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Star Wars: Darth Vader #21

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 7 critic ratings.

Bounty Hunters on the attack…against the Empire! Darth Vader and Aphra continue their alliance, but how long will it last? Plus, who is Tagge’s mysterious new agent?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
23 pages
Amazon ASIN

Cover Artist
Variant Cover Artist

7 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 96


    This is what you show people to get them to follow Star Wars comics. An excellent read with a split story following the Sith and his prey.
  • 95


    A strong third issue in the arc delivers on creepy vibes. The man is broken and this issue ties us to those broken bits with great storytelling. About as strong as visually arresting comic book storytelling can get.
  • 90

    The Fandom Post

    Darth Vader has a very solid installment in this arc that definitely has that feeling of wrapping up various threads that Kieron Gillen has had in here from early on. With a larger story arc for the series as a whole, there's a lot to like in seeing it all come together here, even if it is mostly third act material of action/closure. Vader's story is solid here and Larroca gets to play with some great locales and characters while Aphra's story is just as engaging but with the necessary lighter elements to make you grin and laugh all while feeling very, very, apprehensive about her future. Great stuff all around once again.
  • 82


    This series is rapidly moving towards its climax, and there's a definite sense of finality to the conflict as Vader makes his move against Cylo and Dr. Aphra realizes she'll never be able to escape her master's clutches.
  • 80

    Vader arrives on Mustafar, forcing his companions to design a structure for him to call a home. Unhappy with initial designs, a moment of divine intervention strikes, both literally and figuratively, to help Vader create his intimidating abode while also bringing to life a mysterious legend of the Sith. This issue might only be the third installment in the arc, but the storyline exploring Vader's fortress on Mustafar has already had its ups and downs, allowing this installment to merely exist and move the plot forward. While it's neither action-packed nor an exposition dump, intriguing readers with Vader's mysterious motivations. Readers also get to see a new side of the Empire with its depiction of an architect who must collaborate with Vader, exploring how not everyone involved in the evil organization was a military mastermind or ruthless soldier. We can't wait to see what the next chapter holds.
  • 80

    Multiversity Comics

    A New Darth? The Vader Strikes Back? 2 Darth 2 Vader? Whatever you want to call this issue, know this, he’s back and taking on the galaxy.
  • 70


    Darth Vader #21 is an action-heavy issue as both Vader and Aphra's storylines contain extended actions sequences. Although Aphra has reason to fear what Vader wants her for, she has no choice to comply. Worth a look.

More From Star Wars: Darth Vader (2015)

About the Author: Kieron Gillen

Kieron Michael Gillen (/ˈɡɪlən/; born 30 September 1975) is a British comic book writer and former video game and music journalist. In comics, Gillen is known for Phonogram and The Wicked + The Divine, both co-created with artist Jamie McKelvie and published by Image, as well as numerous projects for Marvel, such as Journey into Mystery, Uncanny X-Men, Young Avengers and Eternals. In video game journalism, he is notable for creating the New Games Journalism manifesto.



As a reviewer, Gillen has written for publications such as Amiga Power (under the pseudonym “C-Monster”), PC Gamer UK, The Escapist, Wired, The Guardian, Edge, Game Developer, Develop, MCV/Develop, GamesMaster, Eurogamer and PC Format, as well as the PC gaming-oriented website Rock Paper Shotgun, which he co-founded in 2007. In 2000, Gillen became the first-ever video game journalist to receive an award from the Periodical Publishers Association, for New Specialist Consumer Journalist. Gillen is a fan of the work of the video game developer Warren Spector, having written positive pieces on several Spector’s games, most notably Deus Ex and Thief: Deadly Shadows, both produced by Ion Storm.

In addition to his work as a reviewer, Gilen has acted as a guest speaker at numerous video game industry conferences.

In a September 2010 post at Rock Paper Shotgun, Gillen announced he was leaving full-time video game journalism to devote his time to comic book writing.


Gillen’s earliest work in comics was published in various British small-press anthologies and Warhammer Monthly. Between 2003 and 2007, Gillen collaborated with artist Jamie McKelvie on a comic strip for PlayStation Official Magazine – UK, entitled “Save Point”, following up with the pop music-themed urban fantasy series Phonogram, which was described by Gillen as his “first real comic”. Veteran comics writer Warren Ellis dubbed the series “one of the few truly essential comics of 2006.” The first issue, published by Image Comics, went on sale in August 2006, with the first series running for six issues. The sequel, a series of one-shots subtitled The Singles Club, launched in December 2008. Between 2014 and 2019, Gillen and McKelvie collaborated on The Wicked + The Divine, an Image series that has won Gillen multiple awards, including nominations for the Eisner Award for best new series, and for the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. Gillen’s other creator-owned work includes Three, a mini-series about the helots of Sparta, and The Ludocrats, initially announced in 2015 as a collaboration between writers Gillen and Jim Rossignol and artist David Lafuente. The series was eventually published in 2020 with art by Jeff Stokely.

On 14 April 2008, it was announced Gillen would collaborate with the artist Greg Scott to expand on Warren Ellis’ newuniversal series with “a story about killing the future” set in 1959. That year, Gillen also wrote Crown of Destruction, a Warhammer Fantasy comic. Further Marvel assignments included a Dazzler short story and a Beta Ray Bill one-shot, which was followed by a three-issue mini-series. Gillen’s workload at Marvel increased in late 2009. At HeroesCon, it was announced he would be writing a tie-in to the “Dark Reign” storyline, the mini-series Dark Avengers: Ares, and, during the 2009 Chicago Comic Con, it was announced that he will collaborate with Steven Sanders on S.W.O.R.D, an X-Men spin-off series. Gillen took over Thor following a run by J. Michael Straczynski, writing issues #604 to 614. In late 2010, Gillen launched another X-Men spin-off Generation Hope that picked up plot threads from the end of the “Second Coming” storyline. Gillen wrote the title for twelve issues before passing it to James Asmus. After co-scripting a few issues of Uncanny X-Men with outgoing writer Matt Fraction, Gillen took over the series with issue #534.1. His time on the title saw the book through the 2011 “Fear Itself” storyline, a renumbering to #1 in the wake of the “Schism” storyline, and a tie-in with the “Avengers vs. X-Men” storyline. After finishing his run with issue #20, Gillen penned a five-issue epilogue miniseries AvX: Consequences that dealt with the aftermath of that event. In 2011, Gillen returned to Marvel’s Asgard with a run on Journey into Mystery (the original name of the Thor series, continuing its original numbering), starting with issue #622 and finishing with #645 in October 2012. As part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch, Gillen wrote two books: Iron Man (again taking over from Fraction) with art by his frequent Uncanny X-Men collaborator Greg Land, and Young Avengers with Jamie McKelvie.

In June 2020, Marvel announced that Gillen would write Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar, the first series in a line of Warhammer comics published by the company. In 2021, Gillen began writing the Eternals ongoing series, illustrated by Esad Ribić.

[Latest Update: May 28, 2022]

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