DARTH VADER #3 starts off with our first look at Master Kirak Infil’a at the Mid-Rim River Moon of Al’doleem. He is the last of the ancient Jedi order who managed to a survive Order 66 by taking a type of penance, the Barash Vow, where they are disengaged from the Jedi order and live alone inside the Force. Infil’a power is obvious from the beginning. He is training fighting against his droid Arex while simultaneously assembling four Padawan traps using the Force. Writer Charles Soule uses some witty banter during the sparring match to make light of the dangers of such a difficult task.
Infil’a is keenly aware of the approaching Vader and again using the droids makes an aggressive attack lighter in tone. Soule nails the droids sense of comic timing and wit from the movies. After a quick recap from Infil’a about his Barash Vow the rest of this issue moves at breakneck speed. Vader has to meet Infil’a at the summit of a sacred mountain called Passvaal.
One thing that really stands out in this issue is that Infil’a does most of the talking and Soule keeps Vader on task and with minimal explanation. Infil’a is so powerful he can feel Vader’s darkness resonating within him and sensing that Vader took in all the pain from wiping out the Jedi order. The path to the summit of mountain Passvaal is riddled with dangerous traps and challenges growing more difficult as Vader ascends but Soule spares us a long drawn out battle to the top. Infil’a knows the challenges are useless in stopping Vader and we get right to the fight.
Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli lays out an impressive issue and in particular, this well-paced battle showing both the scope and power of both Infil’a and Vader. Infil’a knows why Vader is there as he figures out most everything from Vader’s darkness fairly quickly and accurately. All I’ll say about this fight is that even though Vader is immensely powerful we have to keep in mind that he is still new to his armor and robotics and Infil’a is one of the most powerful Jedi Vader has ever faced. Soule is going to have to balance the weaknesses of Vader’s new body and building him up toward becoming the most feared villain in the galaxy. Soule has no intention, based on this issue, of making it easy for Vader. So far the balance that’s being struck is right on target.
So far this new run of this Darth Vader title is hitting all the right notes. It’s a well-balanced look of an emerging Vader from his first steps to ultimate villain.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Official Description from MARVEL:
Vader sets his sights on a Jedi who’s avoided Order 66…a Jedi Master who’s long lived in seclusion…a Jedi more powerful than any Vader has faced before…