Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Darth Vader #5

This review of Darth Vader #5 contains minor spoilers.

Now we know the truth about Mustafar.

The rocky and molten planet is far more than we ever thought it was and could be.

It’s name forever enshrined with not just Anakin Skywalker’s first mission for Darth Sidious, but as the fulcrum that destroyed who Anakin was and turned him, completely, into Darth Vader Dark Lord of the Sith.

You’ll be reading a lot of hyperbole about this issue — written by Charles Soule, penciled by Giuseppe Camucoli, inked by Cam Smith, colored by David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna and edited by Heather Antos and Jordan D. White.

It’s true, all of it, to paraphrase Han Solo in The Force Awakens.

Darth Vader #5 may well go down in Star Wars lore as the most pivotal tale of how Vader forever cast off any trappings of whatever good lay buried deep within him.

Anakin is dead.

Long live Vader.

The culminating story of volume II’s first story arc, Vader, lightsaber crystal in hand, returns to Mustafar to bleed the kyber crystal dry. In doing so, it’s his last-gasp chance at turning his back on the Dark Side and enveloping himself within the light.

But, lamentably, it’s no contest.

There’s raw emotion in these pages, emotion that’s not accustomed to this medium. Soule’s script meshes both menacingly and lovingly with the art by Camucoli, Smith and Curiel, brandishing the emotive pleasure and pain like a sizzling lightsaber.

This issue is a classic, not just for Star Wars, but for the medium.

Darth Vader #5 is in comic shops now, selling for $3.99, and on Comixology.

(For more detail and discussion, listen to Comics With Kenobi #35, due out Oct. 3.)

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