– Spoiler Review –
Doctor Aphra takes the murderous bots of doom to Naboo to have a little chat with a man named Tahn, while we learn Vader might be underestimating his adjutant Thanoth in Darth Vader #10, another solid entry in the series that stays par for the course.
Ever since Aphra’s appearance, we haven’t gotten a lot in regards to her history or how she might have started down a path that has her partnering up with Vader, bounty hunters, and deadly droids. In Darth Vader #10, a little bit of her history is finally peeled back, and while those details might not be complete truths, her feelings about the events and what she learned from them is more important to her character anyways. There’s some fun parts, like how she escaped raiders attacking her home only to return with a ‘cannon’ found in a cave to save her mom probably signifying why she got into archaeology, to the more morbid, as her mother’s eventual death has brought Aphra to believe strength and order are the only important things in life. The latter could explain her excitement about teaming up with Vader, as he’d be seen as quite the symbol of strength and order she could follow. But despite it all, she’s not as deadly as her droid companions, and only wants to get the job done instead of being a sadist. Could that resistance to all out brutality be a place where Vader and her will clash in the future?
What she uncovers from the retired Tahn, Padmé’s mortician, is what we and Vader already know now: Senator Amidala gave birth to a son. The information is uncovered by 000 and BT-1, who have delightfully dark appearances and their usage so far in moderation makes their parts that much better. Triple-Zero has a point about Tahn possibly having more info, seeing as the now dead Commodex was almost grateful Aphra practically gave him an out from full betrayal of his ex-Queen by asking him to only confirm what they already knew regarding Padmé’s son. While we already know Vader doesn’t learn about his daughter until Return of the Jedi, it’s interesting to think he was so close only a few years before.
Inspector Thanoth continues to impress as another great character introduced by Kieron Gillen, who’s intellect and deductive reasoning make it hard not to root for the guy. I’m constantly torn between secretly hoping Thanoth exposes Vader/brings him down a few notches to excitedly waiting for Vader to just decimate this fully competent Imperial. The Rebellion should almost thank Vader this guy isn’t assigned to hunting them down, because I doubt they’d last very long under his scrutiny. The ending was almost a mic drop moment for the Inspector, as Vader over-confidently assures Aphra Thanoth knows nothing only for a ever-watchful droid to be revealed peering in on the meeting.
But my favorite little moment of the issue has to be when Aphra makes the comment regarding Padme, “Sounds like she was something special,” and then the next panel is the silent, shaded helmet of Vader. The hundreds of answers he probably has rattling around inside that little tin helmet…
Here are a few other things:
- Vader assigns Aphra to track down another Imperial agent sent to attack Luke Skywalker, who we know is Karbin, the Grievous-looking Mon Cal. Curious he doesn’t give her the information he already has on the ex-Republic General.
- I wonder if the writing on the plague under Tahn’s blaster is Nabooian, because it sure didn’t look like Aurebesh.
- Never did it occur to me to wonder if they went as far to fake Padmé’s appearance at her funeral to make people think the babies died with her. A slightly dark, but necessary act.
- I can’t forget to mention, but Larroca has been killing the art for this series.
Vader gains confirmation regarding Luke being his son and Thanoth is even hotter on his trail than the Sith Lord imagines, while we get a peek inside the mind of Aphra in the solid Darth Vader #10. Wonder what Thanoth’s next move is…
+ Aphra backstory
+ Thanoth sees all with his monocle
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets: #7 | #8 | #9 | #11 | #12 | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25)
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Annual: #1
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Poe Dameron (on-going)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)