So this week I am going to talk about Marvel’s newest big crossover. It’s Star Wars: Vader Down #1 by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Deodato. This book, along with ALL OF THE Star Wars material coming out of Marvel, has shocked and amazed me.
This book picks up where issue Darth Vader #12 left off, with Vader coming out of hyperspace at Vrogas Vas, home of a Jedi temple and the current location of the rebel Luke Skywalker. When he comes out of hyperspace, it’s not to empty space and a planet, but a squadron of X-Wing fighters doing training maneuvers. This would rattle most people, but not a Lord of the Sith, no Vader just proceeds to wipe out the entire squadron with one ship. The fight ends when Luke, also on maneuvers, steers his ship directly into Vader’s tie tighter, crashing both to the planet, both pilots surviving.
We then cut away to the Rebel higher ups, namely Princess Leia and Han Solo, discussing what to do next. The Rebels decide to send everything they can at the lone Vader, including the Millennium Falcon. Back on the planet surface we see Luke crashed in the ruins of the Jedi temple he came to investigate, and Darth Vader crashed in the desert. The rebels mobilize a squadron of Y-Wing bombers at Vader, who uses the force and debris from his ship to destroy them. The issue ends with Dr. Aphra deciding to go down to the planet to help Vader, who is now surrounded by a few infantry squadrons.
This was a great first issue in a 6 issue crossover event that spans Star Wars and Darth Vader as well as Vader Down. Jason Aaron is excellent when writing this character and is one of the best writers around. Marvel has really benefited from having him on board, not only for Darth Vader but for Thor and Dr. Strange as well. His writing is unrelenting and shows powerful people who are not afraid to use their power again and again. He has proven he is great at his trade again and again, since my introduction to him in Scalped, to now, I have never regretted buying a Jason Aaron book.
The art from Mike Deodato is gorgeous. I m not overly familiar with his style but from what I have seen he works perfectly drawing science fiction art. His illustrations look amazing in the realm of Star Wars and he does these iconic characters justice. He does a great job of making them plainly recognizable but uniquely new at the same time. I love it.
Which brings me to a different point I want to make about Marvel and their Disney overlords. When I first heard they had obtained the rights to Star Wars and planned not only more movies, but a series of comics set after the original movies that are canon, I was worried. I thought Marvel would flood the market, put out a bunch of crap, and collect the money. I am glad today I was wrong. Every series that Marvel has put out in the Star Wars universe has been amazing. Be it writing or art every series has been gold.
I really feel like that is due to the fact that Marvel is putting some of its top writers on books. The talent of these books include Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen, Phil Noto and Gary Duggan. Each writer and artist is top notch and writing stories I really feel that they want to tell. You can always tell when a writer or artists loves the project they are on, they seem to step up their game and the work has a little extra energy and excitement about it. If Disney and J.J. Abrams brought that to the films, and if the future directors of the anthology and episodes, do the same, then the universe is in excellent hands and Disney will have proved me wrong.
This issue gets a 5 out of 5, and a very hopeful 5 out of 5 at that.