Comic Review: Star Wars Adventures – Tales from Vader’s Castle #1

Published: 3rd October 2018
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artists: Derek Charm (Pages 1-5, 19-20), Chris Fengolio (Pages 6-17)
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Cover Artisits: Derek Charm, Chris Fengolio, Francesco Francavilla

The synopsis;

Tales from Vader’s Castle puts a spooky spin on your favourite characters from a galaxy far, far away…

This exciting weekly series explores the hidden corners of the Star Wars universe and features Rebels stars Hera, Kanan and Chopper; Han Solo and Chewbacca; the Ewoks; and of course, Darth Vader – All under the shadow of Vader’s Castle!

Fans will be excited to discover these creepy stories by fan-favourite writer Cavan Scott with art by the greatest talent from across the galaxy, including Derek Charm, Kelley Jones, Chris Fengolio, Corin Howell, Robert Hack, and Charles Paul Wilson III!

The story;

The Haunting of the Ghost:

Lina Graf and her crew are in peril and seem to be doomed heading in to the atmosphere of Mustafar after being attacked by TIE fighters. During their bumpy planetfall, Crater (CR-8R) regales them with a story told to him by Chopper about the crew of the Ghost being haunted while on a rescue mission. But during this story being told to them, their craft crashes in to a lava lake on Mustafar and the crew are forced to abandon ship as it melts. Now left stranded on Mustafar the crew are about to embark on the next stage of their adventure.

The review;

I have become a huge fan of the IDW Star Wars Adventures series of comics since their first release and ‘Tale from Vader’s Castle’ is no exception. The comics are light, and fun compared to the sometimes, should I say darker Marvel incarnations of the Star Wars galaxy? But this setting is a great twist on the coming Halloween season that has always been popular in the US and is now taking off more and more here in the UK.

Well, where do we start? I think the cover’s is the best place. Variants galore, but I love the idea that these are shared with the reader in the comic. So, you may buy cover ‘A’, but you can at least enjoy the artwork of the ‘B’, retailer incentive and convention cover even if you are not lucky enough to find them. Each set of covers is different with strong artwork, bold colours and alternate black and white versions.

The plot is a classic story within a story. The introduction of Lina Graf and her crew to a new audience is great and I know this is something that has pleased Cavan himself. Lina is a focal character with in the ‘Adventures in Wild Space’ series of books.

I must admit, this series of books is on my ‘to read’ list, so I do not know the characters all that well. We are given plenty of background information for each character in the story narrative and as we all know Kanan, Hera, Chopper and the Ghost, it is easier to relate to the story being told.

The story artwork is shared between Derek Charm and Chris Fengolio, who also have produced their own covers alongside Francesco Francavilla. The artwork throughout is fantastic; consistent, well-structured and very pleasing to look at. Something that I noted, because to me it is different to what I am used to, was the lettering. Robbie Robbins has done a great job and I fell his work enhances the reading pleasure.

Trying to get some teaser information from Cavan Scott when I interviewed him recently was so difficult. This comic series has been a heavily guarded secret and readers have been forced to wait to see what happens. All I can say is, that is well worth that wait.

Like many others, I get excited reading these comics. Yes, they are for the younger reader, but I think that the simplicity invokes a nostalgia and a level of fun that I used to get from the comics in the 70’s and 80’s.

Full marks to Cavan and the team, I’m already impatiently waiting for next week’s copy to arrive!

Availability;

Star Wars Adventures – Tales from Vader’s Castle #1 is the first issue in a 5 part series being published weekly by IDW Publishing. This issue is available from all good comic book stores in the USA and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. This issue retails at $3.99.