Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back came out …
Star Wars #13 has comedy, action, and holds Vader back to make him even more terrifying as Leia and her Rebel forces charge forward while the rest of the main cast of the comic is busy fighting the supporting cast of Darth Vader. Mike Deodato’s fight choreography isn’t blistering, but he excels at piecing noteworthy images together, like the progression of events where Luke wakes up from his coma, kicks the annoying BT and runs to comfort R2D2 as if he’s the family pet. “Vader Down’s” cliffhanger game continues to be on point with yet another duel of mind and body to take place in next week’s installment.
The second chapter of the “Vader Down” crossover between Marvel’s Darth Vader and Star Wars books, this issue makes it clear that this is going to be a narrowly-focused story – that is, chiefly concerned with one specific narrative rather than a story spanning multiple threads across multiple books. That said, regular series creators Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca turn in an exciting second chapter of the story, one which moves the overall narrative forward (however incrementally) but also puts the spotlight on the book’s regular supporting cast.
Even if Mike Deodato’s art doesn’t fit the space battle portion of the comic, Vader Down #1 is an explosive start to Marvel’s first Star Wars crossover and will give Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen the once in a lifetime opportunity to show what Darth Vader would do once the chips are down. It’s best read while playing “Imperial March” on an endless loop.
Star Wars #12 brings “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon”, the second multi-part story of Marvel’s new Star Wars series to a rousing, triumphant conclusion, as all the various elements of the story come crashing together in Grakkus the Hutt’s arena, in the process reuniting the previously-scattered cast and putting to rest the mystery of Sana and Han’s marriage.
The penultimate chapter in the “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon” story, this issue finds Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen suitably ratcheting up the excitement and action, bringing the three separate groups of characters (Luke, Chewie & Threepio, Han, Leia & Sana) closer than ever to converging on Nar Shadda as the story heads into its finale.
While picking up the pace of the plot a bit from the previous issue, Star Wars #10 succeeds almost singlehandedly on the strength of one particular pairing of characters. After being teased in the cliffhanger of issue #9, this issue fully introduces Chewbacca into the “Showdown on Nar Shaddaa” storyline (in the same month as the first issue of his solo limited series launches) and pairs him with perhaps the unlikeliest of partners: C-3PO. The end result is comic book gold.