Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: STAR WARS: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER AND THE NINTH ASSASSIN #1
DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

SCRIPT: Tim Siedell – @badbanana
PENCILS: Stephen Thompson
INKS: Mark Irwin
COLORS: Michael Atiyeh
LETTERS: Michael Heisler
COVER: Ariel Olivetti
28pp, Color, $3.50 U.S. (April 2013)

In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, “The Rise of the Empire” era is the 1000-year period before the events depicted in the original Star Wars film. Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin is a new Star Wars comic book series from Dark Horse Comics. The series is set during “The Rise of the Empire” era and takes place some months after the events depicted in the film, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1 introduces readers to a wealthy mining magnate who seeks revenge against Emperor Palpatine’s mysterious apprentice, Darth Vader. He has hired eight assassins to murder Darth Vader, and all eight assassins are apparently dead.

Now, the man seeks to enlist a ninth assassin. The ninth assassin, however, asks a high price, a cost higher than all the credits in the revenge seeker’s bottomless coffers. Is this price/sacrifice too great to acquire the one man who can kill the Dark Lord of the Sith?

If the second and third issues and so on are good, they will continue to give us the awesome read that Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1 promises. Series writer Tim Siedell seems as if he is planning to go into some dark places. In fact, Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin is darker than George Lucas ever made any of his Star Wars films. I can’t imagine The Walt Disney Company adopting a more sinister tone in their planned Star Wars films (but we can hope).

The pencil art by Stephen Thompson reminds me of Frank Quitely’s art, but with more texture and grit. Thompson’s compositions are well-served by Mark Irwin inks and Michael Atiyeh’s always high-quality colors. Thompson’s take on Vader is quite chilling; he has a way of making Vader’s ability to intimidate real rather than implied.

With Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin, Dark Horse once again proves that in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it is the master.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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