Comic Review: Darth Vader (2017) #10

Published: January 10, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli

Vader’s showdown with Jocasta Nu comes to a startling conclusion! What secret information has the Jedi librarian risked her life to protect? And can she stop Vader from getting it?

The Story;

The Former Jedi Temple.

Vader advises Jocasta Nu to put down her weapon and that he does not want her to die. Jocasta claims the Dark Side flows off Vader, but she does not believe him. With that, she unleashes another bolt from her lightsaber rifle towards him. Vader moves in time, the bolt grazing past him. Jocasta knows who really is; Anakin Skywalker. The vault guardian has identified him and she now sees what has been happening. The unsaid things in Obi-wan’s final message to the survivors, Palpatine, the Sith, they took the Jedi’s hope for the Force and twisted him and submerged him in the Dark Side. Vader is a tool, no more than a droid sent to destroy the light side of the force, but the force is eternal and cannot be extinguished. The Jedi will rise again. She take aim and pulls the trigger once more. Her rifle begins to smoulder and beeps as it malfunctions. Her hilt springs from the mechanism that holds it, it is destroyed, melted, twisted and useless. Vader reiterates his advice from and powers down his blade. The rifle is overloading and Jocasta uses the force to throw the smoking rifle at Vader, but he manages to deflect towards the book cases behind her. It explodes and the explosion throws them both across the room.

Outside the former temple Clone Troopers look as the explosion rips through the outer wall.

Jocasta moves quickly and heads for the gaping maw in the wall. As she reaches out and a lightsaber arcs into her had from a storage shelf on the wall. She stands at the edge of the hole and sees the Clones gathered below. As she ignites her new blade the Clones open fire. Jocasta leaps down and lands amidst them. Commander Fox is alerted to what is happening in quadrant four and sends reinforcements. As Jocasta holds the Clones at bay with her lightsaber, she unleashes a force push sending many of her attackers flying off the platform and in to the void beyond. Another figure appears at the opening high above the Clones holding a lightsaber, they react to the other Jedi and start firing at him as well. Amused by this, it now takes some of the attention off her.

Commander Fox and his reinforcements approach in shuttles to assist. He assesses the battle and sees Jocasta under attack and another at the opening. He is filled with dread as he realises who they are firing upon. He orders a cease fire towards the target on the temple wall. His shuttle approaches Vader and he leaps from the wall into the shuttle. Vader wants to know why the Clones were not aware of his description, as Fox responds his neck snaps before he can finish.

On the platform outside the temple, Jocasta is coming under heavy fire. One bolt catches her hand and her hilt falls from her grip and disappears into the abyss below. A message from the shuttle commands that they not fire on their target and the Jedi must be kept alive. As the shuttle approaches, Jocasta steps off backwards accepting her fate.

As her body hurtles in the abyss, he fall is broken and she starts to rise back toward the shuttle. She lets out a cry as she realises what is happening.

Jocasta sits on board the shuttle, detained by binders and guarded by clones. Vader is handed what has been found in their search of her; it’s a memory crystal. He takes it and inserts it into a port on his belt. He sees a list appear on his lenses, it is a list of force sensitive children born recently. Palpatine wants her alive as he must have known she was entrusted with this information, so he can create more like Vader, but she asks what does the deluded boy in front of her want.

A Clone offers to stun her to stop her spreading her Jedi lies, Jocasta asks if the Clones realise they are taking orders from Anakin Skywalker. The Clones look at Vader and with blast of force energy they are all hurled from the shuttle. Jocasta asks of her fate as Vader lights his blade.

Vader stands before the burning twisted wreckage of the shuttle and calls Palpatine to tell him that Jocasta Nu is dead. The Emperor asks if he found out anything from her before her end, Vader responds in the negative as he crushes the memory crystal in his hand destroying the list.

Elsewhere.

Back at the makeshift Jedi learning centre that Jocasta had setup before her mission, Gar realises Master Nu is not going to return. He leaves through the waterfall and clicks a button on a remote. An explosion creates a rock fall that seals the entrance, closing it for someone to discover in the future.

A hole has been made in the rock fall and the cobwebs around it, then the face of Luke Skywalker appears to peer in.

The Review;

I absolutely love the cover yet again. The ominous silhouette approaching Jocasta Nu cradling a Jedi holocron to protect it from her pursuer. This issue also sees a variant cover available from the Galactic Icons (#2 of 36) series by Rod Reis of Finn.

Again we treated to a fast paced storyline that for me has some brilliant twists.

The steam punk style gun that uses the Kyber crystal within the lightsaber to produce a blaster bolt is Death Star technology on a small scale. I find it intriguing that the Jedi already know how to weaponise the crystals beyond the blade of light that we all know.

Vader destroying the list of potential padawan’s is interesting because does he heed the words of Jocasta that he may not be the only Sith to be trained by Palpatine. This could compromise his position and he already has competition from the Inquisitorius program. For me, there may be another reason for him destroying the crystal. Could it be guilt for his actions against the padawan’s during Order 66?

He also seems to have no issues with the lengths he must go to in hiding his former identity.

It is also unclear if Jocasta is actually killed in the shuttle crash, does this mean she may be alive? It is tangible to me that if Vader were to hide her from Palpatine, he may be able to manipulate her to teach him the secrets of the Jedi or make him aware of caches of Jedi treasure.

I’m sorry if I’m starting to sound slightly repetitive with some of these reviews, it’s just that I am enjoying this series so much. Each issue leaves me with questions going into the next and for me it is a brilliant account of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader in character rather than just by physical appearance. That physical change happens at the end of episode 3, but the manifestation of the Sith Lord is only just starting.  It is always so well drawn and coloured, but the story is gaining more momentum by the issue.

Does Jocasta live on? Is Vader’s subterfuge something Emperor will eventually find out? Hopefully issue 11 will bring us closer to those answers.

Availability;

This issue was released on 10th January 2018 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’.