Saturday, June 10, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1

This week, Marvel has shipped the first issue of their second Darth Vader title.  The previous Darth Vader title took place concurrently with the stories being told in the main Star Wars title; this new title begins with Darth Vader freeing himself from the medical table he was on when his body was first encased in armor as shown in Revenge of the Sith.  When Dark Horse held the Star Wars comic license, they also published titles featuring Darth Vader, including a series of one-shots then several mini-series.  There were three one-shots which focused on Darth Vader hunting down and killing Jedi under the Star Wars: Purge title.  These one-shots were followed by two 4-issue mini-series Darth Vader and the Lost Command and Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison.  A final Purge story arc, the Tyrant's Fist, was a 2-issue mini-series published between the second and third Darth Vader title.  The third and fourth Darth Vader mini-series were Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin and Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows.  When the final Darth Vader mini-series was published, it was already known that the comic license was reverting to Marvel.

Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1 has two covers, a standard cover and a Diamond Retailer exclusive.

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 2013)
The standard cover shows an associate of the ninth assassin.  Both the ninth assassin and his associate are unnamed in the story.

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 2013)
Diamond Retailer Summit Chicago 2013 exclusive
An exclusive cover was given to retailers at the 2013 Diamond Retailer Summit in Chicago, Illinois from April 24 - 26.  The artwork is a black and white version of a page from inside the story.  The drawing shows Darth Vader after he kills the son of a rich mining industrialist.  Both the industrialist and his son are also unnamed.  It is the death of his son that prompts the industrialist to hire assassins to kill Darth Vader.  The first eight fail before he seeks out and hires the ninth assassin.

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