STAR WARS- DARTH VADER VOL. 1: VADER (Marvel, First Printing, 2015; Softcover)
Collects Darth Vader #1-6 (cover dates April- August, 2015)
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larocca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
My 9 year old son checked this out of the library and asked me to read it with him. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this was. This takes places between Episodes IV and V and deals with Darth Vader being taken to task by The Emperor for his failure with the destruction of the Death Star. Lots of Easter eggs, such as Vader hiring Boba Fett to track down Luke Skywalker, etc. The Emperor ends up making Vader seem too human. It was really strange to have Darth Vader be the “hero” of the story, with readers being forced to sympathize with him. I normally dislike it when the villain is humanized, as sympathy for the bad guy is something that I do not like. I prefer straight up good versus bad guy, white hats versus black hats stuff. Real life is not so black and white though, so I have come to terms with moral ambiguity and things being various shades of gray instead. To quote the kids, it is what it is.
I liked how events from the prequels were brought in and inserted into the original trilogy. I really enjoyed Triple Zero (0-0-0), a sadistic protocol droid. I found his behavior hilarious when compared to C-3P0's benign nature. Aphra was annoying in a way, but she worked as far as furthering the plot. I found her dialogue to be mostly unlikable, as the character herself was fine.
My son's take: It was good. I liked the fact that it was centered around Darth Vader. How Darth Vader framed someone. He liked the writing and artwork. We both enjoyed reading it together.
Kieron Gillen's writing is solid. He has a solid grasp on the Star Wars universe. Salvador Larocca's artwork is great, as it always has been. This is solid stuff that would please any Star Wars fan, old or new.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Good weight glossy coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.