COMIC REVIEW: Darth Vader 13 – Vader Down 2 | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Darth Vader 13 – Vader Down 2

By Jeff Ayers

Writer: Kieron Gillen with Jason Aaron

Artist: Salvador Larroca

Colors: Edgar Delgado


Marvel Comics

With another stellar cover by Mark Brooks, we have the stage set for another issue of epic proportions. Yet, after the amazing events of the one shot “Vader Down”, Darth Vader 13 stalls out a little bit by taking its time to put all the players on the board. A necessary move for sure, but still a stop in the action of an otherwise compelling story arc thus far.

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Vader and Luke Skywalker have both crash landed on Vargos Vas, and are seemingly on a collision corse with one another. The bodes awful for the rebel troops entrenched on this planet, as they try in vain to take down the Sith lord. Doctor Aphra has shown up to the planet, and we see her call for backup from a mysterious source. She desperately wants to make things right and help Vader in anyway she can, so he doesn’t think she double crossed him. Upon learning that Han Solo, Princess Leia and company are also on planet, she feels it is all the more reason to get down there and help her master. Curiously though, her intel does not list Chewbacca as part of the rebel party, so he might be the surprise down the line. Also, she says that she doesn’t recognize Han Solo’s name, yet it feels like this is an act for the sake of her murder droids.


The script does a well enough job to move the story along, and place all the appropriate characters in direct conflict with one another, even if they don’t know it yet. It is especially endearing to see the exchange between Han and Leia as they learn of the fate of Luke’s X-Wing, with Han wanting to go look for his friend, while Leia is hell bent on retribution and revenge against Vader. Rightfully so, and you might feel the same if he blew up your whole planet as well.


The “Best There Is”: Once again, any sequence with Darth Vader at the height of his force powers is excellent, and translates well on the page thanks to Larroca and Delgado. The story of Doctor Aphra is by far the most compelling of all the supporting cast, as she desperately tries to get back into Vader’s good graces by now hunting Luke. It will be interesting to see if Han Solo shows up in the nick of time, and also if Aphra will make it out of this story arc at all, because her life is hanging precariously in the balance.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: In my honest opinion, I have never been a fan of Larroca’s character models, especially on Han Solo and Princess Leia. They just come off as too young, and it takes me out of the fairytale briefly. I like both of their styles on their own, but I feel that Larroca and Delgado don’t quite hit the mark on these issues, and that is one of the main reasons I stopped collecting the initial Darth Vader line. Yet, I can see the potential in this story, as their character models of droids and of Vader himself are some of the best, and add to the story being crafted by Gillen and Aaron.

FBI Score: 7 out of 10. The story takes a slower turn with this second installment of Vader Down, if only to make sure that every character is now a larger part of it. With only four more issues left to flesh out this arc, hopefully the pace and action will ramp up in the next installment.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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