Star Wars: Darth Vader #1

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1

Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist: Salvador Larroca Publisher: Marvel Comics Release Date: February 11, 2015 Cover Price: $4.99 Critic Reviews: 39 User Reviews: 34
8.1Critic Rating
8.3User Rating

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The original Dark Lord of the Sith stars in his first ongoing series!
Ever since Darth Vader made his first on-screen appearance, he became the one of the most popular villains to ever haunt an audience's dreams! Now, follow Vader straight from the ending of A NEW HOPE (and the pages of the new STAR WARS comic book) into his own series, showing the Empire's war with the Rebel Alliance from the other side! Writer Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Journey Into Mystery, Iron Man) and artist Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man, X-Men: No More Humans) bring us a peek behind the mask of evil!

  • 10
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Feb 11, 2015

    DARTH VADER is here and this is a series you have to read. Vader can be a complex character especially since he doesn't openly convey what he's thinking. He's definitely a man of little words with his actions speaking volumes. Kieron Gillen does a stellar job allowing readers to connect with the dark figure without compromising who and what he's all about. The art and colors by Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado captures the vibe required to push the story and character forward. Gillen is setting up some great story threads. Even if you never thought you needed to know what Vader was up to in between Episodes IV and V, you'll discover that it is something you'll want to see. If you've been wondering if this series will grab your interest, you can almost hear Vader saying, "I have you now." This series is worthy of Darth Vader's greatness. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Fanboys Inc - Jeff Ayers Feb 11, 2015

    It really is a wonderful issue depicting an iconic character. Fans of the series will be pleased, and fans of Darth Vader himself will be excited to see him portrayed so vividly and full of life once more. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Big Comic Page - Lewis "Daft Vader" Campbell Feb 12, 2015

    I believe that this first issue has equalled and eclipsed the Star Wars launch of last month. Like Vader and the Emperor, KieronGillenand Salvador Larroca are a powerful combination. I cannot wait to see the dark directions this series will take and how the Dark Lord grows in power and menace, and for further brilliance from this writer and artists collaboration. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas Feb 14, 2015

    With a couple more series to be released (Princess Leia and Kanan, the Last Padawan) I'm looking forward to seeing how Marvel expands the franchise, hopefully maintaining the quality of the first two books. Although I loved the first issue of Star Wars, I found this premiere issue to be even more enjoyable and that's saying a lot. The cinematic art, as well as the writing that is true to the characters involved have made for another fantastic first issue, and it seems as though the Star Wars Universe is in great hands at Marvel. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Forces Of Geek - Atlee Greene Feb 16, 2015

    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 are going have. Darth Vader's first ongoing series comes out swinging and hits a home run with every turn of the page. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Inter-Comics Podcast - writingtwentytwopages Feb 12, 2015

    As a first issue there is little to complain about, plenty of action, story set up and more than a few appearances from familiar faces. There are few series which begin so well and that has to be one thing this creative team are credited with, not only have they made a great comic about one of fandoms most iconic characters but they have also made a great comic book. This is a series that deserves your money because it can only get better with each passing issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    SciFiPulse - Patrick Hayes Feb 13, 2015

    Good story and excellent art have this book easily surpassing the flagship title of the franchise. I will definitely follow this book with this team. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Book Resources - Doug Zawisza Feb 9, 2015

    While many fans still lament the brand shift to Marvel, Gillen and company prove with this issue that the "Star Wars" franchise is in good hands. Darth Vader finally has a chance to become truly despicable and fearful, and Gillen and Larroca do a magnificent job of proving that to readers. Best of all, "Darth Vader" #1 is completely approachable, regardless of the depth of familiarity any reader may have with "Star Wars" or the Dark Lord of the Sith. That said, however, "Darth Vader" #1 is not a comic for everyone, as Gillen and Larroca make it very clear this character may be painfully beyond redemption. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Unleash The Fanboy - John McCubbin Feb 10, 2015

    Marvel launch yet another successful Star Wars title, with Darth Vader #1 showing the characters fearsome presence, whilst at the same time showing signs of an intriguing plot. It also showcases some phenomenal artwork, and though there may be the odd factor that frustrates, the issue leaves me more than eager to return for more. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Book Bin - Andy Frisk Feb 11, 2015

    The Verdict: Anything Kieron Gillen writes I'll read. I will especially read his take on Darth Vader, all the more so since it isn't a flattering glorification of evil...at least through issue #1. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Geeked Out Nation - CJ Yudelson Feb 12, 2015

