“Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist” #1 is a fun Star Wars comic with an interesting and well-executed central idea. Darth Vader is on Vaklin to quell a Jedi fuelled revolution upsetting the balance on the planet. The concept is neatly introduced, the characters are all different and have their moments, but mostly this issue succeeds because it offers a plausible problem for Lord Vader.
It’s great to see Vader in action during the opening sequence of this issue. He whips his red lightsaber around and takes a few shots which sets the stage for readers to view Vader in the thick of things. The rest of the issue then uses Vader as a formidable leader. The narrator even states the Dark Lord of the Sith “can’t say a word without being terrifying,” which encapsulates why he’s such an iconic figure. The comic page can’t bring his amazing voice to the audience but the rest — stance, action, determination — all rings true. Vader brings strategy into this battle and it’s fantastic to watch him lay his pieces out, especially in the interrogation sequence.
The art from Marco Castiello and Andrea Chella is detailed and effectively planned out. There are a few moments where the action is obscured through panel angles and placement but this is made up for by the engaging pages of Vader using the force. Here, composition plays an emotive role and Michael Atiyeh’s colors experiment to add another layer to the scene. This is a good-looking book that is able to convey the many levels of story being told by Alexander Freed.
“Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist” #1 is a great character study for Vader by presenting a challenging and complex problem for him to solve. The use of Major Namada as the narrator brings an external view to proceedings while also helping build toward the final sequence that sets up the next issue’s conclusion to this tale. The Star Wars universe is so rich and wide. Stories like this make fans appreciate all that can be covered in the “Star Wars” universe with so many great characters.