Commence primary ignition!
Our review of Vader Down#1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils/Inks: Mike Deodato
Colors: Frank Martin Jr.
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Mark Brooks
Story by Jason Aaron & Kieron Gillen
The start of the Darth Vader and Star Wars cross over arc that will take place in a total
of 6 issues from the standalone 1st issue and telling the tale between the other two
titles to complete the arc.
After reading the first issue I have to say I expected …more. I know it’s only the first
issue but the story was a strange amalgamation of the action from the normal Star
Wars line along with the slow pacing of the Darth Vader line.
We start the issue with Vader had Dr. Aphra heading to Vrogas Vas on a tip from the
recently deceased information broke “The Ante” to search for Luke Skywalker who was
said to be there to search for a jedi temple. As Vader’s Tie Advanced X1 comes out of
hyperspace he is greated over Vrogas Vas with three squadrons of star fighters. Rebel
snub fighter to be exact, on apparent manuvers over the isolated world. Vader and
Aphra quip about retreating before Vader decides to take them on. The writing in the
scene was ok though Vader calling himself a dark lord of the sith,… not sure why he
had to reassure himself/Aphra there. So he goes to blasting at 30-1 odds against the
rebel pilots and turns a good half of them into floating debri over the world.
As Vader’s destroying the Rebel fighters will relative ease one pilot in the bunch a
young Luke Skywalker looks out at the carnage and rushes in to dogfight the dark lord
against his wing commander’s orders. At first Vader is glad to see a pilot worth fighting
against then as he started to attack he senses that it’s Luke, his original objective.
Luke however since he can’t out dogfight Vader he slams his X-Wing into Vader’s Tie
and the pair of them go tumbling towards Vrogas Vas’ surface.
The remaining rebel star fighters alert their base on the planet and the rebel fleet.
Garnering the attention of pretty much everyone in the rebelion. Han and Chewie and
Leia along with C3PO all head out with the rest of the rebelions strike force to capture
or kill the wounded dark lord of the Sith.
On the planet the rebel base scrambles everyone there to get Vader, it’s a small
refueling station rather then a full base but they send their full complement of troops
and the ever stable work horse Y-Wings after Vader’s crash site. They get to the crash
as Vader is leaving the site. Vader sees the slow lumbering Y-Wings baring down on
him and force raises some large boulders from the landscape of the crash. Hurling
them at the Y-Wings coming down for a bombing run on him. Needless to say the Y-
Wings being slow coming straight at Vader made them prime targets as the boulders
smash through them causing some to explode and others to smash into into their own
fighters. After a beautiful shot of Luke leaving his X-Wing’s crash site, which by the way
had no one come to check on him showing how selfish the rebellion is… coughs.
Luke walks past the ruins of an ancient jedi temple which was the reason he was on Vrogas
Vas in the first place. Then we come to the final few pages of the issue where Vader is
surrounded by about two hundred or more rebel ground troops. Being a Dark lord that
he is he tells them all he is surrounded by is fear and dead men, then ignights his
lightsaber. Which means I hope we get to see some good guro dismemberment in the
next issue heh…
Now impressions… I loved the artwork, Mike Deodato did a fine job, even when he went
with some of the larger styled panels like when Luke rams Vader’s Tie Advanced with
his X-Wing that has close ups on both characters flows extremely well even for being
oversized, which is what sequential art is all about. I personally love that old call back
to Gold and Silver age facial splashes when you could see the dotted 4 colors on the
paper. I know in this day and age it’s about getting more for your buck since now
comics cost $4-$5 an issue compared to $0.05c – $0.10c. The colors by Frank Martin
Jr. are what really make the artwork shine though. His great skills breathing life into
Deodato’s linework not only compliments it, it brings it to a whole new level. The way
he was able to use the colors and shades to breath life into the character close ups
and then apply that skill the the landscape scenes like the Jedi Temple ruins or the
Vrogas Vas’ company of troops surrounding Vader made the issue exemplary.
As for the story, well I’m going to say I liked it, a lot. I’m a fan of both Aaron and Gillien’s
work on the main STAR WARS and Darth Vader lines. This issue had some
awesomely written scenes but not a lot happened story wise for the issue, Vader goes
to Vrogas Vas and crashes and the Rebellion mobilizes to capture or kill him, I guess
those huge splash pages don’t leave as much room for story like more contemporary
smaller paneled pages would… but I don’t care.. the story for what we got was fine and
the art made it shine. If I had any gripes in the entire issue, it’d be two small things.
One was Vader’s dialogue which was very 50’s style evil super villain from Spiderman.
Which he kind of is,.. but he’s not supposed to be so cheesy about it. I can let it slide
though because unlike the old Vader’s Quest comic that played him weak against a
crowd of rabble he’s going to take on a company of well trained and equipped rebel
troops! Numbering much higher then in VQ…. so yea I can let the dialogue slide.
The only other thing was the adds, dam the adds. Yes I know we have to have adds in
books to pay the bills. But after looking through the book not counting the text crawl
page the main title double page and the checklist pages (and I don’t) there was only a
few times we went to four pages of art before another add page. Here’s what we had…
Title page# 5-6
Lego add pg# 8
Jesica Jones add pg# 12
Order66toys.net add pg# 18
Marvel/DXD add pg# 21
BriansToys.com add pg# 26
Marvel Agents of Shield add pg# 28
Obligatory comic code/Marvel add pg# 29
Star Wars Card Trader add pg# 32
Marvel Local comic shop day add pg# 37
Marvel Squadron Supreme add pg# 39
checklist page pg# 42
To me it’s very
immersion breaking, I’m reading awesome pages of Vader kicking butt then bam, I’m
wondering why Vader is watching Marvel agents of Shield… sighs. But I know it’s
needed. So I’ll say this, maybe next time guys put 7 in front and 7 in back? Just a
Otherwise Vader Down #1 was a ride of awesome with a side of fries. mmmm French
fries… See ya next issue!