Darth Vader #36: Target Aphra - Part II
Darth Vader is full of an uncontrollable power and the various droids he has almost destroyed over the years decide that it is the time that they will join together to kill the Sith Lord. What that have not calculated into their plan is the involvement of Aphra and Ochi.
One of the greatest strengths all Marvel “Star Wars” titles have had is the interconnectivity of their stories. New characters are introduced and often forgotten, only to show up again laterinf a series or even in other series beyond it. Darth Vader has led the way in that respect. This issue, in particular, is a shining example of this. The various droids that appear in this chapter are all characters from this series whothe Sith Lord has in one way or another,r victimizedd. They come from the being of this serie andt the previous “Darth Vader” series from 2014. Doctor Aphra and her murder droids, Tripple Zero and Bee Te,e are directly from that seriesinitiallyy. Ochi of Bestoon was not originally from that series, having been createdas an already dead character for the film The Rise of Skywalker. However, theactualy character development of the character in the “Original Trilogy” timeline was from the current “Darth Vader” Run. Ochi isstilll very much a “Vader” character,r first and foremost.
In many way,s this issue is a nice who’s who of Vader henchmen. Not only does it feature a plethora of droids he has used as decoys or just targets of rage, but Aphra and Ochi as well. Both are the cream of the Vader henchmen crop so having them both present makes it seem like a super team. For the last yea, r the series has focused more on Sabe, and although she is an excellent character, she isn’t simply a Vader henchman. She was too independent and not afraid enough of Vader. Her run in this series was perfect, but Doctor Aphra’s return to her roots as a Vader side character is more exciting. She will do whatever Vader wants to keep her skin. Aphra’s wordplay with Ochi is much better than with Sabe, if only because Aphra is funny and Sabe wasn’t. Ochi can be a polarizing character to fans, so anything that can make him a little more entertaining is helpful to the saga.
Unlike the bulk of this series, this issue chooses not to use the red-tinted memories of Anakin as a plot device. About half the problem is changing the typical formula from the droids’ perspective. Vader is often the unlikely protagonist, but this chapter puts that focus on Aphra and Ochi when the action gets going. The art and colors of this issue do not stand out in particular but are solid quality. Similarly, this story’s impact on the overall saga is unclear but entertaining. It does not seem to push the narrative of counting down Return of the Jedi like other story arcs and seems more self-contained. Even though it does not serve the overall larger plot, it is a fun issue with many familiar faces of flesh and metal.
Vader has begun creating a new army of his own, complete with henchmen generals. But where will this battalion be deployed? Only Vader knows, and he his playing his sabacc cards close to his chest plate too well to predict.
Darth Vader #36: Best Laid Plans of Mouse Droids and Androids.
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 6/106/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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