COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #14 – Vader Down 5 of 6 | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #14 – Vader Down 5 of 6

By Jeff Ayers

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #14 - Vader Down 5 of 6

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Mike Deodato

Colors: Frank Martin Jr.


Marvel Comics

We get the penultimate issue of the Star Wars crossover event, “Vader Down”, with this issue of the main series of Star Wars. Interestingly enough, it made me go back into my collection to see last issue, when I saw the familiar “Vader Down” box on the cover detailing which part you are about to read. Sure enough, the ticker box was absent from the last issue of Darth Vader, which is probably just a clerical error from the editing department, but interesting none the less.

This issue is nothing but exciting, from start to finish. When we last left our intrepid heroes, everyone was in quite a pickle. As the cool cover from Mark Brooks depicts, this issue gives us the full fight between two towering Wookies, Chewbacca and the Wookie Bounty hunter Black Krrsantan. When Wookies really get to let loose and fight, it is always epic, as we have gotten to see a few times on the big screen. Wookie fighting Wookie is a new visual though, and it is just as crazy as you might imagine.

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COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #14 - Vader Down 5 of 6

Also, Commander Karbin has come to the planet Vargas Vas to enact revenge on Darth Vader and finally get rid of him so he can ascend the Emperor’s ranks. Karin thinks he has the upper hand, because he has troops, and four arms sporting four lightsabers, but I think we all know how going up against Darth Vader will eventually pan out. All this, and Princess Leia is in the mix as well, with a keen eye and a steady blaster, things could get quite interesting in the finale of this story arc.

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars #14 - Vader Down 5 of 6

Finally, if all that isn’t enough to keep you interested, Luke Skywalker is at the base of the ancient Jedi temple, convening with the ghosts of the past. Just as Luke is about to get some answers (maybe) from what seems to be Obi-Wan from beyond the grave, Karbin’s stormtroopers show up, and get the drop on him. Yet, Doctor Aphra instructs her murder droids to intervene, because she wants Luke for herself to get back into Vader’s good graces. A lot of fun action in this issue at break neck speeds to truly start to wrap up this story arc, with only one issue left.

The “Best There Is”: This issue has all the right moves, and the story progresses nicely because of them. The intertwining stories of Luke, Leia, Han and the rest really come to a head, as they should, in the penultimate issue of the “Vader Down” arc. It is a treat to see Jason Aaron’s vision come to fruition, and just how all these characters, including Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra, all interact with one another. The action is exciting, and never feels too forced at any point. The fight between Wookies, and the fight between Vader and Commander Karbin, both flow organically with the pace of the story, and that is a testament to Aaron’s writing ability. Also, the incredible talent of Mike Deodato is full realized in this issue, especially with the Chewbacca and Black Krrsantan fight. You can only imagine how hard it must be to draw two Harry and the Henderson’s type characters, and make the fight not only believable, but also not look like a tornado at the wig store. Kudos to Deodato’s deft designs, as well as the brilliant color palate of Frank Martin Jr., who gets to add a lot of feeling to the lightsaber battles.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: The stuff that works involves the main characters in peril, but only in a “how are they going to get out of this” kind of scenario. The Luke Skywalker bit works well in the story, because as he is kidnapped, you are promoted to ask just such a question of how he might escape, because of course he will. The stuff that doesn’t work as well are the scenarios that involve the main characters in moral danger, because we know they will preserver. As Star Wars #14 winds down, we see Han Solo in grim situation with the Wookie bounty hunter, and we also see Darth Vader in the sights of Princess Leia’s blaster. Both “cliffhanger” moments are cheapened because we already know the outcome, and the details of how they might arrive there are trivial at best.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10. The action is incredibly fun and deftly drawn by the stellar artistic team, making for an enjoyable read. This penultimate issue of the “Vader Down” story arc has just the right twists and turns to make you wait with bated breath for the finale.


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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