Comic Review – The Dark Lord of the Sith Takes On the “Dark Droids” Scourge in “Star Wars: Darth Vader” #41

Yesterday saw the release of issue #41 in Volume III of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars: Darth Vader comic book, and below are my brief recap and thoughts on this installment.

Darth Vader #41 begins where the previous issue left off, with the galaxy-dominating artificial intelligence known as the Scourge seemingly having corrupted the titular Dark Lord of the Sith’s cybernetic systems. But there’s a bit of a bait-and-switch here coming out of #40’s cliffhanger ending, as Lord Vader pretty much immediately turns the tables on the Scourge, cutting it off from communicating with the rest of its collective consciousness. Instead, Vader takes control of the A.I.’s programming and travels to the planet Mirgoshirax, where he uses it to control his own battalion of droids. I actually thought this switcheroo felt fairly clever and worthy of the Darth Vader character in a way that some of writer Greg Pak’s work on this title has not.

Anyway, Emperor Palpatine’s forces are closing in on Vader after the latter attacked the former last issue, but Vader uses those mind-controlled droids to expand the reach of his Force powers in another really smart utilization of the Scourge’s abilities. And most of the rest of this issue is a big battle between Vader, the dozen-or-so droids under his control, and the droids and ships still under the Scourge’s broader control. While this is happening, there’s also a back-and-forth conversation between the captive portion of the Scourge’s persona and Vader’s defiant inner monologue. It’s a pretty terrific dialogue between the two, and I would go so far as to say it gave me more insight into the Scourge’s personality and desires than the rest of the Star Wars: Dark Droids crossover event has previously.

In fact, this is probably my single favorite Dark Droids tie-in issue of the entire event, and it really showcases Pak’s skill at writing without being bogged down by the sometimes-silly supporting characters that have populated this book. It’s just a great physical fight, drawn magnificently by artist Raffaele Ienco, and a captivating clash of wits happening simultaneously. I feel like with Darth Vader, simple is always better as far as storytelling goes, and this creative team has nailed that approach with this issue– which happens to end with another intriguing cliffhanger, this time introducing the breakaway faction of the Empire called the Schism Imperial. More fun to come in these pages!

Star Wars: Darth Vader #41 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.