Vader Betrayed, A Space Bar Fight, and a Familiar Face in Darth Vader #11
DARTH VADER (2017) #11
Marvel's Star Wars Darth Vader #11 is the first issue of a new arc in the line, "The Rule of Five." This is the third arc in the line that began June 7th, 2017. To get you up to speed, in the last issue Vader kills Jacosta Nu and recovers the list of force sensitive children throughout the gala
The story picks up at a space bar on Cabarria, part of the Colonies Region. Darth Vader is accompanied by the Ninth Sister on the hunt for Jedi. The two have an interesting relationship. One that allows the Ninth Sister to be scarastic and doubtful of Vader but still keep his life. It would be more fitting for Vader to just kill this Inquistor instead of taking his subtle jabs.
Vader walks into the bar. No, I'm not about to make a joke but this is all a setup. Vader walks in to see a spacious bar full of various species. Some looking familiar. A lot of people are wondering if a Bothan was spotted in one of the corners. That has been nixed at this point. Still, a lot of familiar spices that allows Camuncoli to showcase his genius while the reader feels fully immersed in this dive bar.
A jump cut to the upper rafters reveals a bounty hunter with her rifle aimed at Vader. Her weapon houses a powerful magnet of some sort as she pulls on Vader's saber hilt. He senses her presence and reaches out to the force to retain possession of his weapon. Another bounty hunter throws a grenade of some sort breaking Vader's saber but also causing a large explosion fueled by the kyber crystal.
The explosion clears and now multiple bounty hunters fire upon Vader. He uses bar patrons as "human" shields. Vader calls for the Ninth Sister's help but the Inquisitor clearly doesn't want to help the Dark Lord. Another example of mutiny among the inquisitors. Vader retrieves his kyber crystal and runs out of the bar.
Vader knows it was all a trap. He questions the Ninth Sister. The one eye fool denies anything. This is a moment where you think Vader will kill the Inquisitor but instead just takes his saber and leaves.
These bounty hunters are a family. The father desperately fires at Vader but the Dark Lord's red blade deflects every blast that comes near. Vader ends this chase by derailing a train. There is little time to learn who has placed this bounty on the Sith's head.
He forces the family to give answers as he holds their daughter in the air with this tip of his lightsaber almost grazing her skin. They reveal the origins of the call. It came from Courscant...the senate building...The Emperor's Throne Room.
It's the first time where I haven't been absorbed by Charles Soule's writing. If this comic begins with Vader entering the bar, I think I don't have any problems. The Ninth Sister just doesn't work. There is no way the Vader Soule has developed would allow anyone to smart off like that. Also, why not kill the family? At least the girl! How does he allow anyone to survive who just threatened his life? It should have been the mother in Vader's grasp. I'll explain in just a second.
A strength of this issue and this 2017 run so far is Camuncoli's artwork. I love the interior of the bar and the presentation of the speeder chase is the best I've seen in comic book form.
I don't think this is a poorly written issue but there are two moments where Vader's actions don't meet up.
Now, I just asked why would Vader not kill the girl? Because that girl is Chanath Cha who was in the Lando mini-series. She's the daughter. She has been known to have ties to the Emporor so to see her family assigned to the task of hunting down Vader was a treat as someone who tries to follow the latest in canon.
Do you agree? Let me know by dropping a comment to continue the conversation.
David's Rating 8/10
Darth Vader #12 Hits Comic Book Shelves on February 28th!