Comic Review: Darth Vader #8 – The Ruse and The Double Cross | FanboysInc

Comic Review: Darth Vader #8 – The Ruse and The Double Cross

By Jeff Ayers

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado

$3.99

Marvel Comics

Just as expected, the plot of Doctor Aphra employing a bunch of ruthless bounty hunters in the last issue was more than it seemed at face value. Darth Vader has some serious plans in motion in this series, as he desperately tries to hold on to the position of a feared leader he once had, before the destruction of the Death Star.

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The best part of this series is also not surprising, as Doctor Aphra has become quite the interesting character of late. But that just adds fuel to the fire behind the die hard fans of Star Wars and their complaint with these new stories from Marvel: All the characters we already know of have little or no weight in suspense because we KNOW they are going to make through everything, because they will show up onscreen in Empire Strike Back. Now while that is a valid point, I still think it doesn’t hurt the story all the time, but Doctor Aphra is the stand out star because she is new, different, and doesn’t appear in the movies. That leaves her only two outcomes from this saga: either she dies, which she has already reserved herself to that fate in the comic, or she makes it through alive, but flies off to parts unknown in space, never to be seen again. Either way, I am glad for her character at this present time, because she really helps to push the story along when it gets a little stagnant.

Gallen does another great job of writing her character, as we watch her “command” a group of bounty hunters to help her steal a bunch of money from an Imperial transport ship. They get in and out like a heist in Ocean’s Eleven, and the bounty hunters get their cut. But, telegraphed a mile away for the readers, Aphra was working with the Wookie bounty hunter, as well as her murder droids, to actually take in five times the amount of money the others thought they got. All part of Vader’s master plan, which even we don’t know all the details of yet.

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Then, the story stalls out again as Vader is put in his place by the grand general, who wants to push against the last rogue gang of criminals that threaten the Empire’s hold on the Outer Rim. Also, he wants go after the boy who destroyed the Death Star himself, after recently learning it’s his son, but that also causes the grand general to shoot down Vader’s ideas. To frustrate him further, he signs yet another companion to Vader to help him discover who stole all the money from the Empire, and I’m sure this guy will meet a fate similar to the last, considering it was Vader himself who was the thief.

The “Best There Is”: Doctor Aphra, hands down, is the best part of this book. With her murder droids mirroring C-3PO and R2D2 aside, she is a strong character that works well in this universe, and the established story points we already know as fans of the series. I hope she carries this book for sometime, but I worry along with her that her time might be short, and when Vader finds no more use for her, he will kill her. Although, he has now threatened that a few times, and I am starting to get a very Dread Pirate Roberts/Princess Bride vibe from him considering her fate. (“Good night Wesley, I will most likely kill you in the morning.”)

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: This issue gets real slow, real quick. The exchange with the minor bounty hunter characters and Doctor Aphra is interesting to a point, but has worn out its welcome now and I am happy that part is over. Also, the whole “demean Vader in front of others” trope is getting real old, and I really can’t wait of the day that Vader just lops off everyone’s head that isn’t integral to the story of Empire Strikes Back. 

FBI Score: 7 out of 10. I am still on board with the premise of this series, and the character of Doctor Aphra is what is keeping me coming back for more. But the rehash of previous storylines and slow plot points really bring this issue to a halt a few times, and I can only find so many excuses to continue buying this book.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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