Returning this month we’re having a double review of Darth Vader issues #10 & 11.
 #10 cover #11 cover

Darth Vader #10

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Penciler & Inks: Salvador Larroca

Colors: Edgar Delgado

Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover: Salvador Larroca & Edgar Delgad0

#10 scroll

The Sith Lord’s plans have taken a turn in a direction he hadn’t planned for as his attache Thanoth has been getting closer to the criminals who stole a former Rodian crime boss’ recently seized gains from the grips of the Empire…

#10a

Fortunately for Lord Vader he was able to get to the arms dealer who sold Aphra the explosives used in the heist just before the inspector does. The foolish Ortolan (like Max Rebo from ROTJ) agreed to give Vader the information on who he sold the explosives to. As to deny Vader would be death…

…in this case to agree to sell out was also a death sentence… just in a more demeaning way and have Vader make up some shat about you about to blow up your base/hideout.

While Vader listens to Thanoth rummage through the ortolan’s records to find out who he sold the explosives to Dr. Aphra (my future wifey) decides to pay a visit to one mortician named Commodex Tahn…

… “Commodex -who?” you ask. Funny so did he to Aphra. Not a smart move to play with an agent from Vader who has to make sure to get any and all information from your body… and not in the sexy kind of way James Bond would to female enemy agents. She uses Triple Zero and Bee-tee. They make quick work of Commodex’s home defenses… at his villa… on Naboo.. dun dun duuuuuuun!

#10b

Aphra tells Commodex a sad tale of when she was a little tyke trying to survive during the Clone Wars (putting her age in her mid to late 2o’s) until Aphra the realist that she is reminds Commodex and the audience that “Hey, its war… and everyone has a sob story… even if it meant her mom was killed.” The story was poingient to me as it shows how war can harden a person even those not in it. Imagine if Captain Rex had to sit and recall his many deployments in an exposition for an audience, something like that is how I read it.

#10c

Aphra isn’t as cold as Vader is, she understands that Commodex Tahn doesn’t want to die. But the life he had was a good one in his villa, while many weren’t. Now, that this life of his is over…

Triple Zero and Beetee, THEY are as cold as Vader when it comes to killing. They also do it in a dark comedic way which I love. Sad for Commodex, entertainment for the twisted lovers of the Dark Lord. After a bit of intense torture Commodex breaks and gives up the information Aphra wanted, which she already had known. Queen Amidala indeed had a son… confirming Vader’s suspicions about the young man using a saber that blew up the Death Star that Boba Fett fought against in previous issues.

Aphra then tells Triple Zero to finish his job and the droid slays the old man with a shocking palm touch.

#10d

The issue ends with Aphra meeting with Vader again on Anthan Prime where Aphra tells him he was correct. Though Vader reassure’s her they will not be worried and to use The Ante to find out where a different imperial agent hunting for the boy who destroyed the Death Star. He tells her to be mindful of a new eager and enthusiastic Adjunct Thanoth but not to worry…

…then the camera spying on the pair of them is seen. dun dun duuuuuuuun!

So, 1st I’ll say I liked this issue, even though the action was relegated to the beginning and a small part as Commodex tries to withstand Aphra’s droids. To be honest I would have preferred to hear more of Aphra’s backstory but she had a job to do that Vader tasked her to do.

I’m not sure what Keirron Gillen’s plan for Aphra is but she better survive! As always Larroca’s art was superb, though the darker scenes at Commodex Tahn’s were a little harder to make out facial features. But the awesome hologram pics on the walls Aphra looks at was a nice touch. I have to say it was a solid issue without the mandatory action that the main Star Wars line seems to insist on having… cloak and dagger stuff is what this title is about and I’m all for it.

-Matt


Darth Vader #11

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Penciler & Inks: Salvador Larroca

Colors: Edgar Delgado

Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover: Adi Granov

#11 scroll

Issue eleven of Darth Vader has a more anxious feeling flowing through it. We open with Dr. Aphra (my favorite character) going back to The Spire, a traveler attraction above Anthan Prime. She is there to meet again with “The Ante” a criminal information broker to get information on the pilot who destroyed the Death Star.

While Aphra is meeting with Ante, Adjunct Thanoth and Vader are preparing for an assault to gain more information on the heist from previous issues.

(looks like my room’s shelves btw)

#11a

As Vader and Thanoth prepare to go say hello to with a legion if stormtroopers, Aphra and Ante have a conversation regarding the location of the pilot that destroyed the Death Star, his name which is growing throughout the land is named Luke Skywalker. Ante just happens to know where he is.

Aphra has to wave off some unwanted flirtation from Ante just in time to hear the alarm klaxon’s go off throughout the Spire.

#11b

Thanoth and Vader tear through the Spire searching for the Ante, Aphra and the rest of the mobs on the Spire start running for the exits as the imperial strike teams start street sweeping. During the operation the Vader and Thanoth seize Ante and demand to know who he was doing work for. Ante just like the ortolan gladly starts to sell out Aphra and whoever else he worked for in exchange for his life. Vader of course can’t be having that, so while questioning Ante in the middle of a skirmish some of the smugglers and stormtroopers Vader insures the Ante wont be selling anyone else then Aphra out.

#11c

However Ante sells out Aphra before he is killed by a seemingly (not really) stray shot and the chase for her is on. Aphra gets as far as the docking bay when Vader stops her and starts to force choke her, she’s gotten sloppy and if isn’t silenced can implicate him. He starts to force choke her out but Aphra weezes that she knows where the rebel pilot is.

Vader demands to know but Aphra tells him she’ll tell him later, she needs to escape. Vader agrees and makes a convenient collapse of rafters and tells Thanoth the woman had set a trap, Thanoth takes this way to easy in my opinion. We believe he knows Vader is working with the woman so we assume he knows Vader is lying to him.

Aphra in her ArcAngel takes to space to try and escape as Vader and Thanoth look up at her departing ship. Thanoth reassures Vader it is fine, as he expected people to run and set up a trap to catch runners. A blockade of ships to swat anyone trying to flee…

#11d

All in all it was a solid issue. But I’m getting tired of Thanoth at first I thought he’d be a solid character who will unwittingly assist in Vader’s plans. However more and more he’s becoming a trope of an cop type that gets to his quarry just as they are off’d by Vader secretly or another character. He’s becoming more like a bumbling Dr. Watson rather then Sherlock. To be honest the Emperor doesn’t give a damn about this guy, nor Tagge. Vader could force raise both in the air and brutally dice them both up into pieces in front of Palpatine himself and Palp’s would congratulate Vader on his brutal decisiveness. So the veiled threat Thanoth gives Vader about capturing Aphra and learning what she knows not only was expected but tired on arrival.

The art as normal was superb by Larroca and we had Lando artist Adi Granov give a great cover for Vader this issue. Gillen’s plot though while still moving and solid is getting frayed on the edges with Thanoth and the ever tired thread of Vader keeping his secret he funded Aphra with stolen imperial credits. Meh, lets hope Aphra has some skills to get through the blockade and we don’t waste a great character like her in the StarWars verse with her death to keep the secret nor have her ugh.. go to the Rebellion… bleh.. I feel dirty just saying that.

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