Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #5 of 5
Dark Horse Comics
Siedell, Fernandez & Freitas
The Darth Vader mini-series wraps up with another disappointing issue. There are aspects to the story that present a “fun” kind of story but the adventure aspect of the issue doesn’t mix well with the assassin versus Vader idea. The battle between the pair isn’t particularly interesting either and there is no reveal as to the identity, making the villain seem falsely able to keep up with Vader. The book dovetails the odd plot twists at the end when Vader is debriefed by the Emperor but there just isn’t enough to make the comic rise above the mark of being a sub-par read.
Vader leaves the decimated temple with his prize and is finally confronted by the assassin. There are various beasts and the exploding planet that help make the scenery for the battle interesting and dangerous. Obviously the assassin is able to hold his own against Vader but we never receive any grounding as to how the assassin is capable of doing this. Even the weapon he uses isn’t explained leaving the reader to guess as to how Vader’s saber can’t slice through it.
The best part of the comic is when the Emperor enters the picture at the very end. Siedell shows a good command of the character and manages to play up to the Emperor’s strengths as a manipulator. This part of the comic book was excellent.
Siedell doesn’t seem to present a characterization of Vader that is in-line with previous stories. His dialogue for Vader is fairly awful in spots. I simply can’t picture Darth Vader stating the following, “Don’t mention that tree back there. Could be embarrassing.” Or “..more coin in the bank.” Slang terms and twitter-like dialogue doesn’t match Darth Vader at all.
The artwork doesn’t help the story and in some places only confuses it. Specifically on pages four and five where Darth Vader tosses a tree using the force. It is unclear whether it is meant to take out the assassin or the predator or both. Then on the next page it appears the predator wasn’t taken out but just stopped charging and turned around to face the assassin. The art does a nice rendering of the closing scenes. These are definitely the highlight of the book when the Emperor gets involved.
This series is not good. It’s too many issues of poorly cultivated ideas. This particular issue ties up a lot of the loose ends that helps to make some sense of what came before but there is too little of it and it comes much too late. If you like beasts and action then this issue might be enjoyable. If you are particular about your Darth Vader then you are going to find this issue to be out of character on many fronts. The ideas are here somewhere they just don’t get executed very well unfortunately.
1.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles