Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #5 of 5
Dark Horse Comics
Blackman & Alessio
Star Wars comics seem to be very difficult to master. Some of the classic stories are recent ones, such as Star Wars Legacy, while the bulk of them fall in this middle area that mirrors something out of Return of the Jedi. Good but not quite great. A lot of them have the feeling that we’ve seen it before, such as the second Death Star. This series is something different. It’s Vader at his coldest, but with someone besides the Emperor holding his leash. It’s a story about loyalty towards the Empire where Vader is simply a supporting player. Its choke full of surprises and it has a nice double twist of an ending. This series left me guessing but never failed to entertain me. This is something to pick up.
The book is basically wall-to-wall action. Recently graduated cadet, Tohm, with the help of the newly freed convicts, figures out a way to intercept Tarkin who is on his way towards a trap. From there, the Trojan Horse is delivered and the battle to take back Coruscant ensues.
The book makes its way around virtually all of the characters that played any sort of a role in this series. Some are cast away, almost prematurely, while others get their day in the sun and then some. The book isn’t simply Vader cutting everyone to pieces, but the ending of the battle is certainly goose-bump-raising.
Alessio takes the book in a direction I wouldn’t have thought would work artistically. The book doesn’t feel like a Star Wars book. However, when you consider that this book is a story devoted entirely to the Empire it makes sense to have the dark colors and very subtle inks over the fine lines. It has a painted, almost chalk-like effect to the book, but it still holds a ton of details. Overall, while not my preferred Star Wars style, I think the art told a good visual story.
Darth Vader comes across as a mindless order taker for much of this series. However, you don’t survive at the side of the Emperor for as long as he did, with the number of failures he’s had, without some tricks up your sleeve. This book highlights some of them while telling a unique and entertaining story. The book introduces a ton of characters and makes use of some of the under-used ones from previous comic book series. This was a terrific read in what is an instant classic mini-series.
4.5 out of 5 geek goggles