I genuinely love Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larocca, and Edgar Delgado’s work on the Darth Vader comic. The team has completely nailed what makes Vader a terrifyingly powerful, yet funny character. Case in point is the opening to this week’s Darth Vader #16, which features Vader at his most defiant.
Very minor spoilers ahead for Darth Vader #16.
A quick recap before we get to the moment, if you haven’t been reading Darth Vader. So far, the comic has seen the Dark Lord of the Sith out of his Master’s good graces, following the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope. It’s meant that in order to do what he wants—hunt down the pilot that destroyed the Death Star, who he learns is his own son—Vader has to skulk about in secret.
It also meant that Emperor Palpatine has started looking for alternatives to Vader, for the next generation of his special agents.
These agents—a team of warriors made by a mad Doctor, trained in the use of lightsabers and biological/cybernetic enhancement that gives them abilities akin to using the Force without being Force sensitive—have been a thorn in Vader’s side for a while, and one of them, Karbin (the Mon Calamari above), almost cornered Vader during the recent Vader Down event hoping to destroy Vader once and for all, but Vader killed him.
You’d think killing one of the Emperor’s new pets would be just another secret Vader would have to hide from his master. Instead, in Darth Vader #16, Vader delivers Karbin’s corpse right to Palpatine’s office.
And then dumps it out onto the floor.
That “I found him line” is pretty great, but it gets better. Palpatine quickly notes that Karbin’s wounds were inflicted by a lightsaber. A lesser man would try to pass it off as someone else.
Darth Vader is not a lesser man.
Look, I’m just saying. If Darth Vader’s balls hadn’t been roasted off on Mustafar, they’d probably be the size of Tatooine’s twin suns after this.