Fans all around the world were upset when Lucasfilm stated that all the expanded universe and post-Return of the Jedi stories were gone with the Apple Pippin. Since Marvel and Lucasfilm are both owned by Disney, it was perfect sense that the property would return to the publisher. Since then, all their comic title like Star Wars, Princess Leia, Darth Vader and the like have developed great stories and written by fans of the series. Not to mention that they take place between “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back.”
After nearly a year of making comics for the franchise, it seems that writer Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen have brought together their first event: Vader Down. The first issue wastes no time to getting to the action. Darth Vader is on the hunt for Luke Skywalker since he has discovered that it was his son that blew up the Death Star. Now his plan is to turn Luke to the dark side and they can rule the universe as father and son. Vader is on his way to Vorgas Vas because Doctor Aphra had information that Luke was on that planet.
Unbeknownst to Vader, the rebels have been using it as a secret supply station and Vader flies right into a couple of squadrons of X-Wings on maneuvers. Fortunately for the reader, this series is designed to remind people just how badass Darth Vader was instead of the whiny little kid from the prequels. Of course, during the battle, Vader encounters Luke and they go head-to-head after Vader turns various squadrons into shreds. Luke manages to take him down and both crash land on the planet.
Now, the rebels launch and all-out insane plane to capture Vader and eliminate him from the equation. Although, you can see what the rebels are up against when Vader manages to take out a couple of ships without even being inside a TIE fighter. The closing spread gives you the scope as to how Vader will deal with the oncoming rebel threat (?) and remind all of us why we fell in love with that character back in 1977.
Artwork by Mike Deodato is complete amazing. Using spread pages not to create something when the story is weak (or fill pages) but they manage to give you the grand scale of how this story is going to be. Aaron’s story is tight and gets the plot moving toward the cliffhanger end of the first issue. The artwork is quite astonishing when you see the likeness of some of the actors (from that period) as if it was straight lifted from the movies.
Vader Down #1 is a solid issue and definitely sets up to remind the fans that Vader is a complete badass. Not to mention that his own powers were never fully realized in the films, much like bringing down ships and taking on more than one opponent at a time. The comic series really feels like a movie event and will make people wish this was part of the film chronology. The next issue will continue on in Darth Vader #12 next week. I suggest you pick this issue up and give it a read.