REVIEW: ‘Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows’ #2

(Dark Horse Comics, 2014)

Review by Jeremiah Kielman

Written by Tim Siedell
Artwork by Gabriel Guzman
Color Artwork by Michael Atiyeh

Betrayal.  The clone once known as CT-5539.  Having assumed the alias Hock Malsuum attempts to deal with the Jedi’s betrayal of himself and really all clones during the War.  He goes about this in different ways during the course of his life.

After he is left for dead by the Jedi he makes a choice.  The choice is to live.  To fight to survive.  It’s easy to give up, let the world beat you.  Many would take that option.  He would not be counted among their number.  Fight he did.  His own body as it slowly mended.  Packs of wild beasts.  The planet itself.  Hock would not be moved.

The beasts he fought provided meat.  Which provided Hock’s body the energy it needed to heal.  Which provided him time to think.  About the past, his time on Kamino.  Growing up with thousands of “brothers” all learning the same skill sets.  All trying their best to be better than the man next to him.  To distinguish one’s self in a crowd of one’s self.  Must have been hard.

So just as he had had to come to terms with his place among his “brothers” so too did he have to come to terms with his place among men.  This he did while working off his debt to the farmer who saved his life.  He also learned of himself that he was no farmer.  Yet he did not know what he was.  Where he belonged.

Then rumors began to flow into the backwater he now called home.  Rumors of a warrior.  Of a kind with the Jedi, yet not a Jedi.  He knew not of the Jedi’s religion.  Cared less for this new warriors religion.  But he remembered what he was then.  He too was a warrior.  More than the trainers on Kamino.  More than his brothers as he grew up.  More than anything he needed to prove what kind of warrior he was to this new warrior.  This Darth Vader.

So he joined up.  Went about proving himself to his new leader.  Going above and beyond.  Never openly telling Lord Vader that he was the best.  Hock let his actions speak for themselves.  He was the best.
Eventually his dedication is noticed by Lord Vader.  He is trusted.  He is happy.  But for how long?

On a side note I’d like to say a word or two about the upcoming take over of the Star Wars(SW) Extended Universe(EU) by Marvel.  It hurts my heart that this must happen.  Dark Horse has been putting out great SW comics for what 30 years now?  I read them as a kid and still read all the SW books Dark Horse produces.

It’s sad enough that Dark Horse is out of the picture.  Add to that the fact that Marvel insists on “starting with a clean slate” which translates to throwing out the whole EU!!!  What?  Why?

One of the great things Lucas did was making everything canon.  Play a cool video game?  It’s canon.  Good book?  Canon.  Saturday morning cartoon?  Canon.  The man hated the fans who made him rich but at least he gave us that.  Now Marvel gets rid of it all.  And why?  So we can get more “Droids” comics?  It’s not that I have little faith Marvel will fuck it up.  I have none.  Mark my words in two years time we’ll have a Boba Fett/Deadpool crossover.  If you want that sort of thing than you’ll be a happy camper.  Me I want to cry.


Jeremiah Kielman
Alliance Comics
904 Light Street
Baltimore MD

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