– Spoiler Review –
Aphra makes headway on the information Vader requested (leading to a possibly very surprising and intriguing moment in the series ahead), while Vader and Inspector Thanoth play a game of cat and mouse, acting like a Sherlock and Watson who never truly trusts each other. Darth Vader‘s #9 issue is another solid entry in the series.
Inspector Thanoth is no chump, figuring out how Aphra and her team of bounty hunters stole the credits from the Imperial ship (though still doesn’t know who did it) and picks up on the change in Vader’s behavior around him. Vader is doing what he can to counter the old man’s genius: setting up a trap to lure Rebels in as an alibi for Thanoth’s deduction (in #8) that Vader had been on Anthan 13 (where Thanoth thinks the credits were taken) instead of Anthan Prime and for his deferment to Thanoth’s lead in the investigation he explains away as him determining if the old Inspector is a “traitor” like his last adjutant. While their partnered days are numbered, it’ll be interesting to see if Vader ever gets the upper hand with Thanoth or if he’ll have to resort to his brutish side to get the insightful Inspector out of his way. Or if they end up parting on mutual terms, as Vader seems to have some respect for Thanoth no matter how hard he tries to hide it.
That mutual respect comes from their run-in with Doctor Cylo’s twins Morit and Aiolin, who were previously dispatched by Tagge to track down a band of resistance fighters calling themselves the Plasma Devils. At one point Vader calls them “…callow youths…” and scoffs at their lightsaber work, while Thanoth thinks them children for beheading a valuable contact he hands them on a golden platter, so at least they can agree on one thing. I still think Vader will battle and destroy Commander Karbin (the mechanized Mon Calamarian) first because he is after Luke, but it looks like Vader might take a lot of pleasure dispatching these uppity young twins when he finally gets a chance.
In #8, Vader gave Aphra a data-chit and requested her to get him information about what was on it or pay the consequences. In #9, Aphra finds herself paying for the services of a Givin information broker nicknamed, “The Ante,” to learn the secrets about the name on the data-chit: Commodex Tahn, who is seemingly of little importance due to living a rather normal life. Tahn was in the Republic military then quit to join the family business after his father died, retiring about 20 years before A New Hope. But what makes him interesting, especially to Vader, is that he was a mortician…on Naboo. I had to read that bit over a few times before the implications hit me: Vader is going to ask the man who prepared and buried Padmé, likely Tahn, to ascertain if the Emperor lied to him about her death…and if she truly gave birth at all. Now that’ll be one helluva trip down memory lane for Vader to take, helping push him down a path to overthrow the Emperor with his son once he learns he was lied to all those years ago.
Here are a few other things:
- Love the panel containing an overview of the orbital shipyards, as there seems to be no up or down or right way to look at it, much like something in space should be.
- Thanoth’s little hoverpad he uses to inspect the wreckage was a neat device.
- While Threepio would say someone or something was rude and promptly scold them for it, Triple-Zero instead says they should kill those who cause such offense. And if that doesn’t continue making me (and you) love the dastardly droid, he has an affinity for holochess despite not being any good at it. What a quirky and hilarious death machine.
- While I’ve had no problems with the art throughout this series before, the stormtrooper heads this issue looked a little off, as if their necks were too skinny for the size of their helmets.
With Vader finding it harder to dispatch his latest adjutant, the inquisitive and deductive Inspector Thanoth, and Aphra uncovering information on Vader’s next move that might lead to a trip down surprising memory lane, Darth Vader #9 continues to deliver the Vader series’ high level of quality.
+ Thanoth and Vader
+ Aphra’s info leads to enticing possibilities
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets: #7 | #8 | #10 | #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)