Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black White & Red #1 Review

Star Wars: Darth Vader - Black, White & Red (2023) #1

Writers: Jason Aaron, Peach Momoko, and Torunn Grønbekk

Artists: Leonard Kirk, Peach Momoko, and Klaus Janson

Cover Artist: Alex Maleev

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

Witness the famous Dark Lord of the Sith in action. This time in black and white with a little bit of red for good measure. See new stories told from Marvel Comics’ writers featuring Darth Vader illustrated in a Black, White & Red series. Read the new Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #1 to see new dark tales of everyone’s favorite Sith Lord.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black White & Red #1 Review.


To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this series. Marvel Comics’ usual Black, White and Red series tend to be hit or miss, like the Carnage one. On top of that, the various Darth Vader anthology series that have come out in the past five or so years have also been hit and miss, with many being misses. All I’ll say about this issue is that at least two out of three stories are good, so that’s a start. Fair warning, this review will have some SPOILERS here and there.

The first story of this anthology is called “Hard Shutdown Part 1” and is written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Leonard Kirk. For readers who are unfamiliar with my reviews of Jason Aaron’s Avengers run, I am not his biggest fan when it comes to his writing, but for he actually does a good job here. The story is that Darth Vader was messaged about the death of an infamous scientist and came for information of his whereabouts. Turns out, it was all an ambush. Shocker. But it’s really more of an excuse to see Darth Vader in action killing fools, but things don’t end how many will predict. And that’s good because this is only part one of a four part story that will be featured in all four issues.

The second story isn’t really much of a story to be honest. It’s called “Inescapable” and is both written and illustrated by Peach Momoko. I said it’s not much of a story because there are no spoken words or anything, you just have to gleam the story yourself. The plot is pretty simple: some random young woman is haunted by Darth Vader and is trying to run away from him in her dreams which turn into a nightmare. I’m not familiar with Peach Momoko’s work in previous comics, but she nails it here. The story just feels like an excuse to draw all kinds of cool surreal Darth Vader imagery and readers will get that in spades in this story.

Then there’s the third and final story in this issue called “Dissolution of Hope” and is written by Torunn Grønbekk and drawn by Klaus Janson. Honestly, this is the worst of the three. The premise is that there is a big party being thrown by Imperial big-wigs near a base and a rebel faction plan a terrorist attack that seemingly goes off without a hitch only for it to be undone by Vader in the end, who was watching them the whole time.

And during this whole story, Grønbekk has narration that is supposed to be Darth Vader, but the voice is off and doesn’t feel like Vader at all in many respects. The choice of wording, the tone, and even some of his thoughts being narrated are all too casual for Darth Vader. Then there’s the art which isn’t that bad when Vader’s on the scene, but that’s only at the tail-end of the story and readers are stuck with less compelling characters for the majority of it.

Final Thoughts:

Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red #1 brings Vader fan three new tales featuring their favorite Sith Lord. While anthologies from Marvel Comics are not alway that great, even in the Black, White and Red series, this issue at least is okay. Two out of the three stories in the comic are good. The first story is an ongoing story that’s good and will carry over into all four issues. Then there’s the second story written and drawn by Peach Momoko, and this one steals the show as the best in this issue with its cool and surreal Darth Vader imagery. Hopefully the next issue of the series will keep up the pace.


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