Jedi News Comic Review: Vader Down #1


Part I

It is a period of unrest in the galaxy. The Sith Lord Darth Vader, enforcer of the Galactic Empire, has learned that it was Luke Skywalker who was the rebel pilot responsible for blowing up the Death Star. Vader is now more determined than ever to track down his son and turn him to the dark side.

Luke, unaware that Vader is his father, fights against the Empire with the Rebel Alliance. New to the ways of the Force, Luke has discovered the journal of Ben Kenobi and has begun investigating any information he can on the Force-using Jedi Knights and their ways.

Through the underworld sources of his secret ally, Dr. Aphra, Vader has received word of Luke’s location-the former Jedi temple on the planet VROGAS VAS…….

The Review

Vader Down 1 is the self-proclaimed “movie of Marvel comics” and is a crossover of Jason Aaron’s Star Wars and Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader. It starts out intense and exciting, as Vader takes down an entire starfighter squadron with his TIE. This reinforces what Obi-Wan said, he really was the best star pilot in the galaxy and this scene is reminiscent of the season 2 premiere of Rebels, when Vader was also a one-man fleet.

Luke gets in his father’s face and manages to force Vader down (hence the name Vader Down), as both pilots crash their ships on the barren world of Vrogas Vas. Meanwhile, the Rebels have heard that Vader is down and send a whole fleet to take him out. It’s all so exciting and visual, and watching Vader hurtle boulders at incoming Y-wings was delightfully powerful.

All in all, this was an incredibly visceral issue, and barely sedated my hunger for seeing Vader in action. The end of the comic leaves us with a cliffhanger, so massive, that it eclipses the cliff. Vader is utterly surrounded by a legion of the Rebels best troops, yet he doesn’t bat an eyelid.

The artwork is stunning, and seems to jump off the page, and even though the explosions can be confusing, it feels very much like the scenes of a war. The incredibility that Vader could take out an entire squadron by himself, is swept away by great writing and plot devices that fit. (Vader’s TIE has deflector shields) and he is a great pilot. The only time, he faces a challenge, is when his son steps into the fray.

I am so excited for this series, and I don’t have to wait long as Darth Vader 13 comes out in a week. Yet for now, I give this comic a 5 out of 5 Death Stars.

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Max Nocerino
Max writes reviews on both canon and non-canon comic books and also reviews the short stories in Star Wars Insider. He has interviewed such authors such as Kevin Hearne and Jason Fry.