    Writing a character that is steeped in so much cannon from 6 films could present achallenging dilemma, but if the first issue is any indication the creative team has a solid handle on the Dark Lord of the Sith. Darth Vader #1 is a cinematic, and engaging read. I highly recommend it. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Outright Geekery - Adam Normal Feb 14, 2015

    Darth Vader makes his triumphant return in this issue and I cannot wait to read more. Glillen's characterization of Vader is perfect and the art for Larroca and Delgado is cinematic and beautiful. What more can you want from a Star Wars book? Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck Feb 12, 2015

    The script by Keiron Gillen is quite good, setting up several storylines for future issues - and the art by Salvador Larroca is terrific, capturing the look and feel of the Star Wars universe with amazing skill. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Feb 11, 2015

    Marvel's second Star Wars comic of 2015 is off to a great start. Darth Vader #1 achieves a delicate balance between showcasing the titular villain at his most fearsome while also acknowledging the complex history and motivations driving Vader. Gillen's approach to writing Vader is subtle and effective. And despite some storytelling troubles in one scene, Larroca's art is key in bringing this vision of the Dark Lord of the Sith to life. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    Good Kind Of Geek - Nikki Yuan Feb 12, 2015

    The new Star Wars: Darth Vader series is off to a great start. The story is engaging, and it allows us to see a dark, and complex side of Vader. The addition of a surprise character appearance is great, and I can't wait to see what's in store for us next. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Word Of The Nerd - The Nerd Feb 12, 2015

    With brilliantly sharp and colorful artwork by Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado to bring Gillen's writing to life, this first issue if not the entire story arc should find a spot in the best of 2015's offerings. There is no denying the fact that Darth Vader is THE biggest bad-ass in the galaxy with the power to back it up and I sincerely hope that this series will live up to the heritage and quality which it draws from. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Multiversity Comics - Jess Camacho Feb 12, 2015

    As a whole, "Darth Vader" #1 was great, but it did feel a little less epic after Vader left Jabba's palace. The transition wasn't as smooth and that makes me cautious going forward. The timeline feels a little too close to what's happening in "Star Wars". If that gets delayed, how does this story get effected and vice versa? I also worry about there being too many guest stars. Palpatine is vital, I think, in a Darth Vader story but the surprise at the end and Jabba the Hutt are not characters I'd like to see as often going forward. Gillen and Larroca really have something here and if they keep it up this could become a very special chapter in the story of Darth Vader. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    ComicBuzz - Gary Murphy Feb 16, 2015

    Darth Vader is leagues ahead of its parent series in both writing and art. It also doesnt fall into the same trap in that Vaders side of the story is one that is rarely explored in the original trilogy itself. While he has a clear character arc, the subtle nuances of how he goes from uncaring, imposing Dark Lord of Sith to a father trying to reach out to his son in the only way he knows how (the Dark Side)is one that has a wealth of story potential. Weve also, from what Ive read, never seen that eureka moment where Vader finally learns the truth; that Luke is his son. When your entire life for the last 19 years has been built on separating yourself from the Skywalker persona, how do you react to that? How do you react knowing that the one person you thought you could trust, your father, has been lying to you? Under the guidance of writer Kieron Gillan and artist Salvador Larroca we may just find out. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Feb 9, 2015

    While the second half of this book does stumble a bit, the hiccups in execution don't seem to detract from the potential that Darth Vader brings. Indeed, all the cultural cache that this uber-villain has amassed over the past four decades continues to pay off, as part of the magic of this book is getting to see the Dark Lord of the Sith back in action. Combine that with some great cameos from some other Star Wars ne'er-do-wells, and you've got yourself a book that may tempt even the most virtuous reader to bow before the Dark Side of the Force. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ComicBook.com - Chase Magnett Feb 10, 2015

    Darth Vader #1 is at its best when focused on its villainous protagonist. Gillen and Larroca have an excellent grasp of the characters' gravitas and appeal. They manage to make him an understandable individual without undermining the terror associated with his presence. Vader is a frightening presence on these pages. Hopefully, he will have an opportunity to explore more of the galaxy as the series continues. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Kalem Lalonde Feb 11, 2015

