STAR WARS: VADER DOWN

Sith hap­pens

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

RE­LEASED OUT NOW! Pub­lisher Marvel

Writ­ers Ja­son aaron, Kieron Gillen

Artists Mike deodato,

salvador larocca

is­sues 1-3 Marvel’s line of Star Wars comics have gone out of their way to gen­uinely feel like Star Wars, aim­ing to cap­ture the same blend of char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion, myth and fast-paced, high-stakes ac­tion. Now, we’ve got the first big-scale cross­over be­tween the two core on­go­ing ti­tles (Star Wars by Ja­son Aaron, and Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen) and the re­sult is a glo­ri­ously en­joy­able pulp ad­ven­ture.

When Vader’s search for Luke Sky­walker ac­ci­den­tally brings him up against the Re­bel­lion, the Sith Lord’s TIE Fighter is shot down, strand­ing him on a dis­tant planet far from the Em­pire’s as­sis­tance. The Rebels use this as a chance to try and kill Vader once and for all – but they haven’t reck­oned with the power of the Dark Side, and Vader is soon fight­ing back with dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences.

At the time of writ­ing we’re half­way through the six-is­sue story, and it’s al­ready de­liv­ered great set­pieces and fan­tas­tic twists, with co-writ­ers Aaron and Gillen clearly rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to show Vader’s abil­i­ties on a grander scale than the clas­sic tril­ogy ever man­aged. The story isn’t much more so­phis­ti­cated than a thrill-ride, but it’s still pulling off some mem­o­rable mo­ments, es­pe­cially when the clas­sic Star Wars he­roes en­counter new char­ac­ters like the mur­der­ous pro­to­col droid Triple-Zero and his as­sas­sin as­tromech side­kick BT-1.

Art-wise, Mike Deodato’s work is vivid, though a lit­tle stiff in com­par­i­son to the sec­tions han­dled by reg­u­lar Darth Vader artist Salvador Larocca. Oth­er­wise this lively ac­tion romp is pretty much unmissable for any self-re­spect­ing Star Wars fan. Saxon Bul­lock

Due in Feb: a one-shot C-3PO spe­cial, which will ex­plain how he ac­quired a red arm for The Force Awak­ens.

Press those but­tons and it opens his flies.

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