It’s comic book day again, my friends, and I’m excited for this one because I’m enjoying the new Darth Vader series and I’m pumped to see where it goes. If the comics are any indication, I guess I’m a much bigger fan of Darth Vader than I’d ever thought…come to think of it, his scenes in Rogue One are some of my favorite as well (for good reason, I mean, c’mon, he’s a force [tee-hee] when he’s on screen), so maybe in my old age I’m growing to appreciate wanton disregard for life when it stand between him and what he wants…or I just like a badass villain in sick, black armor that wields a glowing red sword (well, except in this series…so far…) and uses magic…let’s go with that one, makes me sound more stable…anyway, on with the show!
Darth Vader #4
So Vader’s been defeated by Infil’a and tossed unceremoniously (well, quasi-ceremoniously – everything Infil’a does seems somewhat ceremonious…if that makes sense) off the mountaintop Jedi fortress where lands on a rocky outcropping…right next to the droid that he most definitely unceremoniously tossed off himself (saw this coming). In a really cool grid of twelve panels, we see the droid sort of taunting Vader about how the light will always win, blah, blah, blah, and then we see Vader’s view through his helmet, the left side of which is no longer functioning, and he lifts the droid and shatters it with the Force, causing the pieces to rain down upon him. Vader then goes about repairing himself with the pieces of the droid. Meanwhile, we see that Master Infil’a has come down from his perch to once again enter the world. He goes to Am’balaar City, which is incredibly stupidly built on the dry side of a huge dam (I mean, it’s cool and all, and I get that it could probably use the hydro energy to power the entire city, but it still seems like a poor location). Infil’a walks in on a couple tholothians in what looks to be a mechanic shop, and we find out that they’ve been keeping his ship there since he arrived some years ago. They have a little chat about the fate of the Jedi and how they were marked as traitors, and Infil’a says he needs his ship asap…but, of course, his ship needs a tuneup since it’s just been sitting there forever. While all of this was happening, Vader was replacing his missing leg with the droid’s (called it – though that was a pretty easy one) and grabbing his fencing-style sword that electrifies and blocks lightsaber blades so he could go back to fighting Infil’a. Back with said Master, we see him doing a little Force showboating for the young tholothian, already making plans to restart the Jedi Order, when he feels Vader’s presence…he goes outside and sees the Dark Lord on top of the dam. Then, in classic badass fashion, Vader says, “You. Come.” Knowing Infil’a will rise (literally) to meet the challenge. Infil’a then tells the others to get back inside and travels up the dam meet Vader once again…and the fight is on! Infil’a gets makes a move and scores a hit. Vader looks to be outmatched, especially considering he’s not fully operational, but then three security guards come and tell the two to cease fighting immediately and that “This is critical city infrastructure! If you do not comply, we will be forced to –” This is where Vader uses his trump card: he Force pushes the three off the dam. Being a goody two-shoes Jedi, Infil’a grabs them with the Force to save them from plummeting to their deaths and drops them on a nearby roof. He tells Vader he’s a monster, to which he replies, “Yes. I am.” And promptly begins destroying part of said infrastructure so that the water will be released and destroy the city. In his effort to counter Vader’s Force destruction by using the Force himself to keep the water in check, Infil’a returns his lightsaber to his belt so he can use both hands. He tells Vader this isn’t about the people, it’s about the two of them. While he’s distracted, Vader calls him a fool and says, “Of course it’s about them” while calling Infil’a’s lightsaber to himself with the Force. Then he Force chokes Infil’a while holding him out over the city. Infil’a begs him to kill him but let the citizens live…instead, Vader unleashes the water onto the city, destroying it, while Infil’a is still alive to make sure he knows his failure was complete, and then finishes him off with the Force, allowing his lifeless body to drop into the now-demolished city below. Vader then holsters (holsters? I guess that’s what you’d call it…) what will become his new lightsaber (probably) and walks away triumphantly…and that’s that! Pretty exciting, fast-paced issue, and, to echo my earlier comment, I’m really excited to see where this series goes.
So what’d you think? Was Vader vs. Infil’a, round two, everything you thought it would be? Do you think Vader essentially losing to Infil’a twice makes Vader look weak? Do you think Vader cheated by distracting the Jedi in order to win (I mean, this is kind of a Sith thing, right? Think about how Dooku escaped Yoda by making him choose between capturing him and letting Obi-wan and Anakin die, or saving them and letting Dooku escape…)? And what do you make of the “Next Issue” page showing the shattered lens of Vader’s helmet (that was the lens that wasn’t working in the issue, which is interesting)? Give the book a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or the next time you’re anywhere near a dam you best be on your guard…TWS out.