Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith #21 Review: There may be pain


Marvel’s newest Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith issue sends the Sith Lord on a desperate quest to make deeper connections with the dark side. The results are as bizarre as you might expect.

The last time we saw Darth Vader, his master gave the apprentice three gifts as a reward for successfully hunting down Force-sensitive Purge survivors: a vessel, a planet, and an ancient artifact.

Now, Vader heads to Mustafar with destruction on his mind and creation on the horizon — complete with the introduction of a new Sith Lord into Star Wars canon. Yeah, you read that right.

There will be spoilers. You have been warned.

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Equipped with Padmé Amidala’s ship, a strange mask, and an expert Imperial architect (and company), Darth Vader finally begins his quest to further study the dark side of the Force on Mustafar. But he doesn’t plan on making a return trip anytime soon.

As he lands the ship, he all but destroys it entering the atmosphere, stranding him and his bewildered (wouldn’t you be?) companions on the planet made of fire.

It’s up to the architect to come up with a design for Vader’s new stronghold that suffices his unspecified needs. After turning down the first attempt, he is presented with a blueprint he much prefers … but not one created by his hired associate.

Not just the mask — but its original wearer — appears in Vader’s presence, suggesting the artifact’s dark power is not to be underestimated.

The mystery mask belongs to someone called Momin. This ancient Dark Lord of the Sith wasn’t like other lords of Sith come and gone. Instead of thriving on destruction, Momin thrived on the art of creation.

Darth Vader #21. Charles Soule/Marvel Comics.

His ways were unconventional enough that both the Jedi and the Sith left his name out of their recorded histories — which explains why no one, not even Vader, had heard of him before Palpatine gifted him the mask.

When Momin first appeared, I was worried that I should have recognized the name and had missed a giant reference any Star Wars fan should be embarrased to have overlooked.

But nope! This is Momin’s first mention (to us and technically to Vader — that’s cool). Marvel has taken a giant leap and created a new Sith Lord. What they do with him from here — and how well they do it — might pave the way for more Old Republic-era lore in the future. Right? Right.

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What will Palpatine’s apprentice learn from Momin as he remains stranded on Mustafar with only the dark side as his companion? We’ll have to wait until the next installment in this dark and corrupted story arc to find out.