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Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle #1

This exciting weekly series explores the hidden corners of the Star Wars Galaxy and features a wretched hive of scum and villainy including Darth Maul, Grand Moff Tarkin, Asajj Ventress, Jabba the Hutt-all under the shadow of Darth Vader!

Fans will be excited to discover these creepy stories by fan-favorite writer Cavan Scott, with art by the greatest talent from across the galaxy, including Nicoletta Baldari, Nick Brokenshire, Francesco Francavilla, Kelley Jones, Megan Levens, and Charles Paul Wilson III!

Covers by Eisner-winning artist Francesco Francavilla! Collect them all!

Writer: Cavan Scott
Artists: Francesco Francavilla (pgs. 1-2, 19-20) & Megan Levens (pgs. 3-18)
Colorists: Francesco Francavilla (pgs. 1-2, 19-20) & Megan Levens (pgs. 3-18)
Letterer: Andworld Design
Cover Art: Francesco Francavilla (Covers A & C), Megan Levens & Charlie Kirchoff (Cover B), and Derek Charm (Cover D)
Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Brei
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 2, 2019

In the new “Vader’s Castle” series, we learn the fate of Lieutenant Hudd, the shipwrecked Rebel featured in last year’s “Tales from Vader’s Castle”, spun from an eerie tale featuring “Spider-Maul”.

The story opens with Darth Vader’s chamberlain, Vaneé, gloating over a yet-unnamed victim. Vaneé’s pernicious treatment of his prey begins with a sinister “lesson learned too-late” fable featuring Darth Maul in his horrific arachnid-like form.

We’re introduced to a group of would-be salvage hunters carrying out a sort “House on Haunted Hill”-style rite-of-passage test on the junk-world planet, Lotho Minor. To become a crewmember of the droid “Captain Spikewheel”’s ship “Salvage-1”, the candidates must spend the night in the “Haunted Labyrinth” beneath the planet’s surface. Suddenly reluctant, the pledges soon find themselves lost in the strange subterranean maze and find that they are not alone. When one of the members disappears, they all find themselves face-to-face with the grotesque and deranged “Spider-Maul”. There is a moment of victory over the former Sith, but they soon find his web had been cast to draw them to their fate before they had even arrived.

At the conclusion of the tale, we return to Mustafar and learn Lieutenant Hudd is the captive held by the wicked Vaneé and his torturous fate has only just begun.

Without a doubt, Cavan Scott is a master of writing Star Wars for the younger generations. He balances the content to appeal to both the young reader and the seasoned fan. It is fantastic to see him at the helm for another “Tales from…” series. I enjoy his manipulation of some of the well-known gothic/horror stories into the previous arc. With this premiere issue, it looks like we will be in for some more interesting revisioning of the stories into the Star Wars Universe.

The contrasting artwork between Francesco Francavilla and Megan Levens allows the reader to distinguish the present and the world envisioned in Vaneé’s telling of “The Horned Devil” to torment his captive. The same device was utilized in the previous series and works perfectly.

This issue offers some very interesting variant covers. My favorite cover for this issue is Cover Art A and it’s Black & White (C) variant by Francesco Francavilla features “Spider-Maul” superimposed in the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet. Each issue in the series features this theme in addition to other variants. Cover B by Megan Levens and Charlie Kirchoff features Maul pronouncing the fate of an unseen victim. Derek Charm presents his cover which features all the main characters featured in the series within an embodiment of Darth Vader. Charm’s covers are offered in color, untitled, and a black & white convention special.

“The Horned Devil” is a great kickoff to the new series. This week’s issue features a tale of “Grand Moff Tarkin” so be sure to pick up a copy!

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Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle
  • Scott, Cavan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 120 Pages - 04/07/2020 (Publication Date) - IDW Publishing (Publisher)