Hello fellow darksiders! We hope you haven’t hated us much for not keeping you up to date on the goings on of Lord Vader and his motely crew of fellow villains. This month’s review is inside!
Darth Vader issue #9
Book II Part III
SHADOWS AND SECRETS
VC’s Joe Caramagna
Salvador Larroca & Edgar Delgado
So we return to the dark lord of the Sith continuing his reclamation of not only his stature with Emperor Palpatine but with his lost son whom he’s recently found out exists. The issue opens with Vader on Anthan 13 a planet with a rebel cell. He makes sure to get their attention and then as they eventually make their way to him to take the chance to strike a blow to the Empire by his death.
They fail of course… because they are a bunch of terrorist Outer Rim scum who weren’t raised with the good sensabilities of the Core. Vader makes sure to let them know he hates it when people, even his enemies aren’t punctual.
At the orbital dockyard at Anthan Prime the detective wannabe adjunct Thanoth, (sherlock homes looking guy) reports to Vader that he’s set up back on Anthan Prime (see previous issues) and needs the Dark Lord’s assistance immediately because he suspects the whole fake asteroid Aphra made to rob the treasure ship … may have been a robbery.
Vader tells him he better be sure as his time cutting rebels up is too precious.. while he sits on the top of his Tie Advanced’s cockpit hatch looking almost serene.
OK 2 things-
1. The placement of the dialogue bubble was right in the middle of the dead rebels laying down a gorge below Vader, had I not caught the slight outline of one above the bubble I’d have never known he was overlooking them as the bubble covers up the bodies so much you wouldn’t have known they were there. While I understand that marvel/lucasfilm/disney may not want to upset the kiddies showing too much gore… this is freaking Darth Vader! Dismemberment, strangulation, torture are his trademarks, heck if Marvel ever got the green light to make a killing spree gore-fest comic in star wars I’d suspect Vader would be the guy to make that transition for the readers to be… ahem… anyways.
2. Earlier in issue #3 The Tie Advanced had to have legs underneath of it to land itself, yet here we see it landed on its propped solar panels and while we know from various non-canon and now canon (see Rebels) ties can land on their wings for a short time before damage occurs why not put the legs back in here?… Maybe it was forgotten or maybe they decided since Rebels have them landing and parked on their wings all day long they decided to heck with legs! lol.
Anyways back to the action…
Far beneath Anthan Prime is a seedy area where scum gather to do their illicet deeds. Hence Thanoth takes Vader there to meet an arms dealer named Doowan he suspects was involved with the treasure robbery… though they hit a snag.
The bar they go to meet the arms dealer is being raided by Stormtroopers and the pair of twin non-jedi lightsaber rivals Morit and Aionin shown in issue 6. During the melee they capture the arms dealer and make him talk. They hand him off to the twins for further investigations but instead Morit decides he’s too tired from hacking up bar scum to talk and hacks the arms-dealer’s head/face off instantly with his lightsaber. *shrugs* bad day for him. The pair claim they’re going to make sure the sector knows the Empire isn’t weak like some are whispering and that the local thugs the Plasma Devils can’t hide from the Empires bloody fist.
Vader as stoic and silent as always watches as Thanoth rambles about them being children as he should.
Near the end of the issue we finally see my newest favorite character who’s rising through the ranks in my personal fandom/head canon very quickly, Dr. Aphra. The Indiana (Dr.) Jones archaeologist of weapons systems/agent of Lord Vader who happens to be very easy on the eyes as an attractive female mind you is making sure she tracks down some info from a quiet information broker named “The Ante” which Aphra says Ante without the “the” to which he corrects her and he wonders why she’s back since she hasn’t been able to afford his rates in a long time. But as we know Aphra has come into some cash so she asks about Commodex Tahn. Ante suggests the information he gathered cost her a lot of credits for mostly public information, but she says he’s more discreet. I assume shes making sure to hide her tracks.
When Aphra and the droids are heading back to the ArkAngel they ask who was this Commodex Tahn person and why were they important. Aphra replies “They were morticians… …on Naboo”.
Dun dun dun!
Seems Aphra is checking up on some very sensitive information on a certain dark lord? Who knows… but I’ll be making sure to read every panel come 10/7. I’m glad to Kieron Gillen’s story while nice was starting to tarnish with this sherlock holmes guy following Vader around and not much in the way of plot devices recently. Now with Aphra she’ll be a plot device all her own… so proud of her!*snif*
As for the art, again Larroca brings it hard and heavy as a good imperial should showing the Empire’s might. The only gripe I may have is the skinnier then average stormies attacking the bar but hey that’s EASILY forgivable.
Also this issue Delgado’s art got to be spotlighted a bit more with the seedy underworld of Anthan Prime and the orbital space stations business/red light district Aphra meets Ante at. I’m glad while I love Delgado’s colors (see issue 1 at Jabba’s palace) he doesn’t get to use it as much as I’d like since Vader is all black and the empire is mostly neutrals… again, thank you for Aphra’s colorful backgrounds and attire which she fits so well into.
See ya same Holo-net time same Holo-net channel!