    Darth Vader #1 expands upon Marvel’s great new Star Wars brand with a great portrayal of the best character in this universe. Kieron Gillen is a writer who fathoms this complex character and writes him to perfection. He remains as frightening and subtle as he was in the original trilogy and proves to be a strong lead. Though, this issue’s story failed to captivate me in the way Marvel’s first Star Wars books has. Gillen has yet to pave a clear direction for this story but hopefully he’s not lacking in ideas because his shinning portrayal of Vader won’t be able to carry this comic forever. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Therapy - Kevin Finnigan Feb 12, 2015

    A worth addition to the Star Wars line of comics at Marvel. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - Richard Gray Feb 12, 2015

    Filled with familiar nods, it even achieves the impossible by bringing some of the prequel film's stories full-circle by the end of this first issue. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Rhymes With Geek - Wesley Messer Feb 13, 2015

    Any issues I may have with Darth Vader #1 are mild at best. It's a good way to make Vader a strong character on his own terms outside of the main Star Wars comic and movies. Darth Vader #1 is overall a great read and I get the feeling it'll improve as time goes on. If you dug Star Wars #1 and #2, Darth Vader is a good compliment to the strength of that series. The ending is what sold it for me as it brought it all together to make for a powerful hook for the next issue. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills Feb 14, 2015

    I'm still not entirely sure how much mileage this creative team can get out of an ongoing Darth Vader comic, but this first issue is a powerful introduction. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Herald - Matt Lehn Feb 14, 2015

    Minor nitpicks aside, the series is off to a good start delivering more good than bad. Judging from the years of work he put into (Kid) Loki, expectations are high that Gillen must have quite the long game planned. From Marvel's stable, he would be best to voice it. However, with so many of the character's bigger defining moments already accounted for, it will be most interesting to see what future installments hold Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Razorfine - Alan Rapp Feb 18, 2015

    After seeing our protagonist kick butt for several panels we're stuck seeing Vader bow to his master for forgiveness given the failures the Emperor chooses to lay at Vader's feet. Given this encounter, and Vader and the Emperor both keeping secrets from each other, the comic's remaining pages deal with his attempts to find the Millennium Falcon and the young warrior who he does not yet realize is his son as well as figure out just what plans Palpatine is hiding from him. Although it seems like two-steps back from the character's journey in the recent Dark Horse title, Darth Vader #1 is a strong issue fans should enjoy. Worth a look. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    All-Comic - Milo Milton Jefferies Feb 11, 2015

    The artwork for Darth Vader #1 is pretty good, aside from a few notable issues. Whilst Salvador Larroca is strong for the most part, really helping add to the cinematic feel, this reviewer did have one minor problem, in that some of the organization of the various panels didnt really work to full effect and the layout could have been better. However, that said, there is still some great artwork on display with some excellent attention to detail here that really ways off, and the colours from Edgar Delgado also work to the advantage of enhancing the comic, and as a result, you know that youre going to be in good hands going forward with this creative team, as Darth Vader should establish a regular place on readers monthly pull lists, with loads of room to explore one of Star Wars most iconic characters going forward. Read Full Review

  • 7.6
    Moargeek - Matt Lyons Feb 25, 2015

    If you're a Star Wars fan with any interest in Darth Vader whatsoever this is obviously a must-have comic. Even if you're just a casual fan, there is plenty to be intrigued with in this first issue of the Dark Lord's solo adventure, just don't expect anything to blow you away quite yet. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    AiPT! - David Brooke Feb 11, 2015

    A good first issue that establishes its purpose but takes a lot of pages and money to do so and never offers anything new about the title character. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    PopMatters - Jack Fisher Feb 16, 2015

    This story is deeper than Darth Vader being ruthless and that's one of its greatest strengths. However, the overall narrative has a few holes in it and won't put anybody on the edge of their seat. It still puts Darth Vader front and center in a story that explores his character in a way the prequels failed to do. And if it can do this without Gungans and pod racers, then it's definitely a story worth telling. Read Full Review

  • 6.7
    Major Spoilers - Chris Wilson Feb 16, 2015

    Darth Vader #1 is a promising start, showing a new side to Vader and some things we haven't seen before. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Bloody Disgusting - Zac Thompson Feb 9, 2015

    We're treated to a whole assortment of things we already know, and are forced to see the character exactly as we have in the past. I learned nothing knew about Darth Vader through these pages, and I can't help but long for something else more compelling to get me to return to issue #2. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Newsarama - Oscar Maltby Feb 11, 2015

