Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Tim Siedell
Artist: Gabriel Guzman
Release Date: 18th December 2013
Dark Horse are pumping out Star Wars miniseries as regularly as ever, and as ever, the quality of the titles continues to fluctuate. Darth Vader & The Cry Of Shadows certainly won’t blow you away with its quality, but it sets up a story with an interesting premise.
Issue #1 introduces us to CT-5539,a clone trooper who has developed a hatred for the Jedi after being left to die on the battlefield, and after hearing countless war tales about Vader, he sets out to find this great warrior who shares his hatred.
The main problem with this issue is that there really isn’t anything more to it than that. The story is carried entirely by narrative boxes, so there is very little to draw us in to the main character, as we don’t see him interact with anyone at all. We all know that clones are just clones, and although this particular clone has been living on a farm for two years since his last battle, it isn’t used to develop him in any way. Instead we get a series of flashbacks telling us why clones were bred in the first place, and a pretty weak excuse for his hatred of the Jedi.
The look of the book doesn’t astound, and a couple of the page layouts in this issue were a little jarring, but overall Gabriel Guzman’s art does its job just fine here. That said, there is definitely a ‘same-y-ness’ running through the artwork in Dark Horse’s Star Wars books these days, and I hope it’s something they find their way out of.
I’m always a fan of the Star Wars stories that follow the clones more closely, and anyone who watched the Clone Wars animated series will probably agree that the instalments that focussed on the clones were often the best episodes. Going forward, Darth Vader & The Cry Of Shadows could have potential if it manages to channel some of that sort character development, but at the moment, there is a lot to improve upon.
The writer of this piece was:
Alan Shields aka (Al)
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