Yeah. That’s the best way to describe the opening issue of Vader Down.
Story Time! At Dragon Con this year, I was lucky enough to partake in one of the last panels of the convention titled ‘Palpatine’s Plan’ in which we discussed… you can figure that one out. During the course of the panel, I found myself having to continuously defend Darth Vader and the fact that he is powerful as hell and a serious force to be reckoned with. If I had had this comic issue on hand, pulling it out would have been the equivalent of a mic drop because holy hell is Vader a powerhouse.
It’s not like we the fans don’t know (for the most part) that Vader is strong in the Force and terrifying to many a person. It’s not like we don’t know that Vader/Anakin is an amazing pilot. Jason Aaron takes both of those facts and reminds you in a way that you will not be forgetting any time soon. You do not mess with Darth Vader whether he’s in a TIE or on the ground.
When you take a step back, Vader Down is certainly a set up issue but it never feels like it while you’re reading. So yes: Vader, Luke, Leia, Han, and Aphra are all being maneuvered on to Vrogas Vas but this is explosive exposition. It’s a great hand off to Kieron Gillen and I absolutely cannot wait to see how these two gentlemen handle the next five issues of this story.
Mike Deodato knocks it out of the freaking park with his art on this issue and uses his four two-page spreads incredibly strategically and for great dramatic effect. Some of these would look amazing as full sized posters. Deodato also draws a pretty fantastic Han Solo. I hope we see more of his work in the Star Wars universe.
This is definitely one of my favorite single issues from the Marvel Star Wars team thus far and you should absolutely pick it up and the rest of the storyline.