The enemy of my enemy is my friend… or just not my enemy right now and maybe we’ll work together for a few minutes and try not to die? You know, I’m not entirely sure who the Rebels can rely on this issue except themselves because there are now a lot of interested, violent parties involved. Out today is Star Wars #14, the last contribution to Vader Down by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. This issue, more than the previous ones, is about the match ups: Chewbacca versus Krrsantan, Vader versus Commander Karbin, Luke versus a lot of stormtroopers.
The sentiment that the current Star Wars wants to brush the Prequels under the rug has been circulating through fandom lately and the current state of the comics couldn’t prove that feeling more wrong. Commander Karbin versus Darth Vader is the next generation version of General Grievous versus Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s a What If? situation that not only makes perfect sense but gives us a little more insight into Palpatine. It shows that he’s willing to try a similar approach again and see if the results differ. Perhaps he’s the real mad scientist.
This is also the issue that made me realize that although Leia hasn’t had the biggest role in this crossover, this is certainly as much her story as it is anyone’s. Han may have the more flashy part and Vader may be in search of Luke but more than anything, this has felt like a faceoff between Vader and Leia and I can’t wait to see how this concludes.
Star Wars #14 is yet another strong part of the Vader Down story and gets a solid recommendation from me. Why aren’t you reading this yet?
Vader Down continues this week as Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato take over again and oh my word, this issue is fun! Despite the lovely cover by Mark Brooks, there’s not much of Leia or Vader in this issue. Instead, it focuses mostly on Dr. Aphra and the Murder Bots versus Han Solo and Chewbacca. The stakes? Luke Skywalker and Artoo.
The entire issue is just delightful. At times, it’s actually incredibly funny despite the decidedly unfunny circumstances but it still works. We get BeeTee versus Artoo! (And you thought Artoo and Chopper were different…) We get Chewbacca versus Triple Zero… aka a protocol droid that he doesn’t feel obliged to not rip apart! And finally, we get Han Solo versus Dr. Aphra which is everything I ever wanted but never knew to ask for despite us as readers being told that she’s a dark mirror version of Indiana Jones from the start.
Star Wars #13 is a bit of a change from the rest of the Vader Down event so far. It’s a nice breather from being terrified of Vader (although the next issue promises to do that again.) While some more uptight readers may be put off by some of the humor that verges a little more on slapstick, I found it refreshing and just plain fun. When else are you going to get to see Chewie go after a droid and [REDACTED]? Aaron even nails the essence of Han Solo when he makes an ever so slight miscalculation while being so smug and certain.
I also have to take a moment and take Deodato for not only rocking the hell out of this book so far but for also drawing Aphra wearing that rad jacket that Adi Granov used for the cover of Darth Vader #3. It’s finally in the book!
Just like Marvel promised us, Vader Down continues to be an awesome crossover event and definitely one that you should be picking up.
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.