Script: Tim Siedell
Pencils: Stephen Thompson
Inks: Mark Irwin, Drew Geraci & Jason Gorder
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Ariel Olivetti
Darth Vader is no stranger to destiny and prophecy, and the Temple of the Headless Snake had one of their own to share with the Dark Lord of the Sith. Tim Siedell and team bring one powerful storyline to an end, diving deep into Darth Vader’s mind and showing us the deep divide between what he feels and what he does. If this had been the end of Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin, fans would’ve been more than satisfied.
When we see a book with Darth Vader’s name on the front, we expect the Dark Lord to dominate its pages even if the story is told from the viewpoints of those around him. After all, can you really imagine Darth Vader keeping a diary? Siedell’s story has continued with that pattern, but in this issue, we pause to see Vader face another decision that could change the course of the galaxy. This isn’t a decision we’ve never seen before, but Siedell includes a series of silent panels where fans are reminded again of how tragic of a character Darth Vader is and how grandiose he is of eliminating the Empire’s threats.
The inhabitants of the Temple of the Headless Snake aren’t the prettiest of people in the galaxy, and the art team led by Stephen Thompson’s pencils demonstrate it in every panel. As Vader tours the temple, the reader sees more and more varying details among the citizens. For the silent panels, the story relies entirely on the artists involved. When the focus in those panels is on Anakin Skywalker, you know what he’s feeling, but actions speak louder than words (though words add to Vader’s grand display).
The team’s story seems like it could have been told without the presence of the Ninth Assassin and would’ve been a hit. However, we still have one more issue to go, and that must be Vader’s confrontation with the assassin. Maybe issue 5 will tie the assassin and the Headless Snake together and make this story even more great.
Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.