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Darth Vader: Issue 28: The Shadows Shadow: The Shadow in the Fire

What is it ? : Injured from his fight with Governor Tauntanza, Vader has returned to Coruscant, and as he heals in his bacta cylinder, he thinks of Sabe standing over him and letting him live due to Padmes words of there still being good in him. But his rage explodes outwards, and he shatters the cylinder around him.
Later, suited once more, he meets with Sabe, and ask her how she thinks he should deal with the revelation that Palpatine is behind everything, and she tells him to deal with it the way he always does, by confronting it.
So the pair barge their way into Palpatines throne room, only for Vader to hold her with the force for Palpatine to do as he will. Palpatine explains that she thought that she was breaking through to Vader with the memories, but in reality she was only reminding him of what it was to be weak. He is intrigued by her strength, as orders two Imperial Royal Guardsmen to fight her. She matches them, but causes them to fire at Palpatine, something he cannot forgive so he Force Lightnings them to their deaths. Seeing the tactics she used, the willingness to kill, he orders Vader to train her.
They are to go to Skako Minor where someone claiming to be Wat Tambors grandson is trying to reclaim the planet once ruled by the Techno Union. Arriving there, they discover that ships are having their hulls cracked open, meaning the lethal atmosphere of the planet kills those within.
Spotting some suited men fighting local creatures, Vader and Sabe help them but then Vader cuts open their suits when it emerges they aren't survivors, but instead those working for Tambor.
Vader sends Sabe to infiltrate the group, but elsewhere Ochi is being interrogated by the other Handmaidens of Padme, who are looking for Sabe. . .

High Points : The twist where Sabe thinks she has been manipulating Vader through the man he used to be, but as Palpatine reveals, she is just showing him the weaknesses that he became Vader to destroy, is a good one. We've been following this path, where we thought Vader was heading to redemption, and perhaps this does indeed lay the foundations of what happens later with Luke. But we know that Vader until that point is willing to take his own son to Palpatine, so Sabe doesn't really stand a chance of redeeming Anakin.

Low Points : I'm getting pretty confused with the storyline now, Vader was sent to deal with Crimson Dawn, and given a taskforce to help. He thought Governor Tauntanza was part of it, but that has led him back to Palpatine, and now he's been sent to deal with a rekindling of the Techno Union and forces from the Clone Wars? Are we not bothering about Crimson Dawn any more? Were they always just puppets of Palpatine (possible with them being founded by Maul). What's happening with Sly Moore, I thought she was working with Crimson Dawn to bring down Palpatine and Vader?
We've got so many plotlines picked up and then abandoned that I'm getting confused, and once again must point out that all of this is happening in the gap between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which is only 1 year.

So what do you really think ? : At least something is happening this issue, even though we're not really finishing off any of the many, many plotlines that have been started off in this series, some kind of payoff for these would be nice.

Final Words : The series really seems to have lost it's way, and while the revelations about Vader being tortured by the memories of who he was, and how he wasn't strong enough to save those he loved is a nice look into the character. The early issues did this so much better.
At this point, I just kind of want the series to be over as it's getting ridiculous how much Vader was up to in just one year.

Score : 7.5/10

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