Review: DARTH VADER #16

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DARTH VADER #16
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 10, 2016

Lord Vader: throwing down attitude, crushing rebellions and taking names.

Kieron Gillen’s excellent interpretation of one of the greatest characters of all time continues with issue #16 of the series, taking readers past the events of Vader Down and ushering in the next arc of the series. Aphra is still captured by the Rebels and the Emperor has a new mission for the Lord of the Sith: crushing a rebellion that has the potential to derail the Imperial war machine. I like this story angle and the players involved, as adding in messy details like politics to the raw crushing power Vader wields gives this tale a lot of complexity. He can’t just hammer and slice everything in this problem, which gives Gillen an opportunity to show readers Vader the tactician. Vader’s constant challenge of staying ahead of his rivals within the Empire while also keeping his own machinations dealt with is a great ongoing thread for this series and it strengthens this story a lot.

What impresses me the most about Gillen’s writing is how well he captures the personality of Vader. Larroca handles the physical presence of the character, but Gillen excels at making Vader only speak when it is absolutely necessary. There are no long speeches, monologues or even a single wasted word. Vader says only what is required, and that makes his words extremely powerful.

Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado bring power to the visuals as well, working in tandem with Gillen’s scripting to make sure the Dark Lord is powerful at all times. While Gillen is skilled at not being overly verbose with Vader, it is Larroca and Delgado who sell his powerful silence. With no facial expressions to speak of, Larroca and Delgado can convey a ton of emotion and language for Vader, which is no easy feat. The artwork from the pair is solid from start to finish, and I very much feel the synergy between the pencils and colour work with Darth Vader #16. Larroca’s pencils are sharp, but without Delgado’s strong colour work Vader would be missing a ton of definition which is key to the character. The two compliment each other’s work nicely, and this is well crafted issue on the art front.

Darth Vader #16 is an entertaining comic, ’nuff said. This creative team handles the iconic Lord of the Sith very well and I’m excited to see where they take this storyline with issue #17.

The Verdict: 8.5/10

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