For the last few months I’ve been criticizing Dark Horse Comics’ ridiculously large Star Wars machine, churning out books at a pace Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Watchtower publishers would envy. I also argue that most of Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics are garbage, placing brand recognition and a “they’ll buy anything” attitude over a good story. That being said, I also bite every once in a while (hey, I was raised on Star Wars and, like Christianity, those hooks are in deep). This time I picked up on the five issue miniseries Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison. To my amazement it’s actually pretty good.
In my review of last month’s issue I argued the story was asking too many questions without delivering any answers. This month the issue started answering them. Issue three reveals where the protagonist, Cadet Laurita Tohm, received the disfiguring burns covering half his face, why Moff Trachta possesses fake eyes and wears a respirator, and the location of the Ghost Prison. Naturally, since there’s two issues left more questions were raised but now I’m even more curious to see where this story is going.
One of my main problems with these newer Star Wars comics is the references to Episodes I-III, which I think are an abomination. I know that’s been said countless times, and Jar-Jar Binks’ name has been raked over the coals on an hourly basis for over the last decade, but those movies are garbage, adding an extra level of bullshit to a simple heroic tale. Then again, I seriously doubt George Lucas’ claim that he wrote all the movies at one time. If that were true the prequels wouldn’t be so terrible; he also wouldn’t have interested incest into the most popular movie series in cinematic history. In short, I’m saying the prequel nonsense in these comics clutter up the story, bringing in a level of bureaucracy unnecessary for a five issue Star Wars comic. Thankfully, this portion of the story is minute and the majority features Darth Vader kicking ass, uninterested in taking names. I’m horribly curious to see where the next installment goes and whether author Haden Blackman will deliver on what looks like will be an excellent final act.