SPOILER REVIEW: "Darth Vader #12: War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude: Into the Trap" by Greg Pak
Okay, so first things first lol. I know why Boba Fett had a bounty on his head in the "Bounty Hunters" prelude issue. It's because Jabba found out that he lost Han!! Duh! But then that leads me to wonder, does Valance know Boba Fett isn't in possession of Han anymore?? Cuz he's still solely focused on finding specifically Boba. Hmmm...
Anyway, on to this issue!! It was SO GOOD, albeit a little confusing until you remember that the Kanji stole Han. I guess they freed him from the carbonite?? Because he was walking around on Corellia with Chewie like nothing was a problem. So...wait, Chewie found him?? Maybe I'm still a bit confused. Perhaps, as it says at the beginning of this section, "Corellia. Sometime later."--this happens after the end of the issue. Read on to see what I mean. Either way, this was a great one. Vader is going through an immense amount of physical and emotional pain and not one bit of it is left up to the imagination--what the man goes through is cringe-inducing. He even has the opportunity to "shut down" for the procedure and he refuses...so he can feel every bit of pain. Yikes! Along with this, we get flashbacks that are so gut-wrenching. Ochi of Bestoon is still in the mix, surprisingly!! Palpatine is incredibly, gloriously evil. And we get the beginnings of a whole new storyline. Unfortunately though, Exegol was just for last issue. That's it. No big secret reveals. As Palpatine puts it, "I showed my apprentice the might of Exegol. He knows the limits of his role now." So, that was it, just getting that brief glimpse was enough to terrify Vader...somehow, I doubt that...
Mas Amedda and Sly Moore have a brief, but revealing exchange. In response to Mas Amedda asking how Vader is still alive, Sly Moore says, "He is a Sith, Mas Amedda. His hatred gives him power." And Mas Amedda asks Palpatine why he would restore Vader completely when he tried to kill him...to which Palpatine responds (hysterically): "Almost everyone I have ever met has wanted to kill me, Grand Vizier." Poor Mas Amedda seems confused and in over his head!! Which is a characteristic that plays out in the Aftermath trilogy of adult novels, for sure!
As Vader's enduring the restoration process, he's thinking about Luke and how his son is weak because he's only ever accomplished anything with his friends. He even claims that Luke and his friends thinking they've saved each other is actually all an artifact of his design, his grand plan. I'll have to continue reading to see if I can buy into that. Regardless, Vader goes on a hunt for Han and thus begins the next storyline. Apparently even Vader's after the smuggler...so when they said everyone, they meant it.
My score: 8.5/10 as it was just such a truly enjoyable and emotional read. I loved every minute of it...when I wasn't confused.
"Darth Vader #12: War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude: Into the Trap" written by Greg Pak, illustrated by Guiu Vilanova, Dean White, and Giada Marchisio
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