Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Raffaele Ienco
Colorist: Federico Blee
Cover Artists: Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After a devastating phenomenon known only as a “Force Wave” was unleashed in the galaxy, Darth Vader’s control of the Force has been undone. Now, his power rages out of control every time he uses it. Now the Sith Lord seeks out the one who can aid him in finding the means to regain control of his powers and himself. See as Vader recruits his old servant Doctor Aphra in Star Wars: Darth Vader #35.
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Yep, Darth Vader “recruits” Doctor Aphra back into his services with Ochi of Bestoon’s help, of course. That’s not much of a spoiler since it’s in the darn synopsis for the comic. However, there will be SPOILERS here and there throughout this review.
The comic does provide a brief explanation on the phenomenon called a “Force Wave” by Emperor Palpatine himself. It’s not that long or detailed, all readers need to know is that it was mainly caused by a machine introduced in the Crimson Dawn crossover event from earlier this year. That’s all readers really need to know about it, and that Palpatine intends to use this opportunity to further test Vader, but in an uninspired way to be honest. He does this by just hiring more bounty hunters to hunt him down, but they’re nothing special.
Now, the meat of the comic is Darth Vader and Ochi “recruiting” Doctor Aphra back into Lord Vader’s command. She’s not too thrilled about it since Vader’s threatened to kill her every time they’ve encountered each other following Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series. Now, Greg Pak does a smart move and introduces her to any new readers in a way that’s natural to the character and her recounting their shared history as a mean to try and curry favor with Vader and save her own neck just makes sense to Aphra’s self-serving nature. Vader gets right to it, he needs her to help him find a relic that would have the means to help him control the Force once more and they find trouble along the way.
Coming from the past story arcs, this one is an improvement. It helps that Greg Pak nails the personality of Dr. Aphra well since he’s been writing Ochi and other similar shady characters for a while now in this run. Another improvement is the art with Raffaele Ienco who does good work with the characters and obviously with Darth Vader and making every page with him look good when he’s stationary or in action. Ienco adds a little nice touch when visually portraying the Dark Side’s mental manifestation with red flames. And the relic that the group finds is a nice little addition for Darth Vader to use in the meantime and based on the ending of the comic, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to use in the next issue.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #35 continues with Darth Vader seeking a means to regain control of his mastery of the Force and seeks out Doctor Aphra to aid him. Greg Pak does a good job introducing Dr. Aphra and her history to readers that makes sense to her selfish character, while Raffaele Ienco makes Darth Vader look good in every page and panel, particularly when he’s in action. It’s not the most thrilling comic but it’s enjoyable and sets up more action for the this dark trio in the next issue.