Star Wars: Darth Vader: Volume 1 painted out the big bad Sith Lord in a way that was true to his nature and removed all memory of the camp and cringy Prequels. Full of twists and turns, cameos and frantic battles, the story hooked me in from the off and delivered on a lot of levels.
Continuing on from this is Volume 2: Shadows and Secrets. I can’t wait to see if this matches the first book and throughout this review, I will be giving my full thoughts on the graphic novel.
There will be spoilers here so it may be worth skipping to the score if you want to go in with fresh eyes.
With that out the way, let’s dive into Darth Vader: Shadows and Secrets!
Returning to Tattooine, Vader learns more of his son Luke Skywalker. Replaying the battle between the boy and Boba Fett in his head we learn that he never learnt of his offspring’s location because he never wished to return to his home planet incase he would remember the good boy that he once was.
It’s absolutely outstanding subtext and beautifully paints out the psychology of the villain in a relatable way that id never thought of. We all fear to return to the past and it highlights the genius ofObi-Wann in the fact that he knew Vader was too proud to ever go back home.
From here he sets out on his mission to track down his son and throughout the book, we get cameos from infamous Star War’s Bounty Hunters, Imperial Leaders and more. It’s a great storyline to take the character on and whilst he goes on the journey of discovering his son he too learns things about himself.
Teamed with an Empire General named Thanoth, Vader spans the Cosmos hunting down Rebel Scum. Mirroring this is Vader’s secret ally: Doctor Aphra who too hunts down Rebels on her mission.
She’s nicely woven throughout the storyline and by the book’s end manages to hammer home why she deserves to be in a book of this calibre.
Vader, duplicitous as ever shields her from harm even when the Empire are hot on her tail and I loved watching him use the force in overt ways to make the death of those on her trail seem like an accident. She is almost a surrogate daughter to him and though he keeps his emotions at bay when interacting with her, you can tell something is bubbling beneath the surface, which is a credit to the artist and his ability to draw subtlety within characters.
In the end the book does very little other than provide a stepping stone that will culminate in Vader Down but it’s still an enjoyable ride for fans of the force!
Whilst not perfect, the second volume in the Darth Vader saga is a good one. Relatively short due to the crossover event that follows it, there is still a lot to like here and it leaves enough plot threads dangling for fans to want more by its final pages.
I had a lot of fun with this graphic novel and it secures a solid…