Star Wars: Vader – Dark Visions #5 Review

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Written by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Art by Geraldo Borges
Colors by Marcio Menyz
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover art by Greg Smallwood
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Assistant Editor Tom Groneman

As good as Marvel Star Wars has been over the last year, the highlight of 2019 has been this Vader: Dark Visions title from Dennis Hallum. An enormously complex and deep character, Vader’s complexity is sometimes taken for granted due to our sheer familiarity with him. Rather than focus on depicting Vader through a traditional narrative, the strength of this series has been the exploration of Vader through the Dark Visions he inspires in others. This fifth and final outing gives us a final view of the many facets of the Vader character provided through this series.

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As this issue opens we see Vader and his accompanying Stormtrooper conducting a sweep of an alien environment in pursuit of Rebel spies. Those spies have in their possession stolen Imperial intel that is enough to cripple the Imperial Armada in the sector. Vader’s lethal intent is made clear from the very first page of this issue, and the order is given that no one is to escape. There is a quite a neat symmetry between the setting of this issue and the opening installment in the mini series back in #1.

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The art is also exotic in this issue, and the flights of fantasy and terror depicted in the issue are reminiscent of some of the more grotesque visions inspired by the Scarecrow in DC’s Batman comics. There is a drug-infused otherworldy feel to the chase scene here and this only serves to heighten the terror of the issue. The colors from Maynz enhance the surreal artwork from Borges in the latter half of the book. Prior to that there are elegant depictions of more classical Star Wars scenes, the Imperial incursion within a local drinking establishment is particularly good.

This is a fitting close to what has been a really high quality series. While the series will give us a varied and interesting collection in trade, every single issue of this book to date has been strong and stand on their own merit. This one though, may just edge it as the best of the five. It plays with the Vader imagery to heighten his terror. Dark Visions indeed. This is a tremendous series which sheds new insights into the character, while also reminding us of that instinctive fear we felt when first casting eyes on Vader, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

9.5/10

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