Having finally found his target on the River Moon of Al’doleem, Darth Vader must now succeed in his first task as a Sith apprentice, and obtain his own lightsaber. This isn’t an easy task for this iconic villain, however, as to do so he must take a lightsaber from a Jedi and corrupt the kyber crystal within. What we get from this is a gripping third instalment, with Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a not being a pushover, placing more than a few obstacles in Vader’s path. This eventually leads to some surprising twists, making this journey from light into darkness all the more intriguing.
Charles Soule finally starts to give us something of real interest, with the developments of this latest issue being delightful. Whether it’s the minimal dialogue, focus and determination of Vader or the calm, spiritual reciprocation of Infil’a, the writer gives us some terrific characterisation. It is, however, the character building of our former Jedi Knight that intrigues the most though, with his acceptance and hidden pain being enticing to say the least. The way all this leads into the surprising climax also captivates, with Soule giving us plenty to mull over as we await the next issue.
We once again get a sensational set of visuals from Giuseppe Camuncoli, with the overall detail and dynamic flow of his work impressing from start to finish. Though these layouts allow for a somewhat cinematic vibe to proceedings, it’s the character design of Infil’a that truly captivates, with there being a strong sense of experience and wisdom. Camuncoli also gives us some vivid action, capturing the conflicting fighting styles of these Force wielders perfectly. Combine all this with the crisp inks of Cam Smith and the deep, vibrant colours palette of David Curiel and we’re left with a final product that embraces both the light and dark side of this narrative.
Darth Vader #3 is an excellent turning point for our Sith’s first mission, showing that the former Jedi Knight has a lot still to learn. Throughout this not only do we get an interesting introduction to Kirak Infil’a, but we also see that Vader’s confidence may be one of his major weaknesses.
(8 / 10)