Review: Darth Vader #1

Darth Vader Review banner 1

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Artist: Adi Granov

The next title in the Marvel relaunch of Star Wars is all about the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.  According to George Lucas he is the main character of the Star Wars films, so it’s only fitting that he is the first character to get their own solo title.

Darth Vader 1

Darth Vader #1

Just as with last month’s Star Wars #1, the book opens with the familiar “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” opening and the splash title page.  I appreciate the creators trying to follow the same visual style and language of the films.  It’s nice to see a cohesion across the brand in style.  I just hope that it doesn’t become limiting to storytellers in the future.

The story opens on Jabba’s palace as a lone, dark figure enters.  It looks like they drew Darth Vader over top of the storyboards for the opening of Return of the Jedi it’s so closely matches Luke’s arrival.  Vader has personal business with Jabba and when Darth Vader shows up on your doorstep things never end well.  The Sith Lord makes short work of Jabba’s thugs after he tries to double cross Vader.

The story flashes back to one day earlier on Coruscant with Palpatine confronting Vader over the destruction of the Death Star and the recent losses on Cymoon One from issues 1 & 2 of Star Wars.  Here we see the timeline of events between the different books begin to form.  We are no longer hopping around the timeline to tell different stories.  Both books are jumping off from the same point in time.

Palpatine verbally berates Vader and we establish the relationship between the two of them.  Since Vader was the lone survivor of the Battle of Yavin then he is the one who is assigned the blame for the destruction of the Death Star.  It’s a bit off putting to see someone like Darth Vader being so talked down to, it’s only around Palpatine do we see the more pathetic side of Vader.  To everyone else he is the fearsome Dark Lord.  Vader’s motivations become clear as he makes plans to deal with the Rebels, Jabba, and starts to put the pieces together regarding Luke.

Writer Kieron Gillen has captured the essence of Darth Vader here.  We have both the terrifying, unstoppable villain and the self-loathing, insecure sides of the character.  Considering the book is only 3 scenes of characters talking to each other with a few brief flashes of action, Salvador Larroca’s art and layouts help keep the book visually exciting.

Marvel has delivered another strong entry.  I only hope they can keep it up.

4/5 Kath Hounds

4/5 Kath Hounds

About the Author

Paul joined the EUCantina staff in 2012, combining his love of Star Wars and his obsession with comic books. He has been a Star Wars fan since the early 80's and is always finding a way to tie Star Wars into every facet of his life. Paul lives in Virginia. He loves movies, plays guitar and is TK-5990, a proud member of the 501st Legion.