Comic Review: Darth Vader (2017) #9

Published: December 06, 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli

As the threat of the Jedi continues to menace the fledgling Empire, Vader finds himself on the trail of Jedi his master has commanded him…to keep alive?

The Story;

Coruscant.

Darth Vader stands on the rear of an air speeder as it approaches the former Jedi Temple.

He disembarks and is greeted by Clone Commander Fox, who claims the temple is sealed. Vader asks that he ensures that no one enters or leaves. There are two companies on guard, which Commander Fox thinks may be excessive. Vader asks whether he was involved with the execution of Order 66 and states that some Jedi have been missed.

Jedi Temple Archives.

Jocasta Nu on a table lightsaber tip pointing towards a startled Grand Inquisitor. He recognises her immediately and chastises her for not letting him read the Jedi texts years before. She realises he is a former Jedi and he formally introduces himself as the Grand Inquisitor. Jocasta declares him a traitor, but he disagrees, Jedi are now the traitors.

He reaches over his shoulders for his weapon and brings his lightsaber down to strike. Jocasta blocks under the realisation that he is now Sith and somersaults backwards off the table. Their duel continues, through the Temple Archives but Jocasta wants know why he betrays his brothers and sisters. He was taken from his family by the Jedi and he never knew them. This wasn’t right, he felt uneasy by this, but the dark side has helped fill this gap that Jedi left him with. He was denied access to the texts he has been reading by Jocasta, maybe they could have helped him.

With a force push, Jocasta catches him off balance and he is sent backwards to the floor. He was not ready to see these texts before and it was her duty to deny requests if required and that is still her job. The Grand Inquisitor recovers to his feet and states the she has no duties anymore and he will no longer be denied. He lunges in to attack, he has waited a long time to strike her down. He claims that she was left in the library as her combat skills were poor. His barrage overpowers Jocasta and he takes advantage kicking her in the chest and sending her to the floor. He would have been stopped during the purge by other Jedi, but now there are no Jedi to stop him. He kicks her lightsaber from grasp and she lies helpless on the floor. He draws back his blade and prepares to deal the killer blow. Jocasta closes her eyes and accepts her fate.

Suddenly a noise above her head forces her to open her eyes in disbelief, Darth Vader has blocked the Grand Inquisitors blow. Why he asks Vader. Vader does not wish this and he is to put up his blade. The Grand Inquisitor is confused and turns to confront Vader, Jocasta sees the opportunity to escape while they are distracted. With the force she summons the books from the shelves and buries the arguing Sith under them. She leaps for the balcony above as her lightsaber arcs into her outstretched hand.

Vader rises from the mound of books to see the Grand Inquisitor unconscious underneath them. He calls to Jocasta to surrender. She can feel the dark side burning her like molten metal, it was Vader that killed the order and he is true Sith. She realises he wants the secrets and she is the key to that knowledge, but that will not happen. Jocasta has made her way into the library control room and activates the purge sequence for all the records kept. Vader watches on as the illuminated books go dark as they are erased. His treasure is gone.

Vader approaches an opening in the shelves. His approach activates a droid Bioscan and he is recognised as Anakin Skywalker. Weapons are not allowed in the vault and Vader’s lightsaber is snatched from his grasp and the droid reaches out to catch it. The droid is trained in lightsaber combat, but this new lightsaber will be a fine addition to the vaults inventory. He asks Anakin to leave and Vader launches his attack.

Jocasta now realises that Vader is Skywalker, this is very bad. She is desperately seeking something, but in her confusion she cannot. Vader takes tears the droid apart with his gloved hands and stands before all that is in the vault. Jocasta scrambles through a storage and finds what she is looking for. She places her lightsaber hilt into a socket on the device.

With a crackle, a bolt of energy strikes Vader in the shoulder knocking him off his feet and sends him hurtling through the void behind him left from this single blast. In the doorway stands Jocasta Nu with a blaster rifle which is powered by her lightsaber.

The Review;

Another great illustration for the cover for issue 9, with no variants available.

The illustration quality still continues to be of the highest standard. The colours palettes work well and are screen accurate. This consistency is key to helping a series of comics flow for me.

The storyline has an edge to it. To me it feels like and old black and white Flash Gordon episode the George Lucas famously used as a template for A New Hope. It twists and turns, yes we all know where it’s going and the inevitable outcome, but it still has a freshness to it.

The dialogue is good and explains the plot and the sub plot, but there is sometimes too much talk during lightsaber duels. With the exertion of the duel, there would be longer periods of silence for me. Saying this though, there are only so many frames and so many pages per issue, so I understand this is difficult to balance.

I love the fact that the Bioscan has revealed Vader to be Anakin to Jocasta. I assume that due to his denial at being promoted to Jedi Council he too will have been denied access to parts of the library by her. Maybe this will come to light next time out.

While some of the Star Wars titles are coming in for some criticism recently (some of it unfair in my opinion), I feel this is probably the strongest of all the series around at the moment. The story is engaging and intriguing with a high level of suspense.

Let’s hope this continues for issue 10 and beyond in 2018.

Availability;

This issue was released on 6th December 2017 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.

SOURCEMarvel
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’.