It has all built up to this! Vader’s trials against Cylo’s creations! His machinations against the Emperor! His covert missions with Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids! All comes to fruition in an ending you can’t miss!
Henchman-4-HireThis was an utterly perfect finale for an overall amazing series, delivering the sort of Darth Vader action I never knew I wanted. The character is huge. He's pop culture royalty. And I can remember asking myself how Marvel planned to get an ongoing series out of Darth Vader. What's he going to do? What Darth Vader stories are there to tell? Leave it to Keiron Gillen, with career-defining work from Salvador Larrocca, to answer that question with ease. Marvel's Darth Vader comic is essential reading for any Star Wars fan and effortlessly justifies these Marvel Star Wars comics.
Flickering MythThough it is bittersweet to see Darth Vader come to an end, it at least does so with an outstanding final issue. Gillen encapsulates many of the aspects that make Vader a great villain while shining a bit more light on his relationship with Palpatine and the long game he’s playing. Larroca’s artwork and focus on body language make this issue standout amongst the series, arguably making #25 its very best.
PopMattersGillen didn't set out to remake or redefine Darth Vader with this series. More than anything else, he works to reinforce the devious, villainous part of the character that the prequels tried too hard to circumvent. There's still an internal struggle here that will manifest in the final minutes of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, but the tone of the narrative in Darth Vader #25 is clear. This narrative embraces the dark side and the results are impressive. Most impressive.
Comic CrusadersEvery line of new mythology added to ole’ bucket head only makes it less likely he would be allowed back as a force ghost. He’s an irredeemable twat. He’s not “cool” he’s a malicious, evil bastard. Yet they managed to get a 25 issue run out of him getting over letting the Emperor’s big Christmas bauble get blown up by a farm boy who wasn’t even trying. Getting past the 11 pissing alternate covers we get a strong tie up, a bit of a fast pace but it never stumbles. There’s not one likable character in the cast but that’s rather the point when you’re telling the story of Nazis in Space. The dialogue is a bit dry, but in the same way gin or wine can be described as “dry” you’re still going to love it if it’s your thing. The art is good if a bit restricted by the existing designs because when Larroca gets to leave bucket heads and geometrically awkward space ships behind he’s at his best. Despite the storytelling being excellent though Darth rarely looks good in action. He gets there in a few panels but more than once Darth looks more like his killing people by accident with his lightsaber. It’s a very good rendering of a lightsaber though. Like I said good if you like following the rise of science fiction’s version of Goering.
RazorfineOverall Darth Vader has proven a solid comic highlighting one of cinema's best villains. I'm sad to see it end as there are obviously far more stories left to tell. Worth a look.
Multiversity ComicsNot the endcap this series deserved, but not inherently bad in and of itself. Not the lead in to the "Doctor Aphra" series that that series needed, either, because it's hard to not come away from this issue with a bad taste.
IGNDarth Vader #25 serves as a terrific finale to Marvel's most consistently good Star Wars comic. There are still issues to be had with Larroca's art style, but he and Gillen prove once more that the "less is more" approach is the one to take when it comes to Vader. This issue serves as a satisfying, cohesive final chapter while offering a few hints as to what Gillen's mystery new Star Wars project might entail.