By Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larocca & Edgar Delgado
With there now being two issues of Marvel’s main Star Wars comic released, it was only a matter of time before the other series would start coming, thick and fast. As well as the new Darth Vader comic, with this first issue written by Kieron Gillen with art from Salvador Larroca and colours from Edgar Delgado, we have a Princess Leia mini-series from Mark Waid hitting next month and a Star Wars Rebels comic, Kanan: The Last Padawan, coming in April. So it’s exciting times ahead for the Star Wars franchise to say the least, especially as Kieron Gillen has given us another winner here with this excellent first issue, that really gets the adventures of Darth Vader off to a good start.
Darth Vader #1 takes place shortly after the events of the first two Star Wars comics and it’s clear why the second issue of that series was released before this comic. You won’t be lost as to what happens in the main comic if you read this series and not that one, but chances are high that, if you’re a Star Wars fan interested in this one, you’ll already have picked up the two main books already, so this won’t be a problem anyway. The connection between two titles is certainly interesting with flashbacks from Vader’s point of view offering a different perspective of the events in the main series. It also helps that Kieron Gillen is an excellent choice of writer for this book as well, as we’re able to not only sympathise with Vader, and get behind his character even though he is a bad guy, but we’re also shown his raw power and what he’s capable of when he pays a visit to Jabba the Hut, in one of this issue’s highlights.
Much like the main Star Wars comic, Darth Vader #1 has a very cinematic feel. You get the feeling that this could be Darth Vader: The Movie and there wouldn’t be much that needed changing, with some great action sequences and the establishing of the plot really works well. Following the main events in the Star Wars comic, and the aftermath of the destruction of the Death Star, the Emperor blames Vader for his failure and the fact that he let the Rebels bring the Death Star plans back to the Rebel Base where they could be used against them (even if this did lead to the Empire finding the location of the base). It examined familiar events in a different light, and this book provides a really great way of getting to experience events from the perspective of the Sith that should be interesting to explore in the coming few issues. It’s great to see that we’ve effectively got two books focused on the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ ongoing at once, allowing fans to explore both sides of the Star Wars Universe.
The artwork for Darth Vader #1 is pretty good, aside from a few notable issues. Whilst Salvador Larroca is strong for the most part, really helping add to the cinematic feel, this reviewer did have one minor problem, in that some of the organization of the various panels didn’t really work to full effect and the layout could have been better. However, that said, there is still some great artwork on display with some excellent attention to detail here that really ways off, and the colours from Edgar Delgado also work to the advantage of enhancing the comic, and as a result, you know that you’re going to be in good hands going forward with this creative team, as Darth Vader should establish a regular place on reader’s monthly pull lists, with loads of room to explore one of Star Wars’ most iconic characters going forward.