Vader Down #1

Vader Down #1

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

If you think Darth Vader should be an epic badass, then Vader Down #1 is the comic for you. Don’t let the name deceive you, this is Vader unleashed. In his quest to find Luke Skywalker, nothing can stop the Dark Lord of Sith. Not a squadron of X-wings. Not an army of foot soldiers. Not even the last of the Jedi.

Still working with Dr. Aphra, Vader starts this issue out as he investigates their last lead: Vrogas Vas. Skywalker is supposedly on the planet, and Vader intends to find him. However, while jumping out of hyperspace, Vader finds no less than three squadrons of Rebel X-wings. After a furious battle, Darth Vader gets shot down, hence the name of the comic. At that point it becomes an all out manhunt to find the deadliest person in the Empire next to the Emperor himself.

While the story is pretty simple, the real fun is the artwork, the situations and the dialog. In this first issue, we get to see Vader go up against insurmountable odds. The trick of it is that Jason Aaron manages to finesse the story so that it doesn’t come off as Vader in god mode but rather an example of why Vader really does live up to his moniker as the best pilot in the galaxy. Aaron actually manages to capture the emanating fear of the character. This is the Dark Lords of the Sith. The second strongest dark side user in the galaxy. Regardless of all the other examples of Vader we have seen, this is a reminder that Vader is a character to be feared. It’s also quite simply awesome.

Along with that storytelling are some great dialog moments. One of my favorite pieces of dialog was from from Triple-Zero and Beetee.

Triple-Zero: Might I make a suggestion? We could always simply murder everyone we encounter. No matter the problem, I usually find that to be the most elegant solution.

Beetee: Bleep!

Triple-Zero: Beetee rather excitedly agrees.

Dr. Aphra: We’re flying right into a nest of rebel troops., Triple-Zero. I expect you’ll get your wish.

Triple-Zero: How splendid. Did you hear that, Beetee? We get to torture and exterminate indiscriminately!

It’s dark humor, and completely in-line with those characters, but the kicker was the timer. It fit so perfectly and it was just the thing to make me laugh. Little moments like that just added to the entirety of the issue. The fear of Vader. The desperation and shock of the pilots. The dark humor of the droids. The little passing shot of Jedi ruins which rationalize why Luke is here in the first place. But on top of all that is the artwork. It’s jaw dropping.

Sometimes you see some great artwork in a comic. But sometimes you see panels that just make you stop and stare. Vader Down #1 takes time to pour out some tremendous panels. Then they blow out all the stop with amazing two page spreads. The key word there is spreads as in plural. They’re scattered throughout the comic to emphasize key scenes and each one is full of detail, color and beauty. The artwork in this issue is top notch.

With superb art and excellent writing, Vader Down #1 is a perfect start to this cross-over series event. The next chapter will be picked up in Darth Vader #13, followed by alternating issues with Star Wars. Going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this event, but Vader Down #1 certainly caught me by surprise. I give it an outstanding five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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