by Mark Mitchell
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!
Last month when discussing Darth Vader 2, I counted the fact that Darth Vader largely remains a cipher in his own series as a core weakness in Charles Soule’s story, but with Darth Vader 3 I think I have it all wrong. It’s still true that readers looking for a deep, complex shading of Darth Vader won’t find it here, but really, who wants that in the first place? The Prequels were predicated on the audiences’ interest in “understanding” Darth Vader, and those were terrible. The world already has enough context for Vader’s actions thanks to years and years of pop culture indoctrination. Darth Vader as a mostly silent, imposing villain is optimal Darth Vader. It’s the difference between original Halloween Michael Meyers and reinvented Rob Zombie-era Halloween Michael Meyers.
Darth Vader isn’t a black hole, then, he’s an onyx mirror — the better to more brightly reflect his surroundings. It’s because Vader doesn’t have much to say as he climbs the hills of the Mid-Rim that each of Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and David Curiel’s jaw-dropping illustrations command such attention. We’re able to admire the details, in word and picture, that propel the story forward, because the issue is unburdened by needless exposition and monologue.
Mea culpa. Darth Vader 3 is the stripped down, bare knuckles Darth Vader I finally realized I needed.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?