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Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command #1 Comic Review - -

Story 8.0
Art 7.0
Total 7.5
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: 26/01/2011
Reviewer: Troy Mayes


Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command #1

Star Wars gave audiences one of the greatest villains ever in Darth Vader. The towering, imposing figure dressed in black with a penchant for Force choking people is someone you donít soon forget. About the only thing thatís been missing is a standalone comic series where Vader gets to be a bad-ass issue after issue. Dark Horseís Darth Vader and the Lost Command looks like it might be that series. 

Darth Vader and the Lost Command takes place in the murky times between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of A New Hope. It looks like it will delve into some of the psyche of Vader as he is plagued by thoughts of what his life could have been if he didnít stray towards the Dark Side. There also appears to be some tension between Vader and the Emperor and other high ranking members of the Empire as Vaderís personal goals appear to be getting the better of him. All of this is the backdrop to his latest mission, the recovering of a missing Admiral, Moff Tarkinís son, who has disappeared along with his crew in the Ghost Nebula.  

The beginning, a vision in Vaderís mind, is encouraging as it shows the series is going to try and do something different and add something to the mythos of Darth Vader, but at the same time itís easy to feel apprehensive about changing or adding to such an iconic character. Part of the allure, for me, behind Vader was the mystery of the half machine/half man. The new trilogy crushed some of that mystery and itís hard not to be concerned the same thing could happen here. That being said it is great to see Vader starring in his own series, a largely action packed series that sees Vader devastating foes before him with relative ease. In battle this is certainly the Vader of old who would scare the pants of you and make you think twice about picking up that blaster.   

Captain Shale, so far, appears to be a good addition. A competent commander, he presents a different style of battle to Vaderís all out assault with the Force. Not that you could ever get sick of watching Force powers but the two styles keeps the action fresh and I find myself wanting to know more about him. Itís also nice to see the 501st Legion back in the fold. It would be nice to see some of the 501st members expanded upon but I canít see that happening. The dialogue captures the essence of Star Wars helping it feel like it fits within the universe.  

It was a little confusing at the beginning when Vader was being pieced back together. It looked like the scene at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but then as Vader speaks to the Emperor its clear this was sometime after that event. A little time indicator would have been nice to clear up any confusion.  

Rick Leonardiís artwork is okay. At times his clone/stormtrooper designs were a little on the chunky side and the shadow technique he used is not one that I am a fan of. Leonardi uses a series of black dots in areas that are meant to be in shadow, like the Emperorís face under his hood, and at first I thought it was an issue with the printing until it appeared throughout the book. Itís a shame because Leonardi handles the different vehicles and locations of the Star Wars universe quite well and his action panels are great. It really is awesome seeing Vader deflecting blaster shots like its nothing while talking to Commander Voca and then slicing and dicing with his lightsaber. While a lot of the issue is action there are a few nice dramatic nods like when Vader looks at the female resistor who has been knocked out by Shale that goes well with writer Haden Blackmanís earlier character work.  

Obviously youíre going to need a bit of an understanding of the Star Wars universe to read this book but for those that do youíll certainly be satisfied with this look at the man in black, Darth Vader.


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