Darth Vader (2020) #14 Review

by NumidianPrime on July 24, 2021

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Raffaele Ienco
Letterer: VC's Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel

The newest issue in Darth Vader's tie-in to the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event came out this week, focusing on Sly Moore and her competition for the Emperor's favor with Darth Vader. Her attempt to use IG-88 against Vader has failed and Moore must now find a new way to subvert her rival. Meanwhile, Crimson Dawn's invitations to every faction in the galaxy have gone out, giving Moore a new angle to exploit as Vader rips through her other options. 

I was a little disappointed to see Sly Moore's court conspiracy get taken out this issue without fleshing out its other members, purpose, or backstory much. The end of the previous issue teased it being a new twist for the series and it feel like it ended up amounting to much. Still, it is nice seeing Sly Moore get her due after almost twenty years of being relegated to the background, if appearing at all. It also made me smile to see General Romodi join her, since he's only ever been a footnote character before. Ochi and IG-88 are fun characters as well, I've always enjoyed Ochi's new role as essentially Vader's hype man, while Vader himself takes a back seat in this story in terms of development. 

It is neat seeing some of the same events from this month's War of the Bounty Hunters #2 repeat with a new perspective twist in each of the tie-ins, though I think it would have been a little more impactful if the main issue had come out at the end of the month rather than at the beginning with a few tweaks. It would feel less like we were retreading the same ground every week and more like building up to a payoff. I'm still not sold on Vader showing up to the event in person considering the low level of investment he should have in Han Solo's fate, we'll have to see if the next few issues can change my mind on that, but the reasoning for Sly Moore being there makes a lot more sense and I enjoyed that part of the issue. 

One thing that I do really appreciate about this issue is the return of Raffaele Ienco, who has been with the series since the first issue but was replaced on the last couple. His gritty, detailed style has become one of my favorite aspects of the run and I appeciate the consistent quality that it brings. One advantage I thought was brought by focusing on a character beside Vader is it means no flashbacks to events from the films, which the series has been really reliant on until now. 

I thought the tie-ins to the event had a very rough start the last couple of weeks but the perspective shift helped sell me on this angle more. I'm still going back and forth on my opinon on the series and its involvement in the crossover but if each issue wins me over a bit more, I might be in favor by the end. It seems like Sly Moore won't continue to have a large role in the next few issues and I hope that the series can find a way to keep its own plotlines from getting lost in the ever-complicating tangle of the crossover. I'm still interested enough to see where this goes, and hopefully my opinion continues moving uphill. 

Our Score:


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