Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #4 of 5
Dark Horse Comics
Blackman & Alessio
As the Darth Vader mini-series gears up for the big conclusion I am finding this to be an instant classic and this issue has a lot to do with it. At the conclusion of the previous issue, Vader and two imperials opened up the cells to the secret Jedi prison in hopes that the freed, ex-Confederates, would help kill the Empire’s traitors. I expected to find the likes of Ventress, Savage Oppress and other characters found in the comics, books and TV show that were created only for use in those formats. Instead, Blackman creates a new set of villains that ends up making this book feel fresh. The whole comic book is entertaining and well executed. I am very excited for the finale.
After Vader lets the prisoners go, he makes them fight to the death. This brings the numbers down considerably, but it also allows Vader to only take the best of the best. Vader, himself, must fight as some of the criminals have a real axe to grind with those that carry a lightsaber where the force is with them.
The prisoners that survive are quite a cast of characters. We only get to know one or two of them but they have very unique perspectives seeing as how they have been in prison since the Clone Wars and have a lot of catching up to do on the news in the galaxy.
The book ends as one of Vader’s imperials forms a plan to take back Coruscant from the new Empire and he intends to make use of one of the newly freed prisoners in the process. We also get some insight into the feelings of the imperials towards Vader, which makes the ending of this series to have the potential for a twist.
The plot in the book is a good one and that is only assisted by the artwork. While, Alessio’s style is very cloudy, almost painted, he’s got a tremendous knack for showing expression, even on Vader. The characters that interact at the end as the plan starts to come into perspective is a perfect example of that command. This book has action and that comes across well, but it’s the deep look at the characters and their reactions, that makes this book come alive. The color scheme is very muted and that works well too for this storyline. This is a very good visual companion to the story.
The story is solid, the characters are well thought out and the action balances well with the plot. The comic book is a complete read from front to back. All of this, plus we get a decent set up for the final issue. Overall, this is a perfect Darth Vader comic book when it comes to politics. He’s there, barking out orders, but he only steps in physically when he absolutely needs to. This is an Empire comic book and a very good one at that. I definitely recommend checking this out.
4 out of 5 geek goggles