COMIC REVIEW: Vader Down Part 1 | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Vader Down Part 1

By Jeff Ayers

Writer: Jason Aaron with Kieron Gillen

Artist: Mike Deodato

Colors: Frank Martin Jr.


Marvel Comics

Hoo-boy does this issue deliver. Right from the beautiful cover by Mark Brooks, Vader Down promises to deliver an epic tale. For fans of the Marvel Star Wars series, as well as the off shoot Darth Vader series, this one shot bridges the gap between both and sets up a new story arc that will jump back and forth between the two titles for a few issues. The events in both those books have been leading up to this story, yet this issue is the perfect jumping on point for readers who might not have read one or both of the previous series.


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The set up is easy: Darth Vader has learned the identity of the pilot who blew up the Death Star, and it just so happens that it is his son. Seeing as these events take place before¬†Empire Strikes Back,¬†Luke still doesn’t know that Vader is his dad, but he does know just how dangerous Vader can be. One thing that has been lacking in the few Star Wars related titles out now, are good old fashion dog fights in space. This book immediately delivers, as Vader is trying to get to Vrogas Vas in search of Luke, but is met with a few squadrons of X-Wings. After some wonderful action depicted by Deodato, we get a small X-Wing/Tie Fighter battle between Luke and Vader, with a wonderful side by side panel of each character. Also, the stakes get even higher considering that Doctor Aphra is on her way, as well as Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO to round out the cast.


There is no spoilers considering the title of this arc is “Vader Down”, and both Vader and Luke are seen crashing onto the planets surface. The colors are so intense, you sometimes forget you are looking at static images on the page, giving this book a true sense of cinematic brilliance. It is a shame that the rest of the story will be played out in the main Star Wars line and the Darth Vader line, because it would be quite incredible to see just how far Deodato and Martin Jr. could go with their artistic talents.


The “Best There Is”: This is a solid set up for a story that is inherently a the core of the other Star Wars books Marvel has been releasing, namely the hunt for Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader is hell bent on getting answers, not only on the strong feeling he gets from the force, but also the questions he has concerning his lineage. Luke as well has many questions, about the strange Jedi order he has been unceremoniously recruited into, and to where he really fits into the universe on the whole. All of theses themes are given to us beautifully by Jason Aaron’s script, and acted out expertly by the art of Mike Deodato and Frank Martin Jr. Dog fights in space are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to just how badass Vader can be, and the sequence near the end when he takes down two bombers with only the force is breathtaking.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: Like I stated earlier, the bar for this series is raised incredibly high by the artistic talents of Deodato and Martin. Both Star Wars and Darth Vader have excellent artistic teams as well, but a rare perfect match like this one makes it almost impossible to follow.

FBI Score: 9.5 out of 10. After all the set up between various Star Wars titles, this book finally gives the reader endless action, and compelling story. Add to that the flawless artistic team of Mike Deodato and Frank Martin Jr. and you have a winning book in the eyes of Star Wars fans, and comic book fans as well.

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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