Darth Vader 21 starts off with an interrogation. It’s a rather quick one; Darth Vader convinces his target to dispense information with but a few words. There’s also a brief yet really entertaining scene where Triple-0 and his assassin droid track down Dr. Aphra, and like usual, they like to leave behind a bunch of bodies and destruction. But the main meat of this issue is when Darth Vader tracks down Cylo, the traitor within the Empire. It starts off with an exciting space battle, where Darth Vader shows off how hardcore he is as both a pilot and a Sith Lord. That’s not to say that Cylo’s people aren’t hardcore themselves, ending this issue with quite the epic cliffhanger. The writing in this issue is very tight, the characterization feels right and most importantly, this issue is a lot of fun.
Salvador Larroca’s art is just as great as the writing. Everything is well-detailed. There’s a page inside some sort of machine room in the Executor, complete with all sorts of machines in the background, there’s the outer rim village with three suns in the sky and a variety of buildings, and of course there’s Cylo’s living ship, with the glass floor in the bridge overlooking the creature’s giant, cybernetically altered brain. The battle scenes feel epic in scope and make great use of environmental destruction, laser blasts and motion blurs. Edgar Delgado’s colouring only adds more to the art. Everything is bright and colourful, and the spread of the Nebula is particularly breathtaking with the colourful clouds and baby stars within.
This series as a whole is quite good, but this issue is utterly fantastic. Everything works, from Darth Vader’s characterization to the fantastic art. Darth Vader fans should be picking this series up, period, and Star Wars fans who enjoy comics should at least give this a chance.