PART 6 OF 6
Cyborg Beilert Valance was once a loyal soldier for the Empire. But he was abandoned by the military after suffering grievous injuries in battle. When he finally returned to his homeworld, Valance found the village had been decimated by raiders. The Empire had abandoned his people as well.
Valance swore vengeance upon the raiders and the Imperials. When the mysterious Hidden Hand organization hired him alongside a team of bounty hunters to kill Darth Vader, he couldn’t say no. But Vader, also on the hunt for the Hidden Hand, wiped out the team and captured Valance. Despite gruesome torture at the hands of the dark lord, Valance refused to give up any intel about the shadowy organization and escaped.
Vader had a proposition for Valance: help him destroy the Hidden Hand, and what remained of Valance’s people would be protected by the Empire.
Now Valance finally has a chance for revenge if he can survive the Hidden Hand and Darth Vader….
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artists: Stefano Landini, Roberto Di Salvo, Georges Duarte
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Colorists: Neeraj Menon, Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover artist: Nic Klein
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publication date: December 11, 2019
Well, time for a bold claim; Target Vader is the best comic series Marvel have released since they got the licence back in early 2015. That’s a big shout, as there’s been some great titles in those 5 years including the excellent Lando mini series (to which I can claim a peripheral involvement via my writing for Build The Millennium Falcon), Thrawn and the recent Rise of Kylo Ren, but Target Vader stands above all of these for these reasons – it started hot, stayed hot and finished well.
There was always the very real worry that a premise like targeting Darth Vader for death would fizzle out, given that we know full well no such thing happens, but the journey this series has taken us on, from Valance taking the job in issue 1 to blowing his credits “on something stupid” at the end of the series has been wholly satisfying.
In this final issue we follow Valance as he finds the Hidden Hand headquarters, gets captured and beaten up but it’s all very much worth it as Vader arrives to extract information in his own unique manner and Valance heads not to his home on Chorik but to Lowik where his people are safely hidden. To end the issue on Coruscant, which is about as far away from the wild west locations of the rest of the series, was a smart choice, leaving us wanting more.
The artwork has been consistently pleasurable to view, the scripting especially impressive, feeling like a Star Wars story while retaining that fast-moving comic book feel which is a trickier balance than one might think and all wrapped in lush Nic Klein covers. It’s a rare title that I collect in comic form that I then target for purchase as a trade, but this is one of those occasions (and feel free to do the same at the link below).
Hats off to Marvel and Lucasfilm for laying this story out, a rollicking ride around the galaxy with a veteran vintage EU character and fingers crossed this is just the start of a series of Valance tales under the hand of Robbie Thompson. He’s totally got the feel of the characters and he needs to get another shot at the galaxy. Top drawer effort all round.
- English (Publication Language)
- 136 Pages - 02/11/2020 (Publication Date) - Marvel (Publisher)