Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3

Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3 (of 5)

Writer: Tim Siedell
Penciller: Ivan Fernandez
Inker: Denis Freitas
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Micheal Heisler
Cover Artist: Ariel Olivetti

One of the nice things about Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin is that each issue is a great stand alone story. In Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3, Vader investigates the Venator-class Star Destroyer that was cut in half by a moon in the last issue. Much of the issue is told through visuals, and the art does a great job of carrying its end. Yet at the end, there’s a very interesting surprise.

As Lord Vader investigates the headless snake cult, he’s accompanied by two of the Emperor’s Guardsmen. Vader fans will certainly get a kick out of this story as the Sith Lord dominates every obstacle before him with ease. Even the simple effort of boarding a derelict ship is done with style as Vader defies hangars and goes right into space. When he and the guardsmen go down on the planet, they are met by several lethal beasts. It’s kind of fun watching the Royal Guards next to Vader. Beyond the Crimson Empire series, they are characters we typically don’t get to see.

Since much of the issue deals with exploration, there isn’t a whole lot of dialog. A lot of storytelling is left to the art in the panels. The fact that the artists were able to carry that story onward without missing a beat is a testament to their skill. When the words stop, the story continues through gestures made by Vader, the worried postures of the guardsmen, and scenes dominated by strange landscapes and strange creatures.

The assassin also shows up in this issue with a slightly larger role as he shadows Vader on his exploration of the moon. Yet when Vader enters an ancient temple, the assassin decides to let Vader venture alone. This is very much a Vader story. Though where the story is going is still quite mysterious, especially when the last panel shows a room full of strange beings submitting to Vader’s presence. With two more issues to go, we still don’t know who or what the headless snake cult is, what the giant moon laser is, and how the assassin fits into all of this. It would be ashame to simply have the assassin ghosting along for another issue only to die in the last one. So far the series has not disappointed, so I’m hoping they have a plan to make full use of the assassin as part of the story.

As stated before, Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3 is a great little story that’s strong enough to stand on its own. The artwork is superb, the storytelling is flawless with or without dialog, and the plot just gets better and better. Surprisingly enough, there was actually an art change in this issue, and I didn’t even notice until I checked the credits. For such a seamless changeover, issue #3 does an outstanding job. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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