Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 (April 2021)

Into The Fire – Part V: The Red Horror

Writer: Greg Pak, Artist: Raffaele Ienco, Colours: Neeraj Menon

THE RED HORROR! After passing the test of THE EYE OF WEBBISH BOGG, DARTH VADER has learned the route to the hidden location of THE EMPEROR’S greatest secrets! But in THE RED NEBULA along the way, can Vader survive the onslaught of the greatest predator in the galaxy? Especially if the monster’s most brutal attack transcends the physical? And what horrors await the Emperor if a transformed Vader makes it to his dark door? official solicitation

Greg Pak continues to fill in the Star Wars blanks as he sends Vader on a quest to visit Exegol and investigate what the Emperor is up to. This current adventure is tieing heavy into ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ even though it is set just after ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Vader has faced The Eye Of The Webbish Bogg, received a Sith Wayfinder, captured Ochi of Bestoon, and now must face the Summa-Verminoth, the galaxy’s greatest predator before he reaches his goal.

The Emperor has taken away all Vader’s options. He is testing Vader for his perceived betrayal and has sent a fleet after him. Vader’s one broken down old Jedi starfighter is no match for a fleet so he has to take on the massive space creature. The Summa-Verminoth is a giant tentacled Cthulhu-esque nightmare that will break both body and mind.

Vader gets sucked into a mind game of memories surrounding his confrontations with the light side. He gets flashes of Obi-Wan on the Deathstar, Luke in the carbon freezing chamber, Obi-Wan on Mustafar, and a reversal of his confrontation with Luke in Cloud City that results in Luke joining the Emperor. But Vader is too strong for the Summa-Verminoth. He crashes down onto Exegol and confronts the creature face to face. Vader has been pushed to his limits and he his now the greatest predator in the galaxy. In a way the Emperor has achieved what he wanted and created the most powerful weapon.

Vader, now riding the beast like an ant on an elephant, marches on the the Sith temple featured in ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’. Will he find out what the Emperor is up to?. We will find out next issue. If he discovers Palpatine’s plan to clone himself it could shape the way we view Vader going forward. And that’s what’s fun about what Pak is doing with this book. He is pulling in bits from all over the Star Wars universe and tell stories that feel like they have some weight to them. This isn’t rushed out just to make money from the Star Wars name. There is thought, love, and care going into something that matters. The comics have become the connective tissue for the bigger picture.

An action packed read that gives us a look into the psyche of Vader. A good example of the weird Star Wars you can pull off in this medium.


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