Marvel Star Wars Comic Review: Darth Vader No. 15

"Burning Seas: Part III"

Spoilers for Marvel’s current Darth Vader title are ahead…

So, during breakfast Saturday, and in the middle of the Star Wars hype that was last weekend, I saw this come across my feed:

I immediately slammed my head down on the table, remembering that…

  1. I hadn’t yet filed my review of Darth Vader No. 15.
  2. Darth Vader No. 16 — presumably the last of the Burning Seas arc — hits shelves on Wednesday (May 9).

Remedying some of that, I’ll simply say that Darth Vader No. 15 continues an arc that is moving slowly for me.

Image: Marvel

Yes, I believe there is a slow burn going on, but I can’t count myself among the fans who are so devoted to Mon Cala and its inhabitants that I need more than one issue. Yes, I appreciate Ackbar and Raddus. No, I am not sold on full arcs of Clone Wars and comics devoted to seafaring Star Wars. Yes, I understand that I should embrace even that which confuses me (or bores me).

Oatmeal (or in this case, fish oil) is good for you, after all…

That said, I admire the consistency of this title and that will keep the review above the three-star level.

As always, Charles Soule’s writing kept me engaged, and the art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, and David Curiel — as well as the cover by Camuncoli and Elia Bonetti —make for a fun visual palette (albeit a subdued one given its sea setting).

However, in this particular book, some panels and moments left me a little confused (Vader losing his lightsaber) or took me out of the moment (the power of the Dark Side pose, for the “I never need… rescue.”).

Also strange was Grand Moff Tarkin’s handling of Commander Jordo after the quick dispatch of Colonel Bergon. I know there’s a point to be made about the lack of concern Tarkin has for anyone beyond the Emperor, but I thought this lacked subtlety. The same could be said of the Mon Cala king’s semi-miraculous return from injury.

In any case, I expect a bounce back in the next issue, which comes out on Wednesday.


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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.
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