SWNN REVIEW: Marvel’s Star Wars Darth Vader #14 VADER DOWN PART FOUR
Meanwhile, in comic book land…at least that’s what I initially thought when I opened up the fourth installment of the already excellent Vader Down arc. My head has been a flurry of The Force Awakens since last Friday, so it’s nice to come back down to Earth with a series this solid. I’m not trying to say Vader Down is by any means a tame, quiet little Star Wars story. If you’ve been reading along, you know there is nothing grounded about it.
Not much subtle about this issue. If there is anything Kieron Gillen, the series’ writer, has shown us it’s that he gets right down to business. Princess Leia has not been face-to-face with the Dark Lord (despite crossing paths with him in the early issues of the titular series) since her time on the Death Star. The last time Leia was this close to Vader she watched Alderaan being blown to pieces. In the last issue, Leia abandoned everything, Luke included, to set out across the carnage of Rebel pilots in Vader’s wake, hopeful she would get a shot at taking out the Sith Lord. If you remember, Leia had a platoon that Vader made short work of, so now it’s just the two of them. Leia is prepared to do anything to kill Vader, and the feeling is mutual for Vader as far as catching up to Luke Skywalker goes.
Doctor Aphra, Triple Zero, and Beetee did not fare so well in their encounter with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. Aphra’s singular focus of delivering Skywalker to Vader, hoping it will get her off his bad side, pervades any distraction the desolate Vrogas Vas. As she sends her droids away to pursue Luke, she receives a communication from her reinforcement.
No love is lost between these two. Leia manages to get away from Vader and transmits her location to the surviving Rebel pilots, with orders to bomb her location. Someone is monitoring her transmission and won’t be having that.
Vader’s plan appears to be working out. He counted on Luke heading to help Leia out. What Vader didn’t count on was Han Solo and Chewbacca being along for the ride. Just as the Millennium Falcon heads the way of Leia and Vader, Aphra’s calvary catches up with them.
Krrsantan lives! When last we saw this darker shade of Wookie he was being followed into a cavern by Vader, in what I assumed was the last stroll. I guess Vader wasn’t about to quiet the Wookie bounty hunter forever. Aphra has called him in and if there’s any bounty in the galaxy higher than Han’s, it’s Luke’s. As you can see, Chewbacca has a few things to say about it.
The squadron of Y-Wings are on approach to let loose on Vader. Well, nothing really seems to be working out for the Rebel Alliance in this series. Some TIE Fighters come out of nowhere and pick-off the fleet with little problem. If there was a theme to the frames of this issue it would be haze. The dust and smoke kicked up by battles of the earlier issue seems to cloud everything in Vrogas Vas’ atmosphere. As soon as someone thinks they are safe, they are in much deeper peril than they ever thought.
Take a Rebel pilot that crash lands his Y-Wing, for example. He draws his blaster to fire at an approaching enemy, only to be met with an purple lightsaber, and this view….
Looks like Karbin, the Mon Calamari cyborg from earlier Vader issues got himself a promotion. Notice the crimson Imperial Guard-esque figures immediately behind him. Oh yeah, and there’s that Star Destroyer, too. I don’t think the haze of Vrogas Vas will be clearing up by the next issue. This might not be on the scale of recent Star Wars cliffhangers you may have recently experienced, but I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next issue in Vader Down.