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STAR WARS: DARTH VADER AND THE CRY OF SHADOWS #1 REVIEW

Writer: Tim Siedell

Artist: Gabriel Guzman

Colorist: Michael Atiyeh

Review by Suzanne Nagda

What makes myths so powerful? How do people shape myths, and how do myths influence people and societies? In Star Wars #1, Tim Siedell dabbles in meta-commentary with the tale of Darth Vader’s rise to power. A clone of the bounty hunter, Jango Fett, gives his impressions of Darth Vader’s battle against the Jedi from a sympathetic perspective. That adds an interesting wrinkle to an otherwise formulaic first issue.

The clone of Jango Fett spends most of the book talking about the Jedi and what makes them unique. When you think about it–are the Jedi the only worthy warriors in the Galaxy? Can they become cowardly or weak like average people? This clone reflects on his experience fighting alongside Jedi who range from fearless warriors to more fallible individuals. In contrast, he recognizes the power of Darth Vader as a myth, a tale to rally behind. Because he’s a clone, there’s some I, Robot themes running through the issue as well. Are clones created with a purpose as individuals? Or are they just another cog in the machine? The book presents some promising themes, but unfortunately they fail to deliver a larger, cohesive narrative.

This issue amounts to one big flashback scene which really hampers the pacing of the issue. There’s no sense of excitement or urgency because nothing substantial happens in present time. No actual dialogue or relevant character interaction happen. Instead, the clone flashes back to earlier battles and his solitary travels in the present. That doesn’t give the reader much to hang onto, but it does set up some plot threads for future issues. Just having some basic interaction with a supporting cast would improve this issue tremendously.

While the artwork is perfectly serviceable, I would like to see a greater range of facial expressions. The clone spends most of the issue “glowering” in several close-up panels. Yet it’s unclear whether his limited range of emotion is intentional for the clone or part of Gabriel Guzman’s style.

The Verdict: Pass. Aside from some interesting themes, there’s not much new here. Darth Vader’s a badass and changes the Galaxy forever. We all know that. I’d try out another issue to see how Tim Siedell progresses the story and whether the series gains some traction from here.

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