STAR WARS: VADER DOWN #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Deodato, Frank Martin Jr.
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 18, 2015
It’s a trap! Sorry, I had to.
Continuing the events of Darth Vader #12, Vader Down #1 follows the Dark Lord on his quest to find the young rebel who destroyed the Death Star. His information gathering has lead him to Vrogas Vas where he won’t be welcomed with open arms…
Kieron Gillen has done a great job with the Vader solo series thus far, and he and Jason Aaron have co-plotted this Vader Down event. Aaron handles the scripting for this first issue and he does a great job showcasing the power of one of the greatest characters of all time. Vader is as iconic as it gets and Aaron works well with Mike Deodato to give the character epic moments that are worthy of his stature. This comic is full of explosions and action that show what the Dark Lord of the Sith is capable of…and he’s capable of some wild things.
Aaron handles Vader’s dialogue nicely and his interactions with Dr. Aphra are consistent with the Darth Vader ongoing. Vader’s words are few and far between, as they should be and Aaron lets Mike Deodato’s artwork do the appropriate speaking at many points in the issue. Deodato captures the grand scope of this story nicely and he handles the space battles well. Readers of the Star Wars comics from Marvel have been spoiled by some terrific artwork from the likes of Cassaday, Immonen, Dodson, Maleev and Larroca, so Deodato had some big expectations to fill. Where the Dark Lord himself is concerned, he matched pace with the other heavyweights mentioned above. The other characters in the issue were more rigid in the postures and expressions, which works for Vader but not as well for other characters. Thankfully, the Big Guy is the primary focus of this issue so the tone of what is to come in Vader Down is well represented by Deodato’s work.
Frank Martin Jr.’s colour work is a huge factor in the tone of this issue. Colours are a big part of giving Vader the appropriate look and feel, as the wrong shading or choices of hues can make the character not have the proper amount of menace and power. Martin’s work has all the proper shading. He nails the tone of this issue and his work enhances the dogfighting sequences very well. He gives Vrogas Vas a great amount of depth and while this isn’t the flashiest issue, he is spot on with his colour work in Vader Down #1.
Vader Down #1 is a strong start to this crossover event and fans of the iconic character will appreciate the gravity with which the creative team approached this issue. Much respect is paid to the Dark Lord and I’m excited to see where they take this story. Aaron is locked in as a Star Wars writer right now and Deodato and Martin capture the power of Lord Vader well. Fans of the Darth Vader series will certainly dig this comic.
The Verdict: 8.5/10