Comic Review: Tales from Vader’s Castle #1

It’s October when spookiness is running amok. That also means many Halloween and horror themes in comics. This week, the all ages book Star Wars Adventures started their October event Tales from Vader’s Castle. I picked up issue one written by Cavan Scott, art by Derek Charm and Chris Fenoglio, and letterer Robbie Robbins.

What drew me to this comic right away was that it featured Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla from Star Wars: Rebels. I love Rebels! I miss it so much, and I look forward to starting it in my podcast at the beginning of 2019. Hera is arguably one of the best female characters in new Star Wars canon. Kanan has become one of my favorite Jedi. I wanted another adventure with them, and this was a fun little romp.

Photo courtesy of zareleonis on Tumblr

The thing about the Star Wars Adventures comics is that it’s targeted for a younger audience. They’re not dark or gritty or that deep. They’re fun as they add little snippets into the canon. I haven’t read all of them, but what I have loved from the ones I’ve read is how it mixes the older movies with the new shows. For example, last month’s issue had Agent Kallus (another favorite of mine from Rebels) meeting Han Solo. It meshes this multimedia world of Star Wars so well.

That’s exactly what Tales of Vader’s Castle #1 was: a fun spooky story where a malevolent spirit has invaded Hera’s ship, the Ghost (making it literally a ghost ship), and possesses Chopper, Hera’s droid. Kanan and Hera have to fight it while protecting a contact with Imperial information.

The Rebels story was fun, but it’s bookend by the main tale from the point of view of Lina Graf and her crew.

Photo courtesy of flickeringmyth.com

Their ship comes under fire from Tie Fighters, leaving them no choice but to crash land on Mustafar right outside of Darth Vader’s castle.

Derek Charm handled the artwork for Lina Graf’s crew, while Chris Fenoglio did the Hera and Kanan story. Fenoglio’s work is nice, but it doesn’t have the dark tone of Charm’s part. Being an October Halloween event, I wish it had that darker tone through the entire comic even if it’s an all ages comic.

Cavan Scott’s writing is wonderful and right on point with Rebels. I could hear Kanan’s sass. When Hera is pleading with the spirit, I could hear the tone she used when trying to trick Grand Admiral Thrawn in season three. This isn’t someone who picked up a writing gig for one issue. This is someone who did his homework and knew the characters well.

I enjoyed it for what it was. Again, it’s nothing groundbreaking in the world of Star Wars canon. But if you’re looking for a fun little read, it’s pretty good. I’m intrigued what the next four weeks will bring us with Tales of Vader’s Castle.

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