REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Darth Vader #9

Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is written by Greg Pak, joined by artist Raffaele Ienco, colorist Neeraj Menon, letterer Joe Caramagna, and cover artists Aaron Kuder and Richard Isanove. Published by Marvel Comics, Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 continues the Sith Lord’s “training” on Mustafar at the behest of his master, Darth Sidious. Despite being broken down, without the use of the Force, and being hunted by Ochi of Bestoon, the mechanical Dark Lord has uncovered a new plot by the Emperor that has given him a newfound resolve.

In Star Wars: Darth Vader #8, much of the issue was spent trying to solve the riddles presented by Eye of Webbish Bog. Darth Vader had recently discovered a secret plot that Emperor Palpatine was planning, and it appeared that the spider-like being helped Darth Vader find the answers. After fighting through a plethora of manifestations from Vader’s past, he finally confronted the monstrosity and was presented with the Sith Wayfinder.  Fans of the franchise may remember the Sith Wayfinder being a pivotal plot point in The Rise of Skywalker. In fact, this is the same Sith Wayfinder that Kylo Ren secured at the beginning of the film after defeating the Alazmec of Winsit. With the Sith Wayfinder in hand, the Sith Lord is one step closer to finding out his master’s secret plot. However, he still has to deal with the minor annoyance of Ochi of Bestoon, assassin of the Sith.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 opens with Vader yet again locked in battle with Ochi of Bestoon. This time the assassin has back up in the form of a host of droids. Ochi is content to let the droids, who themselves are insistent on savaging Darth Vader for his robotic parts, do his dirty work while sending in the occasional rib at the saberless Sith Lord. When the droids in Ochi’s company realize that the parts that make up Vader’s patchwork armor are not to the caliber they were promised, they promptly turn on the assassin. Ochi was the first to tip Vader off to the Emperor’s plot. Now that the assassin is in danger, Vader must save the next piece to this complicated puzzle if he has any chance of using the Sith Wayfinder.

Writer Pak continues to link the Sequel Trilogy to this series while still introducing new concepts that we haven’t seen before. Even Ochi of Bestoon, who is clearly not a good person given The Rise Skywalker’s events, gets a bit more characterization in Star Wars: Darth Vader #9. As fans, we know that he will eventually be a skeleton deep beneath the sands of Pasaana. However, Pak has made me interested to see more of his story. The art team of Ienco, Menon, and Caramagna continue to capture the Dark Lord’s ferocity beautifully. Despite being clearly outnumbered, the reader really feels that Vader is no real danger as he expertly lulls his attackers into a false sense of security. Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 ends with a cliffhanger that left my mouth agape, and it is all thanks to the art team.

Overall, Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is a fast-paced issue compared to those preceding it. While many of the issues in this series deal with Darth Vader’s difficult feelings of his past in some way, shape, or form, the Vader in Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is much more focused. Even when he is being chided by Ochi and the captain of the droids about his past, Vader remains resolute, much in the way he was initially searching for answers in the early issues of the series. The Emperor’s difficult training to reinstill fear in the Dark Lord coupled with the revelation of a plot by his master that Vader is unaware of has lit a fire that won’t be satisfied until he finds answers.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #9
5

TL;DR

Overall, Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is a fast-paced issue compared to those preceding it. While many of the issues in this series deal with Darth Vader’s difficult feelings of his past in some way, shape, or form, the Vader in Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is much more focused. Even when he is being chided by Ochi and the captain of the droids about his past, Vader remains resolute, much in the way he was initially searching for answers in the early issues of the series. The Emperor’s difficult training to reinstill fear in the Dark Lord coupled with the revelation of a plot by his master that Vader is unaware of has lit a fire that won’t be satisfied until he finds answers.