Comic Review: Darth Vader (2017) #7

Published: November 01, 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli

LEGACY’S END BEGINS! As Vader takes his place in command of the Emperor’s secret Inquisitorius Program, he sets his sights on one of the most dangerous Jedi remaining alive…and it’s not who you’d expect.

The Story:

Coruscant. The Works District.

Lord Vader stands over the Sixth Brother who is crouched and holding on to the cauterised stump of his left arm demanding he continue to fight. His arm lies on the floor still, the hand still holding the hilt of the Inquisitors lightsaber. Vader extinguishes his blade and turns away in frustration. The Grands Inquisitor has watched the whole thing and questions what Vader is trying to teach by cutting off his arm. ´Loss´ is Vader´s reply, it is something he will not forget, neither will the others. Many more of the Inquisitors are being patched up by a medical droid nearby.

Vader leaves the area and is closely followed by the Grand Inquisitor. The Emperor has created the Inquisitorius program to complete the Jedi purge and Vader feels they are not ready. The Grand Inquisitor tries to defend their progress, but Vader is having none of it. They may all be former Jedi, but they fight like Jedi, defensive and only attacking when they need to. The Jedi were taught to fight to an outcome where both parties would survive and this has affected the program.

They reach a conference chamber with a holo display in the centre showing a segment of the galaxy and the argument continues. The Emperor has selected the Grand Inquisitor himself, raised him and believes in him. Vader retorts that it is his beliefs that now count and he will eliminate any who do not meet his standard. Feathers ruffled the Grand Inquisitor decides to speak up. He thinks that Vader does not feel they are good enough and he could do the job himself, the Inquisitors are not his, but now they all belong to Vader, but if they fail, this will now al come back to Vader himself. Surprisingly, Vader agrees and hopes that the changes will help them find their quarry through the Force. They are to examine the list of the Jedi believed to have escaped Order 66, but Vader has selected their first target. Jocasta Nu, is the unlikely target and the Emperor wishes her dead.

Jocasta Nu sits cross legged with an open Jedi Holocron floating in the air in from of her. It is speaking back to her teachings of the Jedi, but in her voice. Car approaches her from within the nearby cave with a cup of tea. Jocasta rises and takes the Holocron in her hand as Gar hands her the cup. He questions what she has just recorded, it is her last words she tells him. She is getting old and can sense her end is near, not all are lucky enough to have the longevity of Master Yoda. She asks him to put it with the others and proceeds to a basket full of the them. Gar fears that she exhaust herself as she has barely slept in days, but she will not rest until she has completed her work. She sits cross legged as a Holocron from the basket rises and opens, while her cup floats at her side. Her works is not yet complete, but she will work better if Gar brings her more tea.

The Former Jedi Temple.

The Grand Inquisitor had always despised Jocasta Nu. She kept the padawans in her own order of excellence like she would keep the archives in order. She kept the deepest teachings for the elite and she had it is easy there and he wants to kill her himself.

The Archives.

Once he has killed her, he wants to read every single item in the archive. Vader sets him a task to use the archive to research information as to where the remaining Jedi could be hiding and that he should not fail. The Grand Inquisitor has been waiting all his life for this moment.

Jocasta Nu stands high on a cliff top overlooking a waterfall. Holding a Holocron, she leaps down into the ravine and lands on a rock formation in the pool below. She then steps across and through the base of the waterfall. She has entered her underground hiding place. Her Jedi Starfighter and R2 unit are there, Holocron´s neatly stacked as Gar inspects a small document archive. Gar has made some food and proceeds to prepare it for them. Jocasta knows what her next task is for her, she climbs the ladder to her bunk, where a box lies on the chest next it. She picks up the box and Gar is worried that she she has it in her hands. Jocasta has not been building a new Jedi Archive, she has in fact been building a school. But there is something else that she needs, something that is extremely dangerous to obtain. The item she seeks is students.

Vader kneels before the Emperor in his private office. He updates the Emperor with the Inquisitor Program’s progress so far. He does not doubt that the new aggressive regime will be fruitful. Vader has a question for the Emperor, why is Jocasta Nu their first target?

A cloaked Jocasta walks away from her Starfighter as her R2 unit looks on. She asks Beetoo to guard her ship and remove the box from under her cloak. Her takes he lightsaber from the box and attaches it to her belt. It is like welcoming an old friend and together, they still have unfinished business.

The Emperor and Vader continue to discuss Jocasta and why she is so important to them. Although not a skilled Jedi with a lightsaber, she poses the power of knowledge. She knows more than any other Jedi  know, she is arrogant like all the Jedi, but she has hidden the Jedi’s treated secrets with the archives. Only she knows where they are and that knowledge is needed by the Emperor before she is destroyed. He fears that Jocasta could be found by the wrong people and used to overthrow them; this cannot be allowed to happen.

Jocasta has made her way across Coruscant, using her Force powers to trick her way past Imperial Troopers and gain access to a hidden entrance to a building.

The Emperor fears that the Grand Inquisitor will kill Jocasta before they can gain that knowledge and needs Vader to save her from being killed.

A door opens in the side of a statue, in the main hall of the Jedi Temple and Jocasta steps out.

The Review:

As usual we start with the cover. A nicely illustrated picture Vader and the Inquisitors during a sparring session. Plenty of lightsabers and angry faces make them look quite ominous.

The story gathers a good pace with this issue. Jocasta Nu is a strange opponent to single out, but the theory behind this decision is solid and well thought out. Jocasta isn’t a fearsome Jedi with her blade, but the knowledge she possesses must be immense. The secrets of the Jedi in the archives are obviously well hidden, but I very much doubt that they are as well hidden as the Jedi’s trump cards; Luke and Leia.

There is a fair bit of dialogue in this issue, probably more than in any new generation Marvel Star Wars comic up to now. It is actually very well done and I liked the way that the dialogue continued as commentary while we are treated to images of other events that are transpiring at the same time.

The general artwork is of a very high standard, but for the elongation of the Clone Troopers necks which is a bug bear of mine. I liked the illustration of Jocasta’s hideout. I thought the layout was excellent and given a good amount of detail.

The fact that she is building a school and not a backup archive, it seems to me that Jocasta going back to the temple is going to be a massive task, but I think the list of Jedi survivors that Vader and his team of Inquisitors hold could be what she is after.

Issue 6 and 7 combined have been a very good start to the second phase of the Vader storyline in this series. It ties in nicely with Rebels with the Inquisitorius program, but it also ties in with Order 66 and the continued purge of the Jedi.

Knowledge is said to be the most powerful weapon in the world, I wonder if it will hold Jocasta in good stead?

Availability:

This issue was released on 1st November 2017 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.

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Steve Galloway
Steve was 5 years old when he saw Star Wars for the first time during its first UK cinema release. He considers himself a first generation Star Wars fan and in his own words is a ‘Child of 77’.