Endings are the most perilous parts of stories. To have set up something masterful only to fail in the last chapter can completely deflate the entire experience.

Darth Vader finally goes toe to toe with the assassin plaguing him for the last 4 issues, so how’s the ending, is it good?


Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #5 (Dark Horse Comics)



Check out our review of #4 here.

A lot of events have occurred and yet when you think about what’s happened you’ll realize that although there haven’t been many answers, the storytelling has been excellent: An assassin was tasked with killing Darth Vader, used another alien assassin as a front to protect his identity, a secret evil cult with magic powers was unveiled to Darth (who even the Emperor fears) and finally Darth navigated to the planet this cult lives on to check it out. All the while the “ninth assassin” has been tracking Darth to take him out.

Last issue Darth investigated the cult and found out they’ve been waiting for a man with his likeness to save them. Of course Darth promptly killed them all and stormed out the front door with the ninth assassin ready and waiting.

Writer Tom Siedell shows that Darth Vader is a heavyweight.

Issue number three was practically wordless leaving all the work to artist Ivan Fernandez. Luckily Fernandez is quite skilled and pulled that issue through. This issue is similar, in that there isn’t much dialogue or story, and for the most part is resolved to showing the assassin follow Darth through a dangerous jungle.

With so many beasties around, writer Tim Siedell shows that Darth Vader is a heavyweight. Force pushing giant beasts out of his way, ripping trees from the ground and slapping giant dinos in the face…the dude has never been so indestructible. All of which Vader uses to wear down the ninth assassin. Don’t worry readers, those of you getting impatient for a showdown are in luck. These two masked men duke it out and it’s even semi fair considering the assassin has some blades that can’t be cut by a lightsaber.

The issue then closes with most of the loose ends concluding as well as a choice scene between the Emperor and Darth. This scene really saves the issue for anyone looking for more than art and action. In a lot of ways it solidifies Darth’s enslavement to the Emperor, which helps when you consider Darth is so often portrayed as the ultra bad guy who beats his own drum.

And yet there are still plenty of questions… what’s the deal with this cult? Who is this assassin really? I want to know more! When looking at this 5 part series you have to commend what this team has done. They’ve crafted a villain that even Palpatine fears, an assassin with a badass design and way of life and each issue has provided something new to titillate the reader. Not once did the story drag and I’d even wager to progressed too quickly. It’d be sweet if they went back and did the story from the point of view of the assassin, that we we could understand more of what his plan was and the cult’s as well.

9.0

  • Killer action sequence
  • Interesting scene between the Emperor and Darth
  • Seems to have glossed over elements that were made important in previous issues in order to conclude

Overall a great series with some pacing issues here and there. This issue delivers all the answers you’d want and comes complete with a very well rendered moment between Darth and the Emperor. The art has always been of a bombastic nature with great lighting and pace too.

Is It Good?

Yeah. As far as conclusions go it lived up to the remainder of the series.