Star Wars: Darth Vader 4: End of Games

star wars darth vader volume 4 end of games cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Solid story

End of the series

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Star Wars:  Darth Vader

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Kieron Gillen

Artist:  Salvador Larroca/Mike Norton/Max Fiumara

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2016

star wars darth vader #20 cover

Star Wars: Darth Vader #20

Reprints Star Wars:  Darth Vader (1) #20-25 (July 2016-December 2016).  The time has come for Darth Vader to have his final confrontation with Cylo, but he also must wrap-up the danger that Aphra poses to him.  With 000 and BT dispatched to take care of Aphra, Darth Vader is out to prove his worth to the Emperor…and in turn prove if he is man, machine, or something else!

Written by Kieron Gillen, Star Wars:  Darth Vader Volume 4:  End of Games is the final storyline in the Marvel Comics’ series.  Following Star Wars:  Darth Vader Volume 3:  The Shu-Torun War, the series features art by Salvador Larroca (and back-up art by Mike Norton and Max Fiumara.  The issues in the volume were also collected in Star Wars:  Darth Vader—Volume 2.

The Marvel relaunch of Star Wars has had blessings and drawbacks.  Like Dark Horse, Marvel quickly overpopulated the market with titles and hurt the brand in that sense.  The core Star Wars title is fun, but Star Wars:  Darth Vader has proven to be a more solid book.

star wars darth vader #24 cover

Star Wars: Darth Vader #24

The characters of Star Wars:  Darth Vader are pretty unapologetically evil.  You have Vader who will kill to protect his secrets and break promises at the drop of a hat combined with the more “fun loving” evil character of Aphra (and 000 and BT) who just enjoy being bad.  It is an odd buddy book that in this volume shows a complete fracturing of a team-up.

The series does wrap-up loose ends and sets up events for Star Wars:  The Empire Strikes Back.  It has Vader in a position of knowing Luke is his son and also has him firmly established and the second in command in the Empire (something that wasn’t necessarily the case in the original Star Wars movie).  It is done in a relatively smart way that is faithful to the prequels and the original films (though I didn’t love the issue featuring visions of Vader flashbacking back to Mustafar).

What really works about Star Wars:  Darth Vader is that it was finite.  It had a target and goal and the story reached a crescendo which needed a conclusion.  Vader could have continued with another story, but it was nice to have a solid story that ran a couple of years.  I sometimes wish other comics would follow in that line.  Marvel launched Star Wars:  Doctor Aphra out of Star Wars:  Darth Vader and a second volume of Star Wars:  Darth Vader written by Charles Soule was released in 2017 (also referred to as Star Wars:  Darth Vader—Dark Lord of the Sith).

Related Links:

Star Wars:  Darth Vader 1:  Vader

Star Wars:  Darth Vader 2:  Shadows and Secrets

Star Wars:  Vader Down

Star Wars:  Darth Vader 3:  The Shu-Torun War

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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