Darth Vader #9
Cover Rank: 9/10. A great snapshot of what is to come within this and the issue that will eventually follow. Vader and Jocasta are set to square off and that’s what we see here. What I love most is the archives are playing such an important role in this entire arc and they are just as central to the image on the cover as Vader is.
Best Variant: Obi Wan must have played a Jedi mind trick on the staff over at Marvel, as they have forgotten variant issues for this book.
What I Like: Man this issue has it all!. So much packed into 22 pages. Where to start? How about at the beginning where we pick up where issue #8 left off. Jocasta just couldn’t leave well enough alone that she came to the Jedi Temple for one thing only, the whereabouts of young Jedi throughout the galaxy, which she successfully obtained. As she left she watches the Grand Inquisitor tossing her precious books around as if they were trash. So instead of getting out of the temple she springs into action and confront the him. Words are said between them as the Grand Inquisitor reveals who he is (or once was) to Jocasta and just as the Grand Inquisitor gains the upper hand and is about to deal a crushing blow to her Vader steps in and stops him. Perplexed, the Grand Inquisitor wonders what side Vader is on because of this act. While they bicker like children, Jocasta makes her getaway and this is where the issue really starts to pick up.
There might not be much in the way of full blown action for the rest of the issue, but the dialog and actions of the characters are some of the most exhilarating sequences I’ve read in a book this year. As Jocasta hides within the temple and Vader makes his way around looking for her while he listens to her speaking to him through the Force, Jocasta find out who the true identity is of the Sith Lord in search of her. The writers are doing an amazing job reminding us that these sequences of events are not long after the moment Anakin has become Vader. Sometimes, as fans, we lose sight and lose track of that simple fact because we have known this of Anakin’s acceptance of the Dark Side for so long and take it for granted. But reading these events and being there as some of the Jedi who remain post Order 66 and witnessing their reactions when they find out exactly who Vader is or what he has become takes you right back to the events of Revenge of the Sith. It’s enough to give you goosebumps.
What I Didn’t Like: From start to finish this issue is as perfect as it gets. We don’t see what happens to the Grand Inquisitor after Jocasta makes her getaway, but that isn’t the focal point from that scene on. I’m sure we will get back to him in the coming issues, but he is of no importance right now. This is between Vader and Jocasta.
Best Moment: When Jocasta is evading Vader and playing her game of hide and seek, she makes her way to what looks like the ‘main computer’ of the Temple. What she does next is something that makes your jaw drop and almost yell out ‘No!’. It’s something that must be done but at the same time you wish you were there with her to talk her into finding another way. You know it’s bad when she’s asking the Force to forgive her as she’s carrying out the act. It’s a moment that I couldn’t help but read over and over hoping the scene would change.
This takes away from another scene where Vader enters a room that does retinal scans and approves admission into that specific room. It was strange seeing the robot scan Vader and talk to him like he is Anakin, not knowing that he has obviously changed his appearance.
Ending: 9/10. Jocasta, again, reveals herself with the element of surprise sporting some sweet new weapon that looks like the Super Soaker we all wanted as a kid. The battle is upon us.
What I’m Looking Forward To: The battle hasn’t happened yet but we are obviously on our way there next issue. It will be interesting to see what the Emperor wants to do with Jocasta now after she did what she did at the computer. Is she of any value to him anymore and will he discard her like the rest of the Jedi in Order 66 because of her actions? That’s assuming she bows in the battle with Vader. That has to play out first and foremost. What an arc this is turning out to be
Overall Score: 10/10