In Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3

The cover: Vader Force chokes someone in a cantina while its customers watch. Okay image, but this happened last issue. I think the covers for issues 2 and 3 were accidentally switched. Art by Ariel Olivetti. Overall grade: B

The story: Vader with two crimson guards is seeking out a cult that tried to assassinate the Emperor. He goes to an unexplored planet to find this group. That’s all that happens in this chapter by Tim Siedell. There are no surprises in this story. Vader’s on a jungle world. What do you think he would encounter? What do you think happens to his two companions. Who do you think is following him? Yeah, if you haven’t read the previous two issues, can read the title of this comic and have a vague familiarity with the Star Wars universe you’ve answered every question correctly. This was a padded tale that does nothing but move the Sith from point A to point B. Five pages would have sufficed. Something does happen on the last two pages, but I don’t want to pay $3.50 for two pages of plot advancement. Overall grade: D+

The art: Average job by penciller Ivan Fernandez and inker Denis Freitas. Their Vader is good, as are the crimson guards. The first three pages look the best, especially the Vader in action panel on Page 3, but once we’re on the planet the settings and the creatures look average. The final six pages have things improving, since we’re no longer technically in the jungle, but I had already checked out. Overall grade: C-

The colors: I did like the coloring by Michael Atiyeh who demonstrates his talents on Page 1 in a terrific space shot and the final five pages are pretty slick. Overall grade: A

The letters: Michael Heisler provides good dialogue and sound effects. I would have preferred some more sounds, but what we get is good. Overall grade: A

The final line: You could skip this issue and I doubt it would interfere with your understanding of the series. Overall grade: C-


Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently taught 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as possible, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.

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