Script: Tim Siedell
Pencils: Ivan Fernandez
Inks: Denis Freitas
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Ariel Olivetti
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin started intriguingly enough, escalated into pure Vader awesomeness, but really should have been titled something else. The fifth issue is anti-climatic but not anti-climatic at the same time. Readers of these reviews will know what my biggest concerns from issue 2 were, and I’m glad to see them get addressed in the end.
From the second issue, Tim Siedell had me doubting his understanding of the title character and his master, but Siedell reveals that he weaved an interesting web that I’ve been entangled in by other writers in the past. Don’t doubt the writer! Aside from Vader’s determination to deal with this latest assassination attempt against the Emperor, the Dark Lord of the Sith didn’t seem all that intimidating or threatening to anyone. Issue 4 cleared that up for me, but Siedell hadn’t touched the second title character of this miniseries much yet: the ninth assassin. Clearly this issue had to resolve that lingering detail, and when we see where both masked villains rank against each other, we all may feel a bit cheated by this ending. However, when a new narrator takes over at the end, I’m sure you’ll close the book with a grin, though the slight disappointment will be lingering in the back of your mind. But when this is released in a collection, I know this final issue will read a lot better than it did by itself.
The art team of Ivan Fernandez and Denis Freitas return for the conclusion, but for the “calm” panels, most of the finer details are left out. When they came on board for the third issue, I complimented the details in their work, but once Vader and the ninth assassin meet here, the details in the surroundings and other characters seem more lacking than I remember their work being two months ago. True, most of the pretty landscapes and environments are now dominated by solid-color bodies, but some more details could have been added. The Emperor remains as ugly as ever, though, and I swear he looks even more evil than before, but that makes sense once you read the issue.
As a whole, Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin will be a fine addition to any fan’s collection, serving as a nice interlude from other, more epic tales from the dark times of the galaxy far, far away. I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing more of Tim Siedell in the future, but I’d be excited to read another tale he has for the universe’s characters a lot more now than anytime before. Thank you, team!
Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.