23rd Jun2017

‘Star Wars: Darth Vader #1′ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Charles Soule | Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli | Published by Marvel Comics

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When the previous Darth Vader series ended it was somewhat of a surprise. Story wise it made sense however it is not common for Marvel to stop a series that is so finically successful. Of course, it was only a matter of time until it returned as now we are seeing a new team take over the character. Charles Soule brings the book back to the very beginning as this opens in the famous final moments of ‘Revenge of the Sith with everyone’s favorite ‘Noo!!” cry. Perhaps Soule wanted to start as a down note to lower expectations from the start.

Kieron Gillen made the previous series work by building a strong supporting class around Darth Vader. Vader may be the most famous villain in movie history, but in all honesty, he is not the most dynamic character in the world. The more you see of him the less effective he works as a character. He is like the shark in Jaws.  The possibility of his presence is enough to capture emotion and propel excitement. What Charles Soule is doing with this series is asking how exactly did he get to that point.

Here Vader does not even have his trusty lightsaber. Quickly though we see Vader does not need his toys to be a major threat. This leads to a first issue that works well as a piece of entertainment. Those who prefer their Vader being a badass will get their wish. Looking at the general story there is not much there. It was basically the first level of a video game that is specifically designed to allow you to learn the moves. Now that Soule has gotten some practice he can hopefully move to some more complex maneuvers in future issues.

Thankfully Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art stays away from the photo referencing that has plagued these Star Wars books in the past. His Emperor may look a little strange, but outside of that, it is a gorgeous looking book. The Star Wars comics look best when you have high-quality cartooning that is not attempting to simply recreate actors faces. By default, when Darth Vader is your main character you avoid that issue without much effort. We are finally finding out how Darth Vader became Darth Vader. The only question is if that is a story worth telling.

***½  3.5/5

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 is out now from Marvel Comics

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