan to cement power here even though she’s on the run from Vader. She’s managed to make some escape at the moment, which comes almost at the cost of a ship and most of those on it, but Vader’s only able to hold it for so long as it has a lot of power behind it – unlike when he held back Obi-Wan’s ship over a decade prior. It works well to give the Governor a small victory at the moment and reorient Vader to figuring out where she is next and to see more toward that goal.

Vader’s trip to the Governor’s Star Destroyer is fun as he’s able to seize command of it fairly effectively and that helps to point him toward the right direction – while basically holding them all hostage at the same time thanks to Piett. What we get playing out alongside this is Sabe and her team figuring out how she’s drawing the energy from the world with it being a kind of manually generated sandstorm. That’s something that later has Vader making a particular comment about sand, but it’s also a plain and visible target at last that gives everyone something to focus toward instead of just someone. It works well in seeing Sabe in charge here, and amusing with the Stormtroopers following her, but you really just want her to drop Ochi with a single shot every other panel.

In Summary:
While I am enjoying this arc I do find that it needs to be finished up sooner than later and to move on to something that feels more meaningful. I like seeing Sabe and her involvement in things but it’s leaning a bit too much into the prequel stuff that’s a real reach, such as Kitster being here and having an actual pod racer that Vader is going to use to deal with the machine problem. It’s not bad per se but it’s just too obvious when there needs to be more subtle approaches to using this kind of stuff. Ienco’s artwork helps to smooth over a lot of things for me as he delivers a great look and feel for the characters and especially the action, especially reading this one after the end of the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 25th, 2022
MSRP: $3.99