DARTH VADER #3
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Release Date: July 12, 2017
Plot: In Darth Vader #3, the newly knighted Dark Lord of the Sith has been set on a quest to acquire his lightsaber. As explained by his master, Darth Sidious, a Sith does not create, or build his weapon. He takes it by force, bends it to his will and bleeds it’s kyber with the grip of the Dark Side. The conundrum, is of course, with the passing of Order 66, all Jedi have been killed, or so thought, for the most part. As such, Darth Vader set himself on a quest to find one worthy of wrenching the weapon from. This lead him to the Jedi, Kirak Infil’a, who took the Barash Vow- a vow not to refrain from all activity related to the Jedi Order.
Story: The key to swiftly capturing a reader’s interest in a story is introducing intriguing characters. Master Infil’a isn’t a person we’ve ever seen before in Star Wars comics, books, movies, or otherwise, but he is an immediate attention grabber. There is a wisdom in his presence. A dosage of culture in his features (namely as his hair). He has a powerful physique, greyed skin and of course to top it all off, a really cool scar on his chest (Everyone loves scars!). He is fitting within the perfect architype of a Jedi, and his character design on both Soule and Camuncoli’s part is intensely compelling.
The choice to set Vader on a voyage to find his lightsaber, at the beginning of this arc was a great one in terms of showing character development and progression. We know that Anakin Skywalker was a powerful Jedi, but in this story we’re getting a picture of his growth in power with the Dark Side which works on an opposite wave length. While Jedi know compassion, they dismiss passion and emotion. The Sith, conversely embrace it, use the hate in their hearts to increase their power. They purposely let rage and their other intense emotions go unchecked. An example in Darth Vader #3 expresses this when Vader kills one of the fleeing Raptorans despite him already being victorious.
With Jedi Master Infil’a, the Sith is introduced to a set of trials that he needs to overcome… or rather would have if the Jedi thought him so unworthy as to have to prove himself with them. He calls off the fight and beckons the Sith to do battle with him and as expected it is no easy victory for Vader. In fact, the final pages suggest his defeat. It’s this very real struggle and conflict that I’m enjoying in this story. Most readers know that Vader is powerful, but each individual Jedi Master also had to be powerful to gain their title as well. Soule makes sure to remind us of each individual’s potential power.
Art: The art on this series is brilliant. If you don’t want to pick it up from the masterpiece that is the cover alone, I don’t know what will compel you. Between the pages Camuncoli’s line work is full of thick definitive strokes and laden with detail on every page. Cam Smith’s Inks surely add to this effect. David Curiel’s colors are vibrant with layers of shading that bring out definition in the anatomy of the characters and the landscape around them. Absolutely grade A work.
Verdict: This series is only on issue #3, but has been a treat on every page so far. With quality writing from Charles Soule and incredible art from Camuncoli and Curiel, this is a juggernaut of a team that fits the bill for a character as iconic as Darth Vader. After Vader’s fall, I’m sure all readers are curious to see what becomes of him and his fight against this estranged Jedi Master. Pick this book up and list it immediately. That goes for comics fans and Star Wars fans alike.
Star Rating: 5 out of 5