The first Star Wars Marvel event has started and it’s called Vader Down, wherein Vader is quite literally down as his TIE Fighter has been knocked out of the sky by Luke Skywalker. The planet he’s been grounded on has a huge Rebel Alliance army ready to take him out. That’s one vs. many, but the odds are in Darth Vader’s favor since he’s so damn badass. Is it good?
Darth Vader #13 (Marvel Comics)
In the first issue of this series we witnessed Darth Vader take his TIE Fighter up against a number of X-Wings and he didn’t break a sweat. Unfortunately that pesky kid Luke was able to get close enough to smash his X-Wing into him and now we’re grounded. Vader isn’t worried though, as the issue opens with him surrounded.
Why does this book matter?
The first Star Wars Marvel event means we’re in for a treat of action packed proportions. On top of this, Darth Vader has never been so badass. I can’t recall him ever having the stakes so stacked against him but he doesn’t care in the slightest. Sure this event might be pumping his power levels up a bit too high, but dang if it’s not fun to watch!
The Force is a religion, eh?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
In a lot of ways this issue is about getting characters from point A to point B. This is mostly due to Darth Vader and Luke being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Aside from keeping themselves alive they’re both sort of wandering around finding each other. Han Solo and company are gearing up to take on Vader themselves, but this issue is more of a check in with them. While these events are a bit middling, we do get a major turn for Luke Skywalker that uses a clever way of progressing the plot.
Darth Vader gets a turn at taking on the rebels and it’s fun to see him blow stuff up. Though he doesn’t do much more than flinch, it’s always fun to see him be a badass.
The art by Salvador Larroca does well to progress things and not make the mostly standing around scenes boring. Instead there’s some tension which is aided by the brutal dominance of Darth Vader’s scenes. That said, it’s tough to enjoy the art when it’s talking heads for 90% of the book.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Not really perfect at all. Instead it’s rather boring and middling. Seeing Darth Vader be a badass is fun, but he doesn’t actually do anything here. Floating a few grenades around with the Force and watching fire and explosions fly by him isn’t that exciting. The fact is Darth Vader has been made so powerful here I can’t help but be bored. He’s just too powerful. His power set seems so off here it’s confusing as to why he’s so slow and stiff as in the movies.
Aphra gets some page time, but it’s rather boring. She’s trying to help Vader, but her motivation seems to be out of some kind of fear, but it’s not very clear. Frankly it’s hard to root for the character as her motivations are fuzzy.
Luke Skywalker gets nothing to do, mostly standing around and wandering like a helpless fool. He’s duped in the issue and while it’s fun to see who does it to him it’s sad Luke can be so gullible. Meanwhile Han and Leia seem to be standing around doing nothing. Oh and Han says Luke is a “crazy kid” twice on the same freaking page! That just seems lazy.
You mad bro?
Is It Good?
A boring issue that’s bumped Darth Vader’s powers up so high he seems impossibly unstoppable. It might be believable but it doesn’t feel earned.