Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #6 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #6Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #6 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

so far Pak has brilliantly linked the Prequels with a Vader comic set during the original trilogy, between Empire and Jedi. Now he’s linking to the Sequel trilogy, which is likely to prove controversial with some fans, but is providing much needed connective tissue to the Saga as a whole.

Returning from his quest to find out the truth of what happened to Padme, Vader is now on the receiving end of some harsh punishment from Palpatine. This essentially takes the form of him reliving his mutilation and abandonment on Mustafar. Which seems harsh, but, you know…Palpatine’s gonna Palpatine.

And then we have that last page reveal and…well…I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

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Star Wars (2020-) #7 by Charles Soule

Star Wars (2020-) #7Star Wars (2020-) #7 by Charles Soule
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ah, Tarkin, the Star Wars novel that keeps on giving…

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad comic by any stretch of the imagination, I’m just getting tired of what feel like endless call backs to the Tarkin novel, and the fact that every comic has to include a pointless reference to the High Republic right now…would probably be less annoying if the High Republic stuff hadn’t ended up being delayed until next year.

But, more significantly, I don’t really buy the Death Star’s destruction, and Tarkin’s death, as a motivation for Commander Zahra’s specific grudge against Princess Leia. It’s not like Leia was directly involved in the attack on the Death Star or even coordinated it from the ground.

Nevertheless, it was an excellently illustrated comic, and despite the issues I raised above it’s still a well written book. I guess I’m anxious to see the plot take some bigger strides in bridging the gap between Empire and Jedi. Maybe it would be nice to follow Lando in his quest to find Han for a while…?

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #4 by Alyssa Wong

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #4Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #4 by Alyssa Wong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A definite dip in quality this month as we seem to be essentially spinning wheels as we move from one plot point to the next.

The art is still lovely be the writing is lacking some of the zing I’d usually expect from this title. Hopefully things will pick up again next time.

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Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-) #5 by Ethan Sacks

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-) #5Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-) #5 by Ethan Sacks
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Well…the cover’s nice?

Other than that…well, I think all interest I had in this series drained away with #4, now I’m honestly just reading this as I’m a completionist and I have every other canon Star Wars comic.

But, really, this is bad. It’s hard to follow. The dialogue is terrible. Characters just appear out of nowhere and we’re supposed to know who they are. But we don’t. We don’t know who they are or what’s going on. It’s just a mess. And, honestly, at this point I hate Valance. He’s an obscure character from the original Marvel run someone brought back because they thought he was cool, but pretty much anyone else would be more interesting. A gonk droid would be more interesting. And having him fight Boba Fett doesn’t make him more interesting, because the only thing that would be interesting would be to have a definitive victor, and that can’t be Fett because then Valance would be dead, and it can’t be Valance because, well, they can’t kill off Fett in a comic set before RotJ, can they?

I’ve already wasted too many words talking about this comic.

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Star Wars (2020-) #6 by Charles Soule

Star Wars (2020-) #6Star Wars (2020-) #6 by Charles Soule
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was good stuff, although I have questions about how the Grand Inquisitor is here, especially after his spirit knighted Kanan in the Jedi temple in Lothal. But, you know… *waves hand* …the Force.

That didn’t mean that seeing Luke fight the “whatever the Dark Side equivalent of a Force Ghost is” of the Grand Inquisitor wasn’t cool, because it was, and I’m sure that there some kind of explanation for this. And, obviously, the call back to his death and his claim that there are fates worse than death was very welcome. I feel like we need a novel or at least a comic book mini series explaining everything about the Grand Inquisitor at some point.

Of course, Luke gaining a new yellow lightsabre leads me to the question of when, exactly, he’s going to lose it. Because we know he has to lose it before the events of The Return Of The Jedi. But I guess time will tell…

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #5 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #5Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #5 by Greg Pak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pak continues to ably chart Vader’s character development between episodes five and six.

It makes a lot of sense that his face to face confrontation with his son would have him revisiting his past and trying to deal with the fact that he is, at heart, still Anakin Skywalker and still mourning the death of his wife…a death that he ultimately caused. It’s also clear that his misplaced jealousy of Obi Wan still runs deep.

Ienco’s art also continues to be outstanding, and I really like the so-subtle-you-might-have-missed-it call back to Cloud City as he envisions himself falling down that shaft, rather than Luke, and regressing back to the child he was when we first met him as he does so. Illustrating that he sees so much of his old self in his son…just as Uncle Owen did.

Next issue promises to be traumatic and, possibly, be yet another step along Vader’s path to redemption.

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #3 by Alyssa Wong

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #3Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #3 by Alyssa Wong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It wouldn’t be Doctor Aphra without a dirty, no good, double crossing archaeologist.

Only this time it’s not Aphra…or not only Aphra…it’s pretty much everyone!

This is top notch Doctor Aphra action with great art and witty writing, which is exactly what you’d expect.

Love it.

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Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-) #4 by Ethan Sacks

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-) #4Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-) #4 by Ethan Sacks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This series just isn’t good. I gather there’s some controversy regarding the violence against women depicted in this issue. That’s probably a valid criticism, but, honestly, I it didn’t provoke much of a reaction to me because I got bored of this series long ago. The plot is incredibly muddy, to the point that this issue basically stops in its tracks and explains what’s going on for anyone who might have been mystified because, four issues in, it really wasn’t at all clear what was going on or who anyone is.

So, anyway, now the interesting, queer, person of colour character is dead, and we’ve set up a fight between Boba Fett and Valance. Yawn.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #4 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #4Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #4 by Greg Pak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To a certain extent this comic is basically just getting us form the end of #3 to the start of #5, which seems an obvious thing to say, but what I mean is that nothing hugely significant happens and we don’t really learn anything significant to the overall plot. Other than, you know, Darth Vader becomes the first person to kill a Sando Aqua Monster, proving that there truly is always a bigger fish.

The real meat of this is the people who show up, notably Ric Ollie and Eirtae, Rabe, Sache and Dorme. It just feels good to have the Prequel era so heavily referenced in a comic set during the Original Trilogy, and I love the fact that we’re seeing the entire saga increasingly being seen as one story rather than discreet and separate time periods. There’s been a tendency in the past to treat Vader and Anakin as wholly separate character when that’s obviously not the case.

Of course, the question now remains…what’s inside Padme’s tomb, and I suspect that the answer’s going to be heartbreaking, no matter what it is.

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Star Wars (2020-) #5 by Charles Soule

Star Wars (2020-) #5Star Wars (2020-) #5 by Charles Soule

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is by no means a bad comic, it just seems incredibly short. That may be down to the lack of a B plot. Even a page or two showing us what Han, Leia and the rest of the gang are up to would have gone a long way towards making this feel substantial.

It also doesn’t help that the big reveal here is, ultimately, that Vader is Luke’s father, and, you know…we’ve known that for forty years.

Reading someone else’s review I get the feeling that I should know who the mysterious lady in this issue is, given that I’ve read all the other canon Star wars comics. But, uh, I don’t, sorry. So that reveal was lost on me.

I expect this is leading to something enjoyable, but right now it’s all set up with no pay off…which is inevitably going to happen with monthly comics, and I know that these are increasingly produced with the collected trade paperback in mind…but it can lead to some unsatisfying single issues.

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