Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Modern Marvel: Star Wars: Darth Vader #20

The Star Wars: Darth Vader title is ending with issue #25 when writer Kieron Gillen wraps up the stories he has planned.  The overall direction for the title is Darth Vader's fall from grace after the destruction of the Death Star and the Weapons Factory Alpha on Cymoon 1 and his regaining his status as the Emperor's top servant.  The final arc in Vader's ascension begins with Darth Vader #20, the first part of a 6-issue story titled End of Games.

Darth Vader #20 has three different covers.  The standard cover features Darth Vader and the Emperor, flanked by Imperial Royal Guards.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #20a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (May 2016)
The second cover is an action figure variant cover by John Tyler Christopher.  The cover features Inspector Thanoth a detective in the Galactic Empire who uncovers Vader's machinations as well as his identity.  Vader kills Thanoth in this issue after the inspector reveals the location of Doctor Aphra.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #20b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (May 2016)
The third and final cover is dubbed The Story Thus Far... variant.  The cover is a montage of characters introduced throughout the title.  The Emperor is behind Vader on the right and Doctor Aphra is to his left.  Behind Aphra is Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca.  Below Aphra are the two evil droids, 0-0-0 and BT-1.  Below Vader are several of Cylo's cybernetically enhanced creations, including: brother and Sister Morit and Aiolin Astarte, the Mon Calamari Karbin, the scientist Tulon Voidgazer, and Cylo's Trandoshan warrior.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #20c - Marvel Comics, U.S. (May 2016)
Of the three covers, I really like the standard cover despite it's generic nature.  Many of the modern Star Wars covers from Marvel could appear on any issue as they do not tie back into the content and this cover is no exception.  By this point, the action figure variants have become tiresome and the montage on The Story Thus Far... variant is a weak attempt at a poster-like cover.  Instead of being worthwhile, which variants should be, this cover was commissioned simply to increase the sales for the issue.

This issue cost $4.99, $1 more than usual, because of a backup story starring 0-0-0 and BT-1.

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