Sunday, March 20, 2016

Darth Vader #14 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

We're in part 4 of the "Vader Down" event, but the momentum unfortunately stalls a bit in this issue.

It's not to say that stuff doesn't happen.  Luke, Han, and Chewie find themselves face-to-face with Black Krrsantan as he presumably seeks to claim the bounty on Luke.  However, Han sends Luke to save Leia after they hear her on the comlink ordering all fighters to her position, intending to sacrifice herself to take out Vader.  To complicate matters further, Commander Karbin arrives on the scene, ordering his troops to find Luke.  At this stage, his goals aren't completely clear (other than getting to Luke).  For example, he takes out a Y-Wing on arrival, even though he seems to be helping Vader in doing so.  (The Y-Wing was part of the group going to bomb Leia's location.)  However, Karbin later claims that Vader's fate isn't relevant to him, since if he dies or survives Karbin wins.  (I'm not really sure how he thinks that he's got that sort of advantage on a guy like Vader, but we'll see.)

But, the issue as a whole lacks the emotional punch that you'd expect at this stage.  Gillen doesn't really have the time to focus on Luke's attempt to get to Leia in time to save her, so it doesn't feel as desperate as you'd expect it to feel.  (It's almost like he's seen "Empire Strikes Back" and knows that Leia survives.)  Similarly, Leia's confrontation with Vader is incredibly brief:  she just threatens him and flees.  It's not a terrible issue, but it definitely feels like Gillen is stalling for time to make it to six issues.

** (two of five stars)

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