SWNN Review: Marvel’s Darth Vader #13

Darth Vader 01Wow! Mind blown! I can see why Marvel waited until we got to December to release this. I can’t think of anything else, save another Shattered Empire run, that would get comic book fans more worked up for more Star Wars. I’m not trying to imply the timing is some sort of clever gimmick. I would like to assume that Vader Down is their way of rewarding fans for their patience.


Darth Vader 02
If you are just joining the Vader Down series, it doesn’t take much time to figure out the Rebels are having a hell of a time dealing with the Sith Lord. Not to say that isn’t unexpected, but they can’t seem to find a weakness. The only one who did was Luke, and it basically took a suicide run at Vader’s TIE to execute that. The Rebels that meet him on the planet surface are not so lucky. Vader is cleaning house.


Darth Vader 03
When I see frames of the Millennium Falcon hurtling itself through hyperspace towards a planet, I assume it’s passengers and pilots are on their way to save someone. That’s mostly true, but the ranking Rebel Alliance officer, Leia Organa, is out for blood. I’m not trying to vilify Leia or make her out to sound aloof. If you were one of the few survivors of your people I’m guessing you would throw plenty of people aside for vengeance. Leia is not interested in saving Luke, she is interested in killing Vader. It’s not Piffer-for-tat, it’s just cold revenge, and Leia wants some. Han Solo recognizes how strange this is for her and tries to serve as moral compass. Leia usually looks at the greater good, but our flaws often find us when the wounds that touch us the deepest are exposed; Leia is no exception.


Darth Vader 04
Doctor Aphra is still with us and she is trying to help Vader out to prove her usefulness. If you remember, Aphra flew very close to the sun in the last Vader arc, and her status with the Dark Lords graces is on very shaky ground. That, and he said he was going to make her pay in the first Vader Down issue, thinking his young associate had sold him out to the Rebel Alliance. It’s funny to see which of the bunch Aphra has been a distant admirer of.


Darth Vader 05
Luke has found himself a Jedi Temple. We are seeing more and more, in the comics and the books of this new canon, that Luke had a great deal of knowledge about Jedi history before he even showed up on Dagobah. I don’t trust this lightsaber inscription, especially since I know where Luke ends up by the close of this issue. For a moment or two, young Skywalker thinks he has seen a vision of an old friend, and possibly more. They are no doubt setting up a much bigger, Luke-centric issue in the near future. Don’t count on too much explanation about this Jedi Temple, as I don’t think Luke will ever get below the surface until he meets his little, green teacher a few years down he road from this point.


Darth Vader 06
That “obsessed with finding” part of TESB opening crawl will have a whole new meaning once this series is done, I feel. Vader seems to have put himself in a much higher standing by the time the next film rolls around. I think this Vader Down series will see a turning point in Vader’s vulnerability and show us the golden age of his “twisted and evil”. The duo of Gillen and Larroca were in the drivers seat this week, and they took us on a great ride. Stay tuned for Luke’s cliffhanging story to continue next week. You don’t want to miss an issue.


Darth Vader 07


Share your comments below or stop by The Cantina to discuss the issue.

You can order a digital copy at Marvel.com or at Comixology.comor visit the nearest comic book store.


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Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

2 thoughts on “SWNN Review: Marvel’s Darth Vader #13

  • November 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    The Vader Down story arc…easily the best so far in Marvel’s new canon! The recent Star Wars arc with Luke, Grakkus and the Gamemaster is a close second.

  • November 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Cool I need to get it

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