Star Wars #13

Star Wars #13 (Vader Down Part 3 of 6)

Writer: Jason Aaron
Story By: Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Frank Martin Jr.
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks

In Vader Down Part 3, Aphra, BeeTee and Triple Zero face off against Luke, R2, Chewbacca and Han Solo. It’s a war between casts as the characters from Darth Vader go up against Star Wars. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of humor. However the issue does take a hit with some of the subpar artwork. Overall, though, it’s still a good issue.

When we left off, Triple Zero had shocked Luke Skywalker, who is now out for the count. Taking their time, Aphra and her killer droids saunter up to poor R2. He’s outnumbered and outgunned. Luckily Han and Chewie show up to help even the odds. Interestingly, Han has heard of Dr. Aphra. As they go at it, it becomes a shooting match with the addition of Chewie ripping limbs off. Luke wakes up to help R2, and after lots of shooting, stabbing and chaos, the good guys are triumphant. Elsewhere, Leia finally makes her way to Vader and that’s where the issue ends.

The story itself is pretty good. There’s a nice mixture of action and conflict with lots of humor thrown in. The humor comes in with both dialog and sight gags. Jason Aaron even does a good job of balancing the fight between the characters without making it lopsided. A couple times I thought BeeTee and Triple Zero were done for, but they both kept making surprising comebacks. My only issue with the comics was the artwork.

Throughout Star Wars #13, there’s some good panels. However, there are also a lot of panels that caught my eye in a bad way. For instances, there are panels like this.

It’s not a terrible panel, but there is a lot of shading used on the human characters to obscure their faces. One might think that Mike Deodato was either trying to avoid the hassle of capturing the characters’ likenesses or trying to save time by skipping the details. Yet there are panels like this…

With all the fire and explosions going on, that’s a lot of shadow. It looks really odd and misplaced. With that much light being cast about, you would expect the characters to be bathed in detail, not hidden in darkness. Here’s a look at some action scenes.

Again, lots of shadow, obscured faces, but there are other details that struck me, most significantly the last one with Han. First off, he’s not shouldering the rifle with just makes the composition seem unrealistic. But then there’s his unnaturally long fingers. There’s something about the proportions that just seem off with the size of his head and the size of his hands. Then there’s Aphra.

Whether she is cast in shadow…

…or just depicted with an odd face, her artwork was a bit off. To me, it just wasn’t on par with the Aphra we’ve seen before. Another panel that caught me off guard was this one.

At first glance, I was only bothered by the depiction of C-3PO who looks totally wrong. But then later in the issue we see Leia with no helmet and a scratch/wound/scar on her head. There are no panels to explain the change. Did something happen off page? Did Leia simply leave her helmet behind? And what about the mark on her head? It’s never explained, and that bothered me. Yet even with all those bad panels, there’s some really good ones, too. Whether it’s just a nice shot of Aphra…

…a cool shot of Han…

Or a fun shot of the droids, there was some good artwork to be had.

My favorite was a blurry shot of Triple Zero messing with Chewbacca. They even blurred the text to really add to the atmosphere of the scene. That was a perfect shot. It captures the horror of Triple Zero toying with his victim as well as the panic and disorientation of Chewie.

In the end, the story is good and the artwork is hit and miss. There’s some good, some bad and it sort of averages out. Thus I give Star Wars #13 a four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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