Darth Vader #9: Into the Fire – Part VI: The Assassin Returns
Having fought to survive on a hellish planet, Darth Vader has been hunted and taunted by the Sith Assassin Ochi of Bestoon. After being cut off from the killer and his squad of dangerous droids, Vader receives a possible way off Mustifar from an eerie ally. But first he must finally confront Ochi and his mechanical menaces.
Darth Vader #9: Vader must escape his endless trials on Mustafar, but assassin Ochi and his troops of killer droids stand in the way! (@GregPak @RaffaeleIenco @NeerajMenon @JoeCaramanga) #Marvel #StarWars
Vader has dealt with more punishment, humiliation, and horror than most beings in the wide galaxy, but this arc hits him with more than he has ever handled all at once. Rejected by his son and his master, he is utterly alone. He is the victim of many in this chapter, but one created by his own hubris. One of the things that make the legendary character so compelling is that despite how utterly evil and terrifying he certainly is, he is also a tragic and even pitiable wreck of a man. This issue arrives in the wake of the all the torture and heartache he has been through over the weeks after the events of The Empire Strikes Back. What plays out in this issue is the point where his luck starts to change, the point where Vader starts winning again. Villain for sure, but this offering shows quite clearly that he is at least the hero of his own series.
One of the best parts of this series in general is that it ties in the original, prequel, and sequel trilogies together very well. This issue takes place during Vader’s last year alive, but has constant flashbacks toRevenge Of the Sith and his rise as the cybernetic terror known as Vader. At the same time, Ochi is a character of much discussion in The Rise of Skywalkeras he was the Sith assassin tasked with hunting and killing Rey’s parents. On top of that, the key to Vader’s way off the lava planet lies within one of the very same wayfinders that was used in that film. Writing stories like this with so many connections to the entire Skywalker Saga makes the entire series stronger. It can be said that up until High Republic, which takes place outside the timeline of the film, Marvel has done a terrific job producing material specifically designed to bolster the films. This issue is a shining example of that.
Greg Pak and team have not held back once this whole arc. Brutality splashed over nine issues went uniteruippeted, save for flashbacks sprinkled about to let the audience feel what Vader, or more appropriately Anakin, remembers during this series. However this particular issue does sacrifice fine detail for rampant action. After nine issues, it is also getting tiresome seeing so much red, yellow, and orange used throughout. The action is great though. Tons of droid dismemberment coupled with Vader finally getting an upper hand on Ochi make it a still satisfying issue. Yet the one huge thorn in this issue is the cover. Nothing on the cover has to do with the events in this issue directly. Vader has damage he does not receive in the issue like his exposed eye, nor does he fight off any battle droids. He does fight off assassin droids, but they are very different from the standard Separatist model. Using battle droid on the cover is simply confusing.
It is getting very apparent that this arc is preparing to wrap up. However that in no way means the action or plot is slowing down. In fact, its doing the opposite. It is going into hyperspace now that Vader is starting to win for a change. Yet it can be counted on that he will still have a few hurtles to jump before the end.
Darth Vader #9: Rampage and Remembrance
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 6/106/10
Cover Art - 5/105/10
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