Comic book crossovers are a tricky thing. When they work, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When they don’t, it feels like a waste, which is a word I never liked. It’s not good if the characters are dumbed down, watered down, or shoehorned in. You have to have all the involved parties on the same page–literally. But we’re talking about Star Wars and Darth Vader; what could possibly go wrong?
That being said, I wasn’t exactly convinced by Vader’s earlier appearance in the Star Wars comic. But Vader Down is up there with the best of the new canon stories, which is saying a lot. It reminds a bit of the novel Lords of the Sith, and if you liked that book, I think you should give Vader Down a shot.
When issue twelve of Darth Vader ended, the Dark Lord found out that Luke is on Vrogas Vas. What he didn’t know is that he’s flying into a trap. It’s not a spoiler to say that Vader crash lands on the planet. Unless of course you thought he had fallen off one of those ubiquitous catwalks, tripped on a brick, or indulged in too much Port in a Storm.
Once word gets back to the Rebel Alliance that Vader is on Vrogas Vas, Leia decides to join the battalion that being deployed to take him out. Honestly, I think they are going to need more troops than that. I’m just saying. Of course Han, Chewbacca, and C-3PO come along for the party.
As much as I have taken delight in many of the recent Star Wars novels, I don’t think I have gotten a kick out of anything as much as I have Vader Down, and I am trying to figure out why. Maybe it’s because everything else felt like a story that took place in the Star Wars galaxy, while Vader Down felt like Star Wars. With a comic book, there is artwork, so I don’t have to picture the action in my head. Maybe, just maybe, the reason I savored every panel was because it took me back to my childhood, and all the fun I had reading comics. For the longest time, I never thought I’d be able to say that about Star Wars.
Writers: Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen; Artists: Mike Deodato, Salvador Larroca