Comic Review: Darth Vader (2017) #11

Published: February 14, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli

The Synopsis;

An expensive bounty has been put on Vader’s head! Who would dare try to challenge the Dark Lord’s place in the Empire?

The Story;

Colonies Region. Cabarria.

The Ninth Sister and Darth Vader stand next to speeder bikes parked outside a cantina built over a skyway interlink. They are discussing a report of a Jedi who has been seen, but the Ninth Sister asks why Vader is there. Vader reveals that she needs further instruction as she is not ready to hunt Jedi alone. She has already been taught a valuable lesson by him recently, which has resulted in her losing an eye. They all has their own specialities when they were Jedi in the temple, her speciality was reading emotions and she senses Vader is eager to fight another Jedi. Vader walks toward the door and tells her to stay where she is unless called for.

Many alien species frequent the bar and the band on stage continue to play as Vader approaches a table of card players.

A hand holds a comm-link with a holo of Vader projecting from it that is their target. High above on the balcony a young female human has a portable tractor beam aiming at their prey. Vader’s lightsaber leaves his belt and glide through the air towards her. He reacts and reaches out with the force to stop it moving away from him. Another female on the balcony arms a grenade and throws it towards the lightsaber as it shatters, its crimson Kyber crystal falling to the floor. The grenade explodes knocking the cantina patrons and Vader to the floor. It was an Ion grenade and has rendered weapons useless apart from those hunting Vader. A male human exclaims they are here for the Jedi and no one else will get hurt.

Vader disagrees and with the force he picks up some of the patrons and hurls them towards his attackers. They activate personal shields just in time to see the alien forms slam into the force field surrounding them. Vader calls for the Ninth Sister’s help.

The Ninth Sister hears Vader’s call over the comm-link, he’s requesting her lightsaber, but she decides to ignore him. She puts it in her belt as if she hadn’t heard him. Well the Ion grenade has put paid to it, well that’s her excuse.

The three human attackers are firing at Vader and he is pinned down taking cover. They make for the exit. As they disappear through the door, Vader retrieves his lightsaber’s crystal.

The attackers are a family father, mother and daughter and they reach the Ninth Sister. At gun point they take her by surprise and make their escape on a speeder.

Vader marches out of the doorway accusing the Ninth Sister of being a traitor by luring him into a trap. She denies his accusations and claims that all the Inquisitors are traitors as they all used to be Jedi. Vader uses the force to remove the Ninth Sisters lightsaber from its mount on her back and holds the hilt to her throat. She pleads her innocence, Vader turns and boards a speeder bike and advises her not to flee. If she does, she will die. She had already guessed that would happen.

The family off attackers flee in the speeder. They have never seen a Jedi fight like that before, using innocents as fodder for his attack, they doubt he is a Jedi now.

Vader is gaining on them fast, with the crimson blade already lit in his hand. They fire back at him and he deflects the bolts as he closes in them. He reaches out with blade and connects with a shuttle travelling on the other carriageway forcing it to lurch over the barrier towards the speeder. As it crashes down on to it, the passengers again activate their shields.

Three figures stumble from the wreckage, their shields held, just long enough for them to survive the crash. Then the daughter is lurched into the air as Vader approaches and holds his saber towards her. He wants to k now who hired them. It was an anonymous job from the Hunter Net, not a job they’d usually take, but the fee was too good to resist. Vader is displeased at goes to kill the girl. Her mother pleads that she is a good slicer and should be able to trace who placed the order. The father demands that he release his daughter before she does it. Vader thinks he is not in a position to bargain with him, but their daughter’s death would mean that they had nothing to live for and would willingly die if she were taken from them rather than give him the information. Vader requires proof she can do that and the mother starts to slice the Hunter Net.

The order has come from someone on Coruscant, but Vader had guessed that. He releases their daughter and before she makes for safety her parents make her vow never to try and act out revenge on Vader. He also agrees.

He wants the information now and a holo appears of the Senate District on Coruscant and then focuses on the Republic Executive Building. It seems like the order has come from the top, the very top, the Emperor himself!

The Review;

Two variants of the cover are available for issue 11. We have the direct edition cover showing Vader in the Cantina on Cabarria and the Galactic Icons cover,(#5 of 36) featuring ‘General Leia: Resistance Leader’ by Rod Reis. Both are very nice covers, well-illustrated and have a great use of colours.

It always seems to the first issue in a new story arc that seems to start off a bit loose. Like any book, the first few chapters are setting the scene and that is not different here. Up to now, we know Vader’s feelings towards the Inquisitorius program the Emperor has created, but his contempt for it is shown by his attitude towards the Ninth Sister.

I get the feeling that Vader just wants to get out there and wreak revenge on any remaining Jedi, but he wants to do this alone. The last thing he wants is a would be apprentice tagging along to slow him down.

It is also interesting the technology the family use to entice and then ambush Vader in the Cantina. They will hopefully allowed to get away and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them reappear at some point like Aphra has done in other stories.

Loved the artwork as usual. This has been a really good trait of this series as it doesn’t rely on the screen capture techniques used in other Star Wars series at the moment. It feels more like a comic book for this reason rather than a movie book.

Charles Soule really is pushing the boundaries of Vader in his formative times. The twist that the order has come from the Emperor is brilliant. In some way to be expected, but still a great way to see how their relationship is going to develop in this story.

Although not as good as recent weeks, this a promising start to the new story arc.

Availability;

This issue was released on 14th February 2018 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’.