    Kieron Gillen rose to prominence with his excellent characterization of Marvel's finest heroes, and his depictions of the villains of the rich Star Wars universe are equally on target. Although his dialogue is well-written, I can't help but feel like it's also well-trodden ground for Star Wars, and I don't think it's unfair to crave for something a little more unique. With Darth Vader #1, Kieron Gillen has proven to the world that he has the chops to pull these legendary characters off. Now that he's established himself, let's hope that the Lucasfilm Story Group lets the reins go a little so he can truly make his mark on this rebooted Star Wars Expanded Universe. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Feb 14, 2015

    "Darth Vader" is not a classic book. This issue falls into a lot of the pitfalls that previous Darth Vader comics have hit. There is plenty of action, but poor characterization of Vader as they pertain to the films. The book plays well with some characters but poorly towards others. Many readers will probably find this to be a fun read but nothing terribly memorable. Give it a shot. You might love it. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Doom Rocket - Jarrod Jones Feb 16, 2015

    Salvadore Larroca's light-board-aided artwork grows wearying pretty damned quickly (and goes off-model more often than you'd think), but Edgar Delgado's colors give the book a depth that matches that of Jason Aaron and John Cassaday's Star Wars #1, which means that the team behind the new Star Wars order mean to maintain a certain amount of reverence for this exciting undertaking. Darth Vader may never be scary again, but one thing's for certain: Marvel is going to spend a hell of a lot more on black ink. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Overmental - Matt Overstreet Feb 11, 2015

    Overall, I can't really say I recommend this series too strongly. If you're a big Star Wars fan, you've probably already picked this up anyway, but for anyone looking to make this their first foray into the new expanded universe, I have to say you may just want to wait for something a little more interesting. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Nerdist - Eric Diaz Feb 9, 2015

    So what's the final verdict? If you are only going to buy one Star Wars book from Marvel, then I wouldstillmake it Aaron and Cassaday's book. But if you're open to buying others, then you could do a lot worse than Gillen and Larroca's Darth Vader. If Marvel manages to do as good a job with the upcoming Princess Leia book, then it'll be safe to say that Star Wars is in good hands at Marvel once again. Read Full Review

  • 4.5
    Shadowhawk's Shade - AJ Feb 16, 2015

    Salvador is the artist here with Edgar Delgado on colours, VC's Joe Caramagna on letters and Adi Granov on the cover. Adi's cover is great as always, and I love his composition with Vader in action-mode. And the internal art is definitely impressive as well. Salvador and Edgar have a good understanding of the characters. The only thing that I didn't like so much was that some of the action felt too… posed, as if the artists were trying to capture some scene from the movie, or some action style or something, and it doesn't look quite right. Looks really awkward actually, and this is common for Vader's lightsaber scenes. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Supes' soups Feb 11, 2015

    I enjoyed this issue. In fact I think it has better story telling than the main Star Wars title since it is focused on one and arguably most interesting character/villain. The exchange with Jabba was amusing and it's interesting that Jabba calls him a Jedi because it means Jabba knows that he was previously Anakin Skywalker before falling to the dark side. It's cool to see Emperor Palpatine back in the office where he fought against Mace Windu and where Anakin first swears to become Vader. My favorite scene was actually when Vader holds his old lightsaber which Obi-Wan had passed to Luke and he recognizes his old weapon. It was somewhat bittersweet to see Vader succumb to emotion. Curious to see how Boba Fett (Who could also have an interesting stand alone title) plays into this story. Loved this first issue, will be back for the next chapter.

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  • 9.5
    Synthozoid Feb 12, 2015

    Almost perfect, just wish it didn't allude to the prequels. Vader shouldn't be talking about his Anakin days at all.

  • 9.0
    DarioV Feb 11, 2015

    Darth Vader is one of the most iconic villains ever created for the big screen, so being appointed to write his own regular series must be a dream come true and yet a hard time. Apparently, from what Marvel has already published, the House of Ideas' creative team was born to write the Star Wars universe. Sure, it's still early to say so, but "Darth Vader" #1 is the example of how much do they care about this whole project: artistically stunning and (just like Cassaday on the main series) very similar to the movies' visuals, interesting and uncommon plot, and fitting, sharp dialogues. Kieron Gillen kills it with this issue, delivering a Lord of the Sith tormented between his dark and his purer side (which is why this gruesome villain has become so important). I loved how Vader commands and suddenly is commanded by the Emperor and then again he's in charge, in a circular narration I particularly like.

