Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars Purge #0
Dark Horse Comics
Ostrander & Wheatley
In this edition of Geek Goggle Reviews From The Vault we look at Star Wars Purge, originally published in December of 2005.
When I first heard Ben Kenobi explain to Luke Skywalker how a young Jedi named Darth Vader helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi this comic book is what I pictured. When the comic book series, Star Wars Republic, wrapped up this comic was sort of tossed out there until Dark Horse launched a bunch of new Star Wars books in 2006 and 2007. This one-shot is one of the very best Star Wars comics I have ever read and is worth tracking down (and paying the inflated price) on mycomicshop or ebay.
The premise is really simple: Vader finds a nest of Jedi. However, the book is a much deeper look at Darth Vader than that. First, he disobeys the Emperor by seeking out the Jedi. Second, his obsession with Obi-Wan is the driving force and this comic puts an end to that fire. Finally, Vader is as much a created legend as an earned one.
The flipside to the Vader component are the Jedi in the book. Some of them are familiar from other Star Wars comics while others appear to be created just for this book. The Jedi can’t agree on how to proceed as their argument ranges from hiding to attacking the Emperor. One of the Jedi devises a clever ruse to lure Vader to them. The thought process being that the Emperor is too difficult to get to, but would be hurt by Vader’s death.
The comic is an epic lightsaber duel. The creativity is amazing in the book as it uses some interesting scenarios to place the characters in odd fighting arenas as Vader is clearly at a disadvantage. The book contains a lot of action in it, but is serving the larger purpose, which is to develop the theme of Vader grappling internally with his new role. Not to be underestimated, the Emperor continues to play the role of puppeteer master throughout.
Visually, this is a perfect rendition of Darth Vader. I don’t make this statement lightly. If there is a vision of Vader in comics it’s this one. The action is incredible as Wheatley juggles the placement of the cast very well. The one complaint is there are two panels where lightsaber colors seem to switch. This error has not been corrected in either the trade or the hardcover, which makes me think they are not errors but that sort of means the characters are out of place. Regardless, this is an epic comic book visually.
Keep an eye out for this book at shows or when shopping for back issues. There are two other Purge comics out there, but this is the first one and by far the best. Just look for the severed hand on the cover and you’ll know you are in for a great read.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles