With two viewpoints of the Crimson Dawn auction – where various characters who make up the real scum and villainy of the Star Wars Universe have come together to compete for ownership of the frozen-in-carbonite Han Solo – already covered in Doctor Aphra #12 and War of the Bounty Hunters #2, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’ve perhaps seen as much of it as is necessary so far.

Yet Darth Vader #14 does go back to the auction and give us a further perspective, with the Empire’s presence explained and delved into here. The auction itself isn’t the focal point of the issue (as it was with the previous two titles), with the political machinations and self-preservation of certain Imperial characters instead providing the lion’s share of what we read about here.

It’s good, too – giving us insight into the power plays that usually take place behind the scenes – as well as a further look at just how much of a powerful badass Vader himself is, with the fallen Jedi proving particularly hard to kill. Not that it’s a surprise to those of us who know the saga’s timeline of course, but it’s still great to see him fend off murder attempts so effectively.

It’s another chapter of the War of the Bounty Hunters saga that doesn’t feel essential, but it is a satisfying and enjoyable one-off issue that offers a nice peek behind the curtain in terms of the Empire’s administration and politics, in a way we rarely see. Worth a read, at least – even if the currently running crossover itself isn’t of interest.

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