Comics Review: Darth Vader (2017) #6

Published: October 04, 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artist: Francesco Mattina

Darth Vader… meet THE INQUISITORS!

The story

Coruscant

The Emperor stands in front of what is left of Vader’s suit and the adaptations and spare appendages borrowed from droids and machinery during his recent quest.

Vader is suspended in a bacta tank as the Emperor picks up his new lightsaber and ignites it. His mission was a success and the droids will make quick work of repairing his suit. The Emperor stops, sensing Vader’s anger, that’s right, the suit is now part of Vader he wants to repair it himself. He is a skilled engineer and should be given time to make his own adjustments. The Emperor leaves and through the Force, Vader starts tools into motion from his bacta sanctuary.

The Former Jedi Temple

A cloaked figure stands before a Jedi guard statue, he remembers the lies he had heard. He turns and moves through the temple.

Vader is working on the lenses of his helmet as an alert comes to him from the Emperor that there is an intruder in the Jedi Temple and he wants him to ‘deal’ with it.

The cloaked figure stands in the Temple library, it is empty and he will not be denied what he seeks. Vader stands behind and ignites his crimson blade. The cloaked figure draws a strange looking hilt from under his robes and pounces towards Vader and from the hilt a red blade also appears. Vader catches him with a Force push in mid-air and sends him crashing into the shelves of the library, dislodging books from their places. The cloaked figures hood has now dropped to reveal a sharp figured faces of white with red and black markings, bald with pointed teeth. He discards his robe and runs to attack Vader. The intruder senses Vader is there for the information and that he wants it for himself. A flurry of strikes leads to an impasse where the intruder holds his lightsaber up. The guard splits and becomes a circle from end to end of the hilt, then a second blade ignites form the hilt. He says that the information in the library was promised to him and his twin blades start to rotate around the hilt, spinning into a blur of light.

The intruder leaps at Vader again bringing down his spinning blades and forcing him back. He pushes his advance and claims he has the better of Vader. Vader disagrees and announces he was only testing his suit. He swiftly positions his blade into the gap between the hilt and guard of the intruder’s lightsaber and strikes the hilt. The hilt overloads and the explosion sends the intruder crashing to the floor. Vader stands over him and draws back his blade to unleash the killer blow, suddenly a familiar voice tells him to stop. They both look up to see the Emperor stood feet away.

The Emperor coyly remarks that Vader has met the Grand Inquisitor. The Grand Inquisitor is confused, the Emperor had given him permission to explore the library, but he had also sent his servant Vader to stop him. The Emperor says that Vader serves the Empire, where the Inquisitors belong to the Sith.

The Works. Industrial District. 

The Emperors shuttle soars through the Coruscant skies approaching their destination, landing on a platform then they all leave the shuttle.

They stand on a balcony high above and arena, with multiple access tunnels. In the centre, a group of former Light Side pupils who have now been awakened are sparring with each other, preparing for their new task of hunting Jedi.

The Inquisitor drops from the balcony and lands in the centre of the group and tells the group to form up for their Masters. The Eighth Brother questions ‘Masters?’ they only serve the Emperor, but the Inquisitor says things have changed.

Vader asks who the Inquisitor is and the Emperor tells him he is a former Jedi, who was frustrated that he was not promoted through the ranks as he saw fit. If he had defeated Vader, he may well have been standing there in his place. The Inquisitors resume their sparring and the Emperor tells Vader he is to train them to help make them into a blade to cut the Jedi out of existence.

The only Jedi that have survives the purge, did so to save themselves, but they still form the greatest of the threats to the Empire. Vader and the Inquisitors must now hunt the Jedi and destroy them all.

Jocasta Nu sits in a cave with a cup of caf and 2 rodent type animals settled in her lap.

The review

The cover is a brilliant piece of artwork. The menacing look of the Grand Inquisitor standing over a still smouldering damaged helmet of Vader is quite stunning. A little misleading as to what I inside the pages, but nonetheless a piece of art I would love to have on my wall at home.

The bacta tank scene sets up for what we see in Rogue One; underneath that menacing suit and the persona it gives, there is a severely injured being encapsulated within. It makes sense that Vader would want to make his own adjustments to his suit and no doubt improve its functionality.

It is typical of the Emperor to double cross Vader and set him up against the Grand Inquisitor as a test for them both. Ask Count Dooku, he fell foul to the Emperor’s double cross in Episode 3.

Vader was clever and used a cunning way to stop the Inquisitor by disabling his lightsaber.

I enjoyed the twists of the Inquisitors questioning reporting to Vader, but now he will become their teacher.

So, Jocasta Nu has survived the purge and is hiding. She is an unexpected character to still be alive and in exile. I am hopeful that she proves to be a good match for Vader and his Inquisitors.

The artwork has improved in this issue from the others. I feel that this happens regular as artists get to grasp with their subject and drawing the characters becomes more natural to them.

The dialogue explained added a deep to the plot, especially with the double cross and Vader getting wise to this.

Overall, a good start to the second phase of this period with Vader still trying to find his true place at the side of the Emperor and within the Empire.

Availability

This issue was released on 4th October 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’.