Vader Down Part 4 continues this week as Darth Vader must cut his way literally through the Rebel Alliance. Chewie, Han and Luke are trying to take him down too, but in part 3 they had to go toe to toe with Aphra and her evil robots.
Last issue ended with a doozy of a cliffhanger that continues in this issue — so it begs the question, is it good?
Darth Vader #14 (Marvel Comics)
This issue opens with C-3PO confirming Han and Chewie rescued Luke Skywalker. Hurray! It then cuts to Leia standing a few feet away from Darth Vader and she’s anything but safe!
Why does this book matter?
This is the first Star Wars multi-part event tying the respective Darth Vader and Star Wars titles together so it’s worth noting if they can stick the landing. It’s also a fun ride to see Darth Vader cut his way through hundreds of blaster carrying Rebels; sure, he appears to be far more powerful than he ever was in the original trilogy, but boy is it fun to read.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is in large part a lick your wounds and regroup issue. Characters are getting their bearings as the plot gears up for the next push of action; that doesn’t mean this issue is lacking in that category as Kieron Gillen introduces a Wookiee bounty hunter that gives Han and company a lot of trouble. It’s more of a setup, but it’s a welcome addition to a plot that was already rather thin.
The best aspect of this issue is Beetee and Triple Zero encountering C-3PO for the first time. They’ve encountered R2-D2 which ended in an all out war, and while you can pretty much guess how this encounter turns out, it’s fun to see the characters matching wits.
The art by Salvador Larroca continues to be up and down with the likenesses, but when it is on the mark it looks great. Most characters are limping their way through this issue so there isn’t a ton to draw, but the full page cliffhanger is largely the strongest part of this issue due to Larroca’s art.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue is basically one let down after the other. From the big cliffhanger of last issue we get a scene with our characters standing around and doing nothing. Darth Vader has a plan, but it’s probably the most boring option he could have chosen. Leia meanwhile hatches a plan that’s basically suicide and doesn’t suit the character at all. Instead of fighting she’s going to just let bombers blow her up? Bah!
Meanwhile Luke, Han and Chewie limp along for 3 or so pages before encountering the bounty hunter and that’s about it. The action is left for another issue entirely, which is the downfall of this issue. Nothing important really happens. Things are promised to happen, but they don’t actually culminate into any worthwhile dramatic scenes here.
Cue dramatic music.
Is It Good?
What could have been an exciting face off between Leia and Darth Vader is reduced to characters standing around and doing nothing. A bore of an issue that appears to be padding out any actual events in order to save them for the next chapter.