Review: “Star Wars: Darth Vader And The Ghost Prison” by Haden Blackman & Agustin Alessio

Title: Darth Vader And The Ghost Prison
Writer: Haden Blackman
Artist: Agustin Alessio
Series: Star Wars (Legends Canon)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse Comics, 2013

I shouldn’t have to preface these things with an explanation of my uber-fandom anymore, so I won’t. With no further ado, Darth Vader And The Ghost Prison!

The newly-minted Empire has only been in existence for a matter of months, but already cracks are beginning to show. General Gentis, Imperial hero and headmaster of the Academy, has orchestrated an elaborate coup. Strategically-placed explosives around the Imperial palace distract the guards while a powerful bioweapon is deployed, killing everyone inside with the exception of the Emperor who is barely able to sustain himself with the Force. Now the fate of the Empire is placed in the hands of Darth Vader, Moff Trachta, and young Lieutenant Tohm, fresh from the academy and one of the few cadets not included in Gentis’ plot. Coruscant is no longer safe for the ailing Emperor, and these three uneasy allies will have to seek out a secret Jedi facility in which to hide and regroup. It remains to be seen, however, how safe they can possibly be in a facility filled with prisoners deemed too dangerous to be turned over to Republic authorities….

Haden Blackman writes another stellar Star Wars adventure, following up his earlier successes and giving us yet another glimpse into the mind of Darth Vader in the early days of his new existence. In addition we gain some insight into the origins of Moff Trachta, the fan-favorite character first introduced in the first arc of Star Wars: Empire. Trachta’s run there was tragically short, but his character grabbed our imagination and even gained him an action figure eventually. New character Lieutenant Tohm rounds out the cast of protagonists, and is a character I was very much looking forward to seeing more from in later books. Add to this the chance to explore a secret Jedi prison, and there’s lots to love about the writing in this collection. Even better, however, is the artwork. Agustin Alessio turns in some really stellar work here, the kind of stuff I usually expect from Dark Horse and the lack of which I was complaining about in my last Buffy comic review. Anyone who can get Vader to show emotion (not easy, given the lack of facial expression his helmet imposes) can draw comics for me any day!

CONTENT: Quite a bit of violence, occasionally disturbing, such as the aftermath of the bioagent the conspirators release or the aftermath of a prison riot. No profanity, and little to no sexual innuendo. There’s some light flirting with a couple Twi’leks in a bar, but that’s about it.

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2 Comments

Filed under Books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews, Star Wars

2 responses to “Review: “Star Wars: Darth Vader And The Ghost Prison” by Haden Blackman & Agustin Alessio

  1. Tom Laurita

    As you may have gathered from my name, I’m actually the person after which ” Laurita Tohm” was named. I’m thrilled to hear of your appreciation of the story. Haden is a gifted writer, and was incredibly gracious to offer such an honor as to be immortalized in Star Wars.
    By now, I imagine you’ve finished the series, and I look forward to the rest of your feedback. But I couldn’t help but respond to such a passionate review. Thanks. Mtfbwy.
    TL

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