Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin


Happy Force Friday! Normally I loathe marketing campaigns. They are just manipulation from advertising companies to get you to buy products you don’t need. But this is Star Wars. We’re a couple months away from a brand new Star Wars movie featuring members of the original cast. The sequels to the movie that people really wanted to see!

With that in mind I decided to dive into the Marvel Unlimited app and read a Star Wars comic. Thanks to the purchase of Lucasfilm from Disney, Marvel and Star Wars are now a part of the same company. A few months back the Marvel Unlimited app debuted a large treasure trove of Star Wars comics, some from the previous run that Star Wars had with Marvel plus the entire run that Star Wars had with Dark Horse comics. The comic I read was originally published by Dark Horse.


The Good:

The artwork was great. Darth Vader was beautifully drawn. Each time he’s in a frame you get the feeling of the power his character assumes. The artist did a great job of evoking the Vader I remember from the films.

The Bad:

Where to start? Maybe I overthink things but as I have stated with other reviews I think the sign of a good comic is one that can tell a fully fleshed out story while leaving enough seeds in the story to not only want you to read the next issue but buy previous issues as well so you can know more about the history of the characters. This story did none of that.

You dive into a story where you have no idea what is going on. The original Star Wars movie did that but also made you care about the characters. When you care about the characters you’re able to fully invest into the story and enjoy it with each repeated viewing.

This story brought you a cast of characters you barely know anything about. What little you know you care so little for you hope and pray that the next page is a picture of Darth Vader decapitating each character and using the force to send their bodies into space to be burned to a crisp by the twin sons of a local planet.

Basically Darth Vader kills a man’s son and that man hires someone to hunt Vader down. A decent way to start a story with characters you know nothing about but when it comes to a character you already know from age ten till their death, the emotion the story is trying to produce is simply not there. While you’re made to feel for the man who hires an assassin to hunt Vader down, you already know Vader lives past this and meets his end on the second Death Star. The tension is gone from this story.

Too often companies produce media like this knowing that the audience for these intellectual properties will buy anything with the logo of their favorite property. They could care less about how a particular story is created and how it could potentially fit into the overall arc of the property. Sometimes they get it right by creating a compelling story with characters we already know involved in stories that have no bearing on the overall main story we’re all familiar with. Sometimes they pull this shit and expect us to buy and enjoy it because look, bright colors and Darth Vader OMG!!!!

Avoid this comic. If you find this comic in a comic book shop, buy it and burn it. It is an embarrassment to the Star Wars brand and to comics in general. It is the type of garbage that gives comics a bad name. The story gets a 0 from me. The artwork I have no issue with. You can find good in pretty much anything if you look for it and the artwork in this comic was pretty decent. I give it a 7.

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