COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #13 – Vader Down Part 3 | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #13 – Vader Down Part 3

By Jeff Ayers

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #13 - Vader Down Part 3

Writer: Jason Aaron with Kieron Gillen

Artist: Mike Deodato

Colors: Frank Martin Jr.


Marvel Comics

Marvel has been pumping out this new “Vader Down” story arc in record time, and with Star Wars #13 we are treated to the third installment. This issue gives the readers a whole mess of stuff they have been waiting for, including something that was only hinted at in the original movies!

First of all, we finally get to see Doctor Aphra and her murder droids come face to face with Han Solo, as well as Luke and R2-D2. Last issue, Aphra got the drop on Luke, and he is in her clutches. Both her droids, crazy versions of C-3PO and R2, want to kill Luke right away, but she wants to deliver him to Vader to help her get back into his good graces. Jason Aaron plots out some good sequences that definitely pander to the fandom, like R2 and “BeeTee” having a droid off, and Han and Aphra “meeting” each other for the first time staring down the barrel of each other’s guns. It is apparent that Han has heard of Doctor Aphra before, and I am still not convinced that she is playing Han and has heard of him as well.

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COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #13 - Vader Down Part 3

But the true “I can’t believe they did that!” moment comes when Chewbacca finally shows up. He was noticeably absent in Aphra’s assessment of Luke’s friends, and he gets the drop on her and Triple Zero. In fact, Han warns her, asking her how her droid will “shock my friend when he has no arms?” and then Chewie does just that, and rips off the droids arm and beats him with it! For true fans of the Star Wars franchise, you might remember when C-3PO told R2-D2 to “let the Wookie win” at a friendly game of Dejarik when Han told them that he was known to rip people’s arms out of their sockets. Thanks to Aaron’s playful writing (and Deodato’s art), we finally get to see that in action, and it is worth every panel.

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #13 - Vader Down Part 3

This issue gives a lot of fodder to the fandom, and that isn’t a bad thing. Also, the incredible art of Deodato and Martin Jr. translates the story on a much higher level. The emotion you can gleam from Han Solo’s face when he is trying to save Luke, or the look of fear in Princess Leia’s eye’s is done with a steady hand and an eye for detail. This issue is as fun to look at as it is to read. Especially when Han, Luke and the droids high tail it out of there as the walls seemingly come down around the murder droids and Doctor Aphra, the explosions accented with reds, browns and golds come to life before your eyes.

The “Best There Is”: As I have said with the first issue in the “Vader Down” series, this artistic team is amazing. The character models are all on point, and no matter what the action is in the panels, you believe it is happening just the way it is depicted. Also, the final pages revealing Leia and her search party finally closing in on their quarry, namely Vader himself, is slightly terrifying and exciting all at the same time.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”:  My problem with a lot of these Star Wars titles Marvel has been rolling out is the obvious pandering to the inherent fan base. Sure, it is amazing to see Chewie finally rip someone’s arm off, but it almost feels forced into the story. Also, the peril does not translate at all concerning the main characters, because we all know they will get out of whatever they get themselves into. That being said, I believe Aaron is doing a good job giving us surprising ways as to how they get out of danger, but still, the danger doesn’t feel so dangerous when it concerns Luke. Even the cliffhanger at the end with Leia coming face to face with Vader is a little milquetoast because we all know that she will make it out of that situation in one piece.

FBI Score: 8 out of 10. Star Wars #13 is a great artistic outing by Deodato and Martin Jr. once again, complimenting a fairly strong story being crafted by Aaron and Gillen. Also, it was pretty heartwarming and incredible to see Chewbacca finally rip the arm off of a droid and beat him with it.

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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