Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Raffaele Ienco
Colorist: Neeraj Menon
Cover Artists: Aaron Kuder and Richard Isanove
Previously, Darth Vader set out on a personal journey to discover the secrets of Luke Skywalker’s birth and upbringing on Tatooine. But by the end, he was punished by his master. Emperor Palpatine broke Vader apart and stranded him on the planet Mustafar, commanding him to rebuild himself piece-by-piece and overcome its trials without the Force. Since then, Vader bested a Sith Assassin, and survived the surreal trials of the macabre Eye of Webbish Bogg. Now he confronts a new monster within the Red Nebula as he seeks to confront the Emperor’s secrets. Let’s dive into Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 as Vader learns the route to the hidden location of the Emperor’s greatest secrets!
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Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 Review:
The comic opens with Vader and his captive companion, Sith Assassin Ochi, as he’s caught between an imperial fleet deployed to destroy him by the Emperor’s aide, and a tentacled, ebon space monster, the titular “Red Horror.” Naturally, Vader finds a way to improvise but is assaulted by waves of attack from the attacking imperial fleet and their many Tie Fighters, so the dark lord makes the only choice he can: head deeper into the Red Nebula. There the Summa-Verminoth – which gives me vibes of Marvel’s own tentacled terror Shuma Gorath – or the Red Horror, destroys the Tie-Fighters before turning its sights on Vader and Ochi.
The Emperor’s Aide best described it as the galaxy’s greatest predator, not only for its physical strength but its mental abilities. From there, the Red Horror attempts to break Vader’s mind with visions of his past, and some reflecting an inverted form of his future. The comic takes advantage of the Red Horror’s appearance, having its tentacles stretch over as makeshift comic panel boundaries as it continues its mental attack on Vader. The comic definitely makes great use the Red Nebula’s color in the comic.
Some visions Star Wars will undoubtedly recognize, with the last one stirring Vader’s wrath as he finally passes through the Red Nebula. Darth Vader arrives at his destination, crash landing on the planet Exegol in one piece. There he and Ochi discover the Red Horror followed them there, but the dark lord stands his ground and uses the Force against the monster. Ochi remarks how this breaks the Emperor’s command to not use the Force during this time, but Vader defies his master’s rule and he makes his way towards a hidden fortress on the planet.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 Review Spoilers:
Yes, this story arc is directly exploring elements of the Rise of Skywalker film. The planet Exegol, the Red Nebula, the being called the Eye of Webbish Bogg that was cut from the film. It even made Ochi, Palpatine’s assassin who killed Rey’s parents a main character in this arc. This will definitely turn some people off. I was trepidatious of this as well, but so far, I’m enjoying what Greg Pak’s doing with the material.
I enjoyed the previous issue with the Eye of Webbish Bog – which is as weird as you’d think it would be – and I enjoy what he does with the Red Horror. The visions are obvious callbacks to past moments in the films, but they had some purpose behind them. Especially the last one where we see an inversion of the “I am your father” scene from The Empire Strikes Back. Vader is losing, he even gets his hand cut off and Luke is the one facing him down. He still says the same dialogue from that scene, but it takes a whole other meaning from his new position, as if he’s pleading with his son.
Plus, the moment Darth Vader confronts and tames the Red Horror was cool to see. And if the preview is to be believed, we’ll see Darth Vader face off against the cultish Sith Eternal. All I’m wondering is how this arc will affect Vader’s dynamic with Emperor Palpatine.
This Darth Vader comic is directly digging into elements from the Rise of Skywalker film. If that doesn’t float your boat, then you might want to give it a pass until the story arc concludes. But I recommend it to Darth Vader fans who are willing to see what their favorite Sith Lord faces in this comic.