Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Official Description from MARVEL:
Vader’s first mission isn’t going well. The dark side is the way of power. But no one said it would be easy.
Whatever mojo writer Charles Soule took from Darth Vader last issue he certainly returns to him in spades in DARTH VADER #4. Issue #3 ended with Vader missing the lower part of him left leg and crumpled in a heap from his first encounter with Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. Soule walks a fine line with Vader making him both vulnerable and powerful simultaneously but one thing Vader does not lack is determination. Soule quickly takes Infil’a from his penance, confident in Vader’s death, and out to restore the Jedi Order. While Infil’a does all the talking Vader is all about action.
Vader’s will to get back into the fight, despite his numerous injuries, is on full display as he continues to gain power with the dark side of the force and Soule molds Vader’s self-discovery into monstrous villainy. By the end of this issue, Vader has not come off so cold, angry and heartless to obtain his goal since striking down the younglings in Revenge of the Sith. This is a straight forward mission for Vader and nothing is going to stop him, so much so, that the issue reads rather quickly. Once again, Soule keeps Vader’s dialogue to a minimum and keeps him laser focused on the outcome.
Giuseppe Camuncoli does most of the heavy lifting in illustrating Vader’s discovery of his true power and he walks the reader through it with meticulous precision. He never leaves you guessing as to what’s happening on the page even when there’s no narration or dialogue. It’s a subtle thing but really carries the weight of Vader’s struggles and triumphs.
Darth Vader #4 gets to the point quickly and with very little time spent on filler material. Vader is new to his body but his embrace of pain, suffering, and coldness is at its peak. The team of Soule and Camuncoli makes this by far my favorite current Star Wars title from Marvel and continues to grow stronger as a series each issue…just like Vader.