Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tales From the.. $4.99 Bin? - Star Wars: Darth Vader #1

It’s about time I’ve gotten to something that’s Star Wars related.  It just sucks that it almost cost five bucks… I think I know why I barely buy any new Marvel books. When Disney acquired the license, Dark Horse eventually had to end their time with the franchise. Marvel now has the license and it’s all that Dark Horse did is now considered to be non-canon (if it was ever considered canon in the first place). Since the only things that are considered to be canon now are the films (even the prequels, folks) and the animated shows, Marvel’s been putting out new books featuring our heroes post-Episode IV.

Today’s issue is Star Wars: Darth Vader #1. Since Darth Vader is considered to be one of the best villains/henchmen ever, I thought I would try the first issue out. It’s written by Kieron Gillen and he’s been on some books of late. I know he was writing an X-Men book before Bendis took over. Invincible Iron Man’s artist Salavador Larroca takes on the pencils an inks. So, let me talk about how Palpatine chews Vader up and spits him out.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Jordan D. White
Cover Artist: Adi Granov

(I ain’t listing the rest)

Book 1: Vader 
The issue starts out on Tatooine. Darth Vader heads to Jabba’s palace on orders from the Emperor. It turns out that Vader was supposed to arrive the next day, but he has his own plans as he talks to a bewildered Jabba. It’s also revealed that the Rebels have a bounty on Vader’s head, so Jabba tries to take advantage of that. He fails since Vader is one “bad mother---shut ‘yo mouth!” After taking out Jabba’s guards, Vader Force chokes the slug but relents. Maybe Vader knows that someone much hotter will take Jabba out. Vader then tells Jabba his demands.
I got nothing on this.

We then flashback to Corascant a day earlier. Vader tells Emperor Palpatine about a recent defeat involving the Rebels (Read Star Wars #1 for that). Palpatine then chews him out on his failures during this incident and the destruction of the Death Star. He then tells him that he’ll be reporting to Moff Tagge (I think he’s a Moff) while the Empire recovers. After he gives him his orders about claiming the Outer Rim through the Hutts, he sends him on his way and meets with some weird-looking guy. Vader almost tells Palpatine about the young man who destroyed the Death Star (I don’t think he even knows Luke’s name yet), but he heads off to Tatooine with that little nugget.

We then flash forward to sometime after Vader’s meeting with Jabba. It turns out that Vader wanted some bounty hunters. They turn out to be Boba Fett and a Wookie named Black Krrsantan. He wants Fett to find out about Luke and Krrsantan to find out about the man Palpatine was meeting with. After they end their meeting, they head off and we find out that Vader has been getting some revenge on some Tusken Raiders.
Hey, it's a reminder of the prequel!

This was a pretty nice issue. It actually made me want to check out this series and it’s been pretty decent so far. The story is pretty much has Vader in a low place after a few defeats. We know that he eventually got his own ship and gained more power in The Empire Strikes Back, so this is a nice beginning for him. I thought it was cool to see him get dogged on by Palpatine. The scenes on Tatooine were also pretty cool. Vader and Palpatine also felt in-character during the story.

The artwork is a treat. Salvador Larroca’s style is definitely suited for a book like this. Since his designs are photo-referenced, he’s able to get the likenesses of a lot of the characters down. Luckily, it doesn’t look awkward since some photo-referenced art can look a bit weird at times. Is there anything about the issue I don’t like? $4.99 is definitely one turn-off especially since there isn’t a lot of story going on. Also, the story takes a back seat to the art at times.

Overall, it is a good first issue especially for one who hasn’t read much of the Expanded Universe. While the price tag is stupid (“Search your feelings! You know this to be true!”), I still liked it. Well, it’s time to stop taking walks on the Dark Side. Peace, God Bless, and can someone tell these companies that $4.99 is too much for a comic in general? No wonder the industry’s dwindling!

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