Star Wars: Darth Vader #37 Review

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020) #37

Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Raffaele Ienco

Color Artist: Federico Blee

Cover Artists: Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

A great wave of chaos is underway. Following the aftermath of the Crimson Dawn event, two things occurred: Darth Vader’s control of the Force was unstable, and a new threat was unleashed onto the galaxy. As Vader went on a mission to find the means to stabilize his control of the Force, the new threat has been corrupting droids across the galaxy and has made its way to Vader’s flagship, The Executor. Read Star Wars: Darth Vader #37 to see the third part of the Dark Droids events unfold.


So, this is the third part of the Dark Droids storyline, and it is the one with the most action so far that displays the potential of this new threat in the Star Wars galaxy. I have plenty of thoughts about this issue and this run as it is, and this issue kind of shows the potential strengths as well as the faults and how it has veered so far from said potential. This review will have some SPOILERS but not too many.

Following the events of the Crimson Dawn crossover event, Darth Vader’s control of the Force has been in flux for a handful of issues and he recently found the tools to help regain his control again. In the process he gained a new personal droid army, but now the new threat has taken the opportunity to possess most of Vader’s droid army and turn them against him and his flagship The Executor. On the other hand, the comic has Vader and some droid servants aiding him in his steady return to regaining control of the Force again, and this comic has both storylines naturally converge together.

I said before that this comic displays some of the promise that this Darth Vader run could have and that’s with the setup it has. The way the droids are possessed, the method of how they’re established as a threat is similar to that of a zombie story but with robots as they massacre the human crew on The Executor until there’s only the bridge crew left. At the same time, Vader has to rely on his new tools, what few droids he has at his command, and his steadily returning powers of the Force to fight this threat. The art, the writing, the pacing, it’s all on point in this comic for the most part.

What keeps this comic from being great is several things. Firstly, the constant callbacks to popular, or at least well-known, moments in the Star Wars films has been way overdone in this series. As readers know, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are on the cover solely because they show up in flashbacks which are used for exploring the emotional aspects of Darth Vader in this run. The problem isn’t the idea in itself, there have been some issues with great moments that sync with some situations Vader found himself in. But it’s been overused far too many times throughout this run that it’s holding it back rather than elevating it.

Second is the dialogue from the droid characters. The previous issue was clearly a massive callback to Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series, as shown by the appearances of Triple-0 and Beetee-1, evil imperial droids who served Darth Vader in that run. What made them work was the defined personalities that contrasted with each other and how they actually contributed to Vader’s missions, but droids Zed and all the rest are just annoying cannon fodder who don’t go away soon enough mostly because of Greg Pak’s dialogue for droids. He always tries to make them cooky and eccentric but most of the time they come off as annoying or insufferable which makes their sudden deaths fine.

The last problem is a bit of a personal nitpick, so you can skip this next part if you want and just head to the “Final Thoughts” section. But it tackles the unrealized potential I mentioned earlier.

Still here? Great. So, one of the initial selling points for this run was the idea of Darth Vader working with the new Dark Troopers that debuted in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as part of his personal squad. Greg Pak even wrote a short story in a Star Wars anthology comic – starring the same squad of Dark Troopers who would serve Vader – show how cool, deadly, and unconventionally efficient they could be. But we never got any of that promise in this run. In fact, Pak just abandoned the idea before the halfway point in this run and kept falling back on the bumbling Ochi and annoying droids for his supporting cast, when we could’ve gotten Dark Troopers as actual characters to fight beside Darth Vader. Again, it’s a personal nitpick I wanted to get off my chest, so it doesn’t take any real points off for the score.

Final Thoughts:

Star Wars: Darth Vader #37 Preview

Star Wars: Darth Vader #37 is the third part in the Dark Droids crossover event. This issue actually shows how dangerous this new galactic threat could be as imperial droids are possessed and start mowing down the Imperials on The Executor, meanwhile Vader uses whatever he has on hand to fight this new threat. The writing and art are good and the setup with this new threat is solid as it gives the comic a sort of zombie story vibe to it. However, the dialogue of the annoying droids and the overuse of flashbacks to well-known scenes in Star Wars films and TV shows are a little excessive in this comic.


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