Review: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1

Banner Template (medium)

Script: Tim Siedell Pencils: Stephen Thompson Inks: Mark Irwin Colors: Michael Atiyeh Lettering: Michael Heisler Cover Art: Ariel Olivetti You know, there are just some things I will never do no matter how much it offers. I wouldn't feed hundreds of hungry great white sharks while swimming with a bleeding wound for any amount. I wouldn't agree to jump out of an airplane from the upper edge of the troposphere without a parachute. And I wouldn't accept a contract to assassinate Darth Vader by any means. What do these scenarios all have in common? They're all situations with a high probability of death, so imagine my surprise when I read a new comic title called Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin. Not the first, second, or third, but ninth assassin! This means eight others took this contract, but I guess the ninth time's the charm, right, and that's what Tim Siedell, Stephen Thompson, and Mark Irwin plan to explore.

Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1

Siedell's script establishes a few key characters (even if their names are never mentioned) while setting up the overall story. Flashbacks tell us why this man seeks the assassination of Darth Vader while the present shows us just how far and how much he'll pay to see it happen. In all honesty, he may have found the perfect assassin. A vast majority of the issue “talks” its way along with only snippets of action, but my interest grew throughout, something a good story will always accomplish. Thompson and Irwin's art shines in its character details and gives us an idea of the action they can and will likely illustrate in future issues. Through the images, we see just what kind of man our contractor and his son are as the contractor narrates the flashback, explaining how horrible his son's death is for him. The character details, especially for the aliens, caught my eye, and the reptilian race the man seeks out looks quite frightening indeed. The best illustrations are the range of fear shown frequently on the man's face, even the gleeful smile at the end is terrifying, but the splash pages of Vader's “epicness” make me grin every time I see them. Hopefully more of this comes to pass. Although we know how this story will end, I'm not exactly sure how, and that's why I encourage others to stick with the miniseries even if the setting establishment is slow for you. The creative team wouldn't be telling this story if they didn't have something grand in mind, and who knows, maybe the ninth assassin achieves more than I can even think possible.

4/5 Kath Hounds

Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at

About the Author

Lawrence Davis joined near its start, served as one of the original hosts for EUCast, and now reviews Star Wars comics since he consumes too many comics each week. He grew up watching the Star Wars films over and over again, and he dived into the EU after reading the X-wing book series and the New Jedi Order novel, Conquest.