Comic Review 176 // Star Wars Adventures: The Will of Darth Vader by Tom Taylor

Recently my kids have been getting into the Stars Wars and Marvel franchise, which is excellent. I now have a reason to read some of the comics, and while browsing the library shelves, I discovered this series that I didn't know existed.

Title: Star Wars Adventures: The Will of Darth Vader

Author: Tom Taylor

Art team: Brian Koschak (Penciller), Dan Parsons (Inker), Michael E. Wiggam (Colorist), Michael Heisler (Letterer)

Description: Darth Vader on a mission for the Emperor When the Rebellion's hit-and-run attacks on Imperial cargo ships become too audacious to be ignored, Darth Vader is sent in to find the Rebel base and destroy it. But the base, hidden in the center of a constantly shifting asteroid field, cannot be attacked directly. To reach his target, Vader will have to team up with a recently captured smuggler named Zika - and dealing with an unwilling, wisecracking partner may be more of a trial for the Dark Lord than the actual mission.

Style: Paperback, 80 pages

Publisher: Dark Horse Books


Let's get the nerdy crap out of the way. The Will of Darth Vader is set about three years after the battle of Yavin. So basically between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of Jedi. Unsurprisingly the lead is Darth Vader, and we fly around the Annamar system (no idea where that is, by the way).

Here we discover that rebel forces are doing a little too well raiding Empire cargo ships, leading the Emperor to send in Darth Vader to solve the problem personally. This leads to a chance encounter with a smuggler called Luca, who makes Lord Vader question his role within the galaxy and shows us some depth behind the villain.

The story initially reads like an action-packed tale, where you expect Vader to march in and destroy the rebel base before sitting down for lunch. But once Luca appears, the story takes a turn. We seemingly have a character who is physically threatened by Vader and isn't scared to speak his mind and question the system Vader is a part of. This unknown Luca character begins to get Vader questioning just how much free will he has, if any, or is he just a puppet to the Emperor? Unfortunately, this arc was never truly explored, and just as I felt we were getting somewhere, the action takes over once more, and Darth Vader destroys everyone.

Ultimately designed for a teenage-aged audience, I am not surprised by the safe story-telling, but I do wish they had delved deeper into Vader questioning his own role. It is an intriguing take on the character. I want to find more of this series as my kid enjoyed the nighttime retelling of the story.

Interested in adding this to your collection? Use this link to visit and purchase a copy.

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