Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1

Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1 (of 5)

Writer: Tim Siedell
Penciller: Stephen Thompson
Inker: Mark Irwin
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Ariel Olivetti

Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1 is a nice take on the bad guys of Star Wars. In this issue, we have a man of power who loses his arrogant, violent son to the notorious Darth Vader. While no names are ever given, quite a bit is revealed about the personality of the characters. The father is certainly no faithful dogooder. Driven by vengeance, he seeks out anyone who can kill the murderer of his son. The story that unfolds is an impressive debut for Tim Siedell.

Right off the bat, readers are introduced to the main character’s son. Upon seeing a man whipping some slaves, the son quickly snatches the whip and then takes over the task with even more vehemence. In just four quick panels on the first page, we know this is a guy we will despise. From there, the story moves on as father and son attend a meeting with Lord Vader. Unsatisfied with the deal they are given, the son tries to kill the opposing merchants only to be stopped and killed by Vader. But this is where the fun begins in the story. Who is the good guy? The narrator and viewpoint character of the tale is the father. He’s not exactly a reliable lense for the story. In turn, Vader was acting in the right of the law, more or less. The son tried to kill someone in cold blood so Vader stopped him. Vader could be considered the good guy. Yet the main character, the father, would lead the reader to believe otherwise. It’s his tale after all. Surely he was in the right and Vader wronged him. That twist in the story adds a lot of fun to it.

From there, the story keeps things interesting. There are mercenaries, mysterious aliens, and a heap of assassins, only one of which is of importance. The pacing of the story is really good except for one odd panel of Vader at the end. Most likely this ties into issue number two. Regardless, the last page has a nice end point for the issue. It also adds a lot to the father’s character, revealing just how far he’s willing to go for vengeance.

Alongside the story is some wonderful artwork. The characters look really great, the settings are illustrated well, and there’s a really nice balance of colors. Emotions come across perfectly on the characters’ faces. One of the best examples is when the father closes his eyes in fear. There’s a look of worry on his face further heightened by sweat dripping off his brow. A few pages later, that fear is equally matched by a panel showing his mad glee. The design of the father was memorable, too. It stands out from other characters we’ve seen in Star Wars. He’s an old, heavy set guy with a big mustache and very opulent clothing. It’ll be interesting to see if his part continues in the following issues or if the viewpoint will switch to a new character.

There’s a lot to be said for the mercenaries in this issue as well. It’s easy to go bye without paying too much attention to them, but if you take a closer look, you might notice that each has their own distinctive style. I think it’s interesting just how much effort the penciller put into creating them, especially since their roles are fairly small. If the rest of the panels in the series get this much attention, it’ll be safe to say that this will be one heck of a mini-series. Storytelling in comics relies a lot on visuals, and with detailed artwork like this, the story becomes a far richer experience.

For Tim Siedell’s first comic, I think he did a spectacular job. Backed by the detailed artwork of Stephen Thompson, Mark Irwin, and the gorgeous colors by Michael Atiyeh, this issue is top notch. Even the cover art is great with that wicked looking dragon-alien by Ariel Olivetti. With a nearly flawless story, I give Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1 a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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