VADER DOWN – Full Crossover Series Review

All hail the Dark Lord of the Sith! Darth Vader is the quintessential bad ass and the anchor of the massive Star Wars Universe. We all know his character well because we’ve seen it all: his origin, his tragic descent/transformation, his ruthless enforcement, and his ultimate redemption. Vader is a good enough character that even after seeing all these character highlights, it’s easy to feel like you still haven’t seen enough. Thankfully, Marvel has us covered with their ongoing superb treatment of the Star Wars Universe.




VADER DOWN was their first “crossover” event which started as a standalone issue then continued split between their ongoing STAR WARS and DARTH VADER comic arcs. The full arc takes place through the following issues:


  • Vader Down, Part 1 (11/18/15)
  • Darth Vader #13 (11/25/15)
  • Star Wars #13 (12/2/15)
  • Darth Vader #14 (12/23/15)
  • Star Wars #14 (1/6/16)
  • Darth Vader #15 (1/6/16)


As a whole, VADER DOWN was just alright. I’m glad I followed the whole thing even though I felt slightly unfulfilled when it concluded. It’s hard not to have really high expectations when you think about Darth Vader facing the entire Rebel army alone. In reality, the six issues seemed to spend more time on the other characters. I get that the whole reason Vader crashed on the planet was because of Luke (in a great kamikaze move), but I sort of expected more of the focus to be on the actual Sith Lord. Fortunately, the scenes where he does face the rebel army were well done.

The best moments came from the terrifying confidence Vader exudes. When told to surrender because he’s surrounded, he replies, “All I am surrounded by is fear and dead men.” In all later moment Leia tells him that he and the Emperor will lose this war. Darth Vader responds something to the effect of, “men like the Emperor and I are above war. This is nothing but a series of executions.” The dialogue in these moments couldn’t possibly be better. I can practically hear James Earl Jones reading those lines.

One of the largest obstacles in comics is delivering the and appropriate balance of action and individual achievement while contributing to a larger story. VADER DOWN could be a much better read as a trade paper (preorder link above the picture) since it’s all there as one cohesive story. My first instinct was to give this 6 out of 10…. but Vader always gets bonus points with me!


My rating of the STAR WARS: VADER DOWN full crossover series is 7 out of 10.

7 out of 10

Batman #48 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

Batman #48 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo


Two words can summarize the latest issue of Scott Snyder’s current ongoing Batman story – “HOLY CRAP!”


I hadn’t planned on writing a review post of this one… but it left me reeling to the point where I have to at least give it a quick write up. Prior to this issue, the previous high point in the Mr. Bloom story arc was without question Issue #44 (also my favorite single issue of 2015). That issue, however, was set apart in the timeline so it can be classified slightly differently from the other entries regardless of relevance. Now, with the release of #48, we have two highpoints in this new era of the Dark Knight.


It is very hard to say anything about Batman #48 without spoilers. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the read quite as much if I’d gone into it with any knowledge apart from what I’d gathered reading the preceding issues. To prove it’s worth your attention, I’ll try to highlight my favorite points in vague-ish bullet points:


  • Having a core villain portrayed as any level of sympathetic character is a difficult task that this issue executes wonderfully.
  • Bloom is creepy as hell. He’s like an abstract painting of the unholy lovechild created by blending Gotham’s worst.
  • The punches come quick and then ending leaves you drooling for more.
  • I suspect Scott Snyder sold his soul to the devil. How else can he be involved in so many great stories?
  • Greg Capullo’s style brings impact and life to moments that could be easily forgotten in the hands of a lesser artist.
  • Knowing the finale (issue #50) is so close seriously heightens the tension.


My rating of Batman #48 is 9 out of 10. If you’re not reading this, YOU SHOULD BE. It doesn’t get much better.

9 out of 10