Like most of the “Vader Down” crossover, Star Wars #14 is filled with plenty of epic moments, like BT taking out a squad of stormtroopers with a flamethrower, every time Darth Vader gets a line, or the fact that R2D2 has some kind of poison antidote needle in his chassis. And Jason Aaron makes these moments cohere into some kind of a whole with the shared Obi Wan Force Ghost voice for Luke and Vader. (For all of its fun, the Han and Chewbacca vs. Krrsantan plot is just filler in the larger scheme of things.) Add slightly improved art from Deodato and Martin, and the “Vader Down” finale can’t come soon enough. (It comes out today as well and will be quite the family affair.)
Obi Wan and Anakin #1 boasts some beautiful setting work and planet designs from Marco Checchetto although his faces are inconsistent, especially with Anakin and another padawan, who looks like a more cartoonish version of Mace Windu. Charles Soule gives his lead character distinct voices and a tense kind of camaraderie as they leap and explore this supposed abandoned planet. However, his plot runs out of steam in the last third of the book, which seems like the first few minutes of an away mission in Star Trek. So despite its interesting conversations about ethics and politics, Obi Wan and Anakin #1 ends being a bit of a mixed bag as far as plot and art and definitely has room for improvement.
Continuing the “Vader Down” crossover, Darth Vader #14 continues the incremental pacing, but does manage to widen the scope of the story as the end draws near. Picking up where the previous highly entertaining chapter left off, with Luke rescued from Vader’s associates by Han, Chewbacca and Artoo while Leia finds herself face-to-face, alone, with Darth Vader, this issue manages to resolve the Leia cliffhanger in a mostly satisfying way, using that widening of the narrative to both resolve the immediate cliffhanger and provide an interesting look at Leia’s character.
Marvel’s Star Wars comic, featuring the continuing adventures of Luke, Han, Leia, etc. in the time following A New Hope and before The Empire Strikes Back, is clearly positioned as the flagship series of the company’s line of Star Wars ongoing, limited and one shot series. Yet for all the top-notch artists that have worked on the series and exciting moments that have unfolded in its pages, it has consistently played second fiddle in terms of pure quality to its sister series, Darth Vader. Comic books starring super-villains are routinely difficult to pull off, but in the fourteen issues released in 2015, Darth Vader has stood head and shoulders above the rest of the line. Here, then, are five reasons it is the best of Marvel’s Star Wars books.
Star Wars Tales is a quarterly anthology series published by Dark Horse from 1999 to 2005. Each issue was 64 pages long and contained a variety stories, in both number, length, content, and tone. Most stories were considered non-canonical “Infinities” stories unless canonized elsewhere (though of course, now all such stories are deemed non-canonical “legends”). In the course of its six year run, Star Wars Tales featured stories from dozens of different creators, covering numerous facets of the Star Wars universe, from serious, thoughtful tales to comedic ones to straight-up fan-demanded “what if?” type stories. Here are ten of the best, entertaining in their own right but also representative of the breadth of content available in this series
Across nearly four decades and two publishing companies, the Star Wars comic book universe has seen thousands of issues chronicling tales set in a galaxy, far, far away. Following Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm, fellow subsidiary company Marvel reclaimed the license to publish new Star Wars comics in 2015. Along with it, they received publishing rights to all prior Star Wars comics, including those released by Dark Horse when it held the license (from the early 90s up to 2015). Now, thanks to Marvel’s digital subscription service, Marvel Unlimited, the vast majority (though not yet all) of these comics are available for subscribers of the service to read in one convenient place.
Star Wars Annual #1 takes the latter approach, showcasing the fight against the Empire in a completely different way, sidelining all of the regular characters (except Leia, who only appears via holographic communication) and plotlines but keeping with the overall tone of the series. The end result is a fun, somewhat slight, story that deepens the Star Wars comic book universe.