Friday, 11 August 2017

Darth Vader vol. 2: Secrets and Shadows

For this last week I've been on holiday, a nice little trip to North Wales (it's surprisingly quite nice, if rather wet) with my wife and son.

It's also a trip which has allowed me to take an iPad full of trades which I have yet to read through, with the sole intention of burning through them at the rate of one a night. I also decided that I would write about my thoughts for each one of these trades and then post them at a rate of once a week (unless something else got in the way).

So night one was Darth Vader volume 2: Secrets and Shadows

Volume two picked up from where volume one left off, with Vader having learned of the existence of his son as well as new Jedi-like weapons created by the emperor, continuing with his plans to capture the former and return to the right hand slot of the former. However, all doesn't seem that easy with his every move monitored by Grand General Tagge, the Emperor's current right hand man, while relying on the dnagerous support of Dr. Aphra and her droids.

Now I've got to admit that, despite my real love of the first volume, this second arc didn't really grab me in the same way. That's not to say that this volume was particularly different, because it wasn't, it's just that the plot felt a lot slower, with a lot more intricate parts. I think the problem with it was that now the objectives had been fully explained, these issues were kind of the planning phase of the entire, series long story arc, which I assume meant they'd be naturally slower.

That's not to say that this isn't still a good book as Gillen really writes some incredible characters which more than make up the slower story for me. Chief among them has to be, naturally, Darth Vader himself who I find to be vastly more dangerous thanks to this book than how he is portrayed over six films. I think this series shows Vader as more just a saber wielding monster but as a highly intelligent, incredibly cerebral man/machine who could, quite possibly match anyone in the galaxy in terms planning. Also, I love the two droids in this series, as both provide some great levity thanks to some incredibly gruesome and twisted humour.

But, for me, what I really love about this book is the art. I previously said how the CGS geeks keep praising Salvatore Larocca's art and after twelve issue, I'm glad to say I totally get it and am on board with those views. Larocca's art is amazing from start to finish, but I really go nuts over his depiction of Vader who he manages to draw with such menace in a face that is nothing but a mask. This alone makes me think the book was worth buying.

Like I said at the start, volume two isn't as good as volume one, but it still has enough good in it to keep me onboard. I can only hope that Vader Down doesn't cause its quality to drop further due to it being a crossover.

Well, I'll find out tomorrow as I think I'll read that for day two.

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