Padmé’s handmaidens have long prepared for their rematch against Darth Vader, but the Dark Lord of the Sith has his own plans in Darth Vader #30!
Star Wars: Darth Vader #30
- Greg Pak
- Luke Ross
- VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Cover Artist:
- Release Date:
- Federico Blee
The current run on the Darth Vader ongoing series has put much of the spotlight on Padmé’s handmaidens, the group of warriors tasked with impersonating the Queen of Naboo for her protection. Vader encountered them while investigating Padmé’s tomb. Since then, their paths have been intertwined. He even enlisted one of their ranks, Sabé, to help the Empire. Unwilling to accept that one of their own would serve the nefarious Empire, the rest of the handmaidens have embarked on a mission to either save or destroy Sabé. Star Wars: Darth Vader #30, written by Greg Pak with art by Luke Ross, colors by Federico Blee, and letters by Joe Caramagna, further escalates the conflict between Vader and the handmaidens.
The handmaiden Dormé boarded the Executor, Darth Vader’s flagship Imperial Star Destroyer, using the assassin Ochi as her clearance. While Dormé searches for Sabé, Sabé has been sent on a mission to Skako Minor to assassinate Jul Tambor. Unfortunately, Vader discovers Dormé’s infiltration, and her fellow handmaidens must swoop in to save her. The plot is relatively straightforward but can become a bit muddled due to the similar names and almost identical faces of all the handmaidens. Essentially, one rescue mission turns into two, and Sabé is off doing her own thing while the rest of the handmaidens confront Vader.
Pak does a solid job writing the conflict in this issue. Search and rescue missions are nearly always exciting, and assassination attempts are thrilling. The biggest strength in this issue is Vader. Readers are given a clear understanding of his morality and demeanor. He has fully embraced the dark side and pushes others towards that abyss. The handmaidens are written well, and their determination to defeat Vader is admirable. Their intense commitment to one another is irresistibly compelling.
Ross’s art is excellent throughout the issue. Vader is always a striking figure any time he’s on the page. His presence brings a looming evil atmosphere to the proceedings, and he’s surprisingly emotive for a character whose face is always covered. The depiction of typical The interior of the Star Destroyer and the design of escort ships are rendered with accurate and impressive detail. Ross and Pak use a 6-panel grid frequently throughout the issue to establish a consistent, fast pace. The page layout also serves to make certain moments stand out. When they break from their established pattern, they draw attention to important moments.
Blee’s coloring is wonderful from cover to cover. The way light bounces off of Vader is exquisite. The glow of his lightsaber is a brilliant red. Every color is applied smoothly and informs the overall tone of each scene. Caramagna’s letters are great in this issue. Vader’s speech bubbles stand apart from everyone else’s, with black backgrounds and white text. It’s nearly impossible to not hear James Earl Jones’ iconic voice when the character speaks, and the visual difference between his speech bubbles and everyone else’s helps make that effect stronger.
This issue is a strong entry in what has become Darth Vader’s longest-running solo series. Vader’s characterization is a clear highlight, and the handmaidens continue to benefit from further exploration. The action is fun, and the story moves in new and exciting directions. With Star Wars: Darth Vader #30, Pak and the rest of the creative team deliver another exciting issue for the fan-favorite Dark Lord of the Sith.