Darth Vader #1| Writer: Kieron Gillen | Artist: Salvador Larroca | Colorist: Edgar Delgado | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $4.99 | From my column at Forces Of Geek.com
When it was first announced that Marvel obtained the comic book rights for Star Wars, everyone wondered what kind of stories we would get. Instead of looking towards the Expanded Universe, the publisher revisits the familiarity with the franchise’s most infamous character in Darth Vader. Dark Horse Comics produced several limited-run Vader books over the years.
Most of them did a great job of highlighting the dark lord’s ruthless aggression. Still, Kieron Gillen goes into uncharted waters by exploring Vader’s psychology at a time where he has lost favor with Emperor Palatine.
The story opens on Tattooine, where the imagery of Salvador Larroca provides a sense of nostalgia by having Vader’s arrival at Jabba’s palace take a reverse mirror approach from Luke Skywalker’s entrance in Return of the Jedi.
Vader makes his presence known from the onset and wields his Lightsaber at any obstruction. Looking at Vader’s history, Tatooine is the last place he would ever set foot on, and seeing him there sparks all sorts of curiosity. Being back home seems to be a non-issue until the very last page unleashes a rage that was bottled in the entire time.
Gillen does a great job setting up all of these moments and making them so fulfilling. The Emperor putting Vader on blast for the destruction of the Death Star is something that was always assumed, and seeing it in this canonical environment was the confirmation we’ve been waiting for. Vader, in his defense, states that “The arrogance of that weapon courted disaster,” and Palpatine dismisses the notion without a second thought.
Salvador Laroca’s artwork is amazing and nailed all of the iconic images and landscapes, while Edgar Delgado’s coloring was spot on and felt very in touch with the ways of The Force. Kieron Gillen’s work with this opening chapter is a great sign of the amount of fun Star Wars fans will have. Darth Vader’s first ongoing series comes out swinging and hits a home run with every turn of the page.
Score: 5 out of 5