Review: Star Wars Darth Vader #28

By | October 20, 2022

The two worst characters in the current Star Wars Darth Vader run are Ochi and The Emperor. Ochi because even the few panels showing or mentioning him feel entirely dull. The Emperor, whose presence dominates the first half of this issue, completely infantilizes the character of Darth Vader in his own series.

Vader’s entire presence swings like a pendulum depending on which characters are around him in this series. The past few issues have been so interesting as he builds a relationship with Sabe who reminds him of all that Padme wanted for him. It is entirely fitting that Vader betrays her at the outset of this issue as she is forcing him to resurface memories and feelings he has thrown away in pursuit of the Dark Side.

The encounter is well done with the art by Raffaele Ienco shining here as we travel through the mind of Vader before it is shattered leaving all semblance of Anakin behind once again. The entire encounter would be so much greater if it remained with Vader’s perspective rather than having the Emperor taunt Sabe as Vader crumbles. Vader is made to be so weak in this era, it will be interesting to see if he is given some degree of his old confidence and strength at some point.

The action than moves jarringly to Skako Minor where differences are put aside too quickly and Sabe and Vader work together to represent the Empire’s interests against Jul Tambor and the Techno Union. Vader makes quick work of some creatures as Sabe discovers their side is ruthless and murdering the locals. Vader chides Sabe for denying her own ruthlessness.

The story shifts to Ochi who is imprisoned by a group of Padme’s other handmaidens out to reclaim or stop Sabe. This book is a balance of interesting character dynamics and action but Vader never seems to be a dynamic character in his own book. The supporting cast here seems designed to make him seem weaker and less decisive, a massive departure from the days with Aphra by his side.

The writing by Greg Pak has so much potential but the continued weakening of Vader’s character and determination  limits the enjoyment of this book. All of this might be purposeful given the end of Return of the Jedi, but this just feels too soon. Let us enjoy Vader at the height of his power rather than the ongoing self doubt and weakness. 

Story: 3 of 5 stars
Art: 4.2 of 5 stars
Colors: 3.8 of 5 stars

Overall: 3.5 of 5 stars

Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Raffaele Ienco
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Publisher: Marvel Comics