“FORTRESS VADER” BEGINS! A JEDI makes a desperate deal. THE INQUISITORS’ mission evolves. DARTH VADER discovers a theft.
Vader continues his purge of the Jedi and his latest quarry is Eeth Koth. The renounced Jedi is now a priest in the Church of the Ganthic Enlightenment and has moments earlier become a father. Koth and Vader duel as his wife escapes with their new born child. The Inquisitors are in pursuit of Koth’s wife and they snatch the child from her in cruel circumstances. Vader slays Koth and returns to Coruscant with the new born on board. He now needs to select his next target alongside the Grand Inquisitor. The brothers and sisters of the Inquisitorius program are in their mess room drinking and Vader overhears a conversation about him and ignites his blade.
Issue 19 has 2 covers this time around. The direct edition is in homage to the classic Star Wars posters of old that show Luke Skywalker holding his lightsaber above his head before the mask of Vader. On this occasion we are treated to Vader holding his lightsaber before the gaze of the Emperor. A nice touch, and a great piece of art. The variant cover is number 23 of 36 in the Galactic Icons series from Rod Reis. A superb likeness of Qui-Gon Jinn is the result and yet another fantastic addition to this series.
Eeth Koth was probably one of my favourite Hasbro 3 3/4” figures of modern times and to see him in this issue was a surprise for me. The introduction of a well-known Jedi character wasn’t something I’d expected. After catching up with Jocasta Nu earlier in this series, the other Jedi Vader has faced have been lesser known or even unknown Jedi to us. As you can imagine it’s only going to go in one direction if he’s in Vader’s sights so prominently.
The twist of him now being a father is very clever. As he has renounced the order and become a priest, he has settled with his wife to start a family. Obviously this is forbidden for a Jedi, but in his new life this shows how he has adapted, unlike Obi-Wan and Yoda who stayed pretty true to the Jedi code.
The cruel way in which the way Koth’s child is snatched from his wife is brilliantly thought out and then the even crueller way the child is presented to him before Vader defeats him is crushing.
The artwork and colouring is up to the usual standard. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Charles Soule work really well together and it feels like they have a sixth sense. Each frame is so well placed and reflects the pace of the story so well.
One criticism for me is that I would love to have seen a more protracted fight between Vader and Koth. This comes from my own beliefs that Koth was an aggressive Jedi in battle as per another Zabrak that we know who strayed to the dark side.
Can you spot the Easter eggs in this issue? I know I would have missed them, but with a little research the names listed in Aurebesh on Vader’s list holds the names Selrahc Eluos and Ka-Moon Kholi. These are pseudonyms for both author Charles Soule and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, respectfully.
So what’s next? Is Vader about to turn his blade on the loose lipped Inquisitors, we shall no doubt find out in issue 20.
This issue was released on 8th August 2018 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.