X-Wings lose big-time in Vader-Dark Visions No. 4


Vader-Dark Visions displays the terror of just knowing Vader is near.

Mavel Comics has been pumping out the Star Wars stuff for several decades, including a reboot that relegated a bunch of canon to “Legends” status, which many fans were unhappy with. That being said, Darth Vader has remained the ominous peak of villainy that he so rightly deserves (think of the younglings!) and this five-part miniseries from writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, artist Stephen Mooney, colorist Lee Loughridge and letterer Joe Caramagna has shed some light on just how our favorite Darth is perceived across the galaxy. Vader-Dark Visions has shown us that some look at him with fear, others with lust, and some even see him as a hero, misguided and out of context though their observations may be, and the latest issue once again touches on the fear inspired by Anakin Skywalker.

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A child’s path to vengeance is laid out in Vader-Dark Visions

The last issue showed us what happens when crazy people fall in love with the Emperor’s pupil; they die. This issue of Vader-Dark Visions is about vendettas, and it starts with a young boy’s father being killed by stormtroopers as he watches, hidden yet unable to take a shot at the Empire’s foot-soldiers. This sets him on a course to bring the pain to the Empire, and years later he ends up smooth-talking his way into an X-Wing squadron, ready to deal some damage after all that time, the hate just building up inside of him. A plan is concocted to put a tracer on an Imperial war minister and follow him to a TIE fighter base, where they will sabotage the facility, striking a blow for the Rebels. As they roll up on the base, however, it is discovered that Darth Vader is on-site, supervising upgrades to his personal TIE fighter.

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Vader-Dark Visions shows how hard reputations can be to overcome

Vader hops in his fighter and starts taking out X-Wings left and right, as per usual. The squadron commander sets our young revenge-seeker up for a perfect shot at Vader by sacrificing himself, only to have the kid chicken out at the last moment, the concept of Vader looming too large in his mind. Having lost his whole squadron, he heads back to the base, where people question what happened, to which he can only reply “Vader. Vader.”

In a repeat of his childhood, he had the shot and couldn’t take it, which seems like something that will haunt him forever, except Vader and some Star Destroyers roll up and start blasting the base to smithereens, presumably killing the no-shot wonder as well. Not being able to deal with the threatening idea of evil adult Anakin Skywalker has been a twice-recurring theme in Vader-Dark Visions, and of all the perspectives presented thus far, that one resonates the most.

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Mooney’s precise art and Loughridge’s stellar coloring drive Hopeless’ story to new dimensions; the reader can really feel the fear instilled by Vader’s presence. This has been a heck of a miniseries so far, and the final fifth issue promises to be just as good as the previous four. 9/10; definitely worth the read. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.