  • 9.0
    JBL Reviews Feb 21, 2015

    Better than I expected.

  • 8.5
    Gizmo May 19, 2016

    Nice debut, read the first couple issues of Marvel's Star Wars first, this issue contains potential spoilers for that, but I like this it ties loosely together.

  • 8.0
    Cosmic Ray Feb 16, 2015

    Great read!

  • 8.0
    Soyner Mar 15, 2015

    Good to see the gang back in action. Nice artwork and a story that goes back to the good ole days. This comic will not fail you.

  • 8.0
    Inklings May 28, 2016

    Unlike the main series title, Darth Vader #1 is a story told through its artwork rather than its script; this is fitting, seeing as Darth Vader is a filmic villain whose actor (Dave Prowse) needed to convey emotion not through facial animation or dialogue, but through bodily animation and presence. The artwork here is arguably stronger than the STAR WARS title, as the panels it interprets from that series are better realized here, more fully rendered in detailing and line work. The story here is simple, and suffers a bit for it, but like most #1s this is necessary groundwork from which to launch a serial. The weight of Vader's failure to protect both the Death Star and the weapons manufacturing facility on Cymoon 1 lies heavy on him. He is not spared the rod of Sidious' anger and is promptly demoted. Here we see the seeds of Vader's doubt planted: he does not entrust his Sith Master with the knowledge he has gained from his encounter with Luke on Cymoon 1. There is a new force user, and perhaps he may be Vader's final chance to rise up against the Emperor and declare his own Sith tyranny as supreme. This is all subtext: the story is not explicit, and is perhaps better for it. While the appearance of Boba Fett and Jabba seem natural given the scenarios that unfold, I'm not sure why anyone felt the need to give Fett a Wookie companion, as though to mirror Han Solo and Chewbacca. It doesn't quite work for me.

  • 8.0
    The Villain Jun 29, 2016

    The art is what really shines in this issue but Darth Vader is portrayed much like the character we know from the films. He does not have a lot of dialogue and when he does speak you hear James Earl Jones' voice in your head. There isn't a lot of action as this is mostly a kick off and the comic mostly just shows that struggle Vader is having right now. There are a handful of familiar characters as well and that adds to the fun.

  • 7.0
    AndrewAnson Feb 11, 2015

    Reeks a little too of the prequels. Oh, how I hate the word "senate". I suppose this was predictale as Vader is one of the few characters that was directly engaged in the events of the prequel movies. I liked Vader's dealing with the Hut and the bounty hunters but honestly there's absolutely nothing new here that a person watching the films already have assumed. There was a small tie in to the main Star Wars comics by Aaron.

  • 7.0
    bobellis75 Feb 12, 2015

    This one didn't do it for me...I was pretty excited for it, but just didn't grab me like issue 1 of Aaron's series. I thought the writing was a little weak...not terrible...just okay. The art was pretty solid. I liked that it ties into the main Star Wars book. I'll probably stick with this through the first arc in hopes that it improves...otherwise, this is a title I'll probably drop.

  • 7.0

    This sadly gives me nothing I want out of a Star Wars comic.

  • 10
    Juanpk26 Feb 11, 2015

  • 10
    Jason The Dude Feb 12, 2015

  • 9.5
    GlenWizard May 11, 2015

  • 9.0
    crazyAMRIT Feb 11, 2015

  • 9.0
    Slayer666 Feb 12, 2015

  • 9.0
    Cyprian Latewood Mar 1, 2015

  • 9.0
    Eddiec730 Jun 27, 2015

  • 9.0
    MatchesMalone Jul 11, 2015

  • 9.0
    alexdelarge Jul 30, 2015

  • 8.5
    Rotivv Feb 16, 2015

  • 8.5
    JayBee Feb 18, 2015

  • 8.5
    SpeakJazz May 7, 2015

  • 8.5
    matmene Jan 23, 2016

  • 8.5
    pablo Oct 28, 2016

  • 8.0
    XxM1THRAND1RxX Feb 12, 2015

  • 8.0
    mrDovydas Feb 15, 2015

  • 8.0
    Sploska Jan 22, 2016

  • 7.5
    Peaches Feb 10, 2015

  • 7.5
    Aegis Dec 25, 2015

  • 7.5
    halec Dec 3, 2016

  • 6.5
    NickNightingale Dec 5, 2015

  • 6.0
    jcano Apr 29, 2015

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