The Dark Lord of the Sith has taken on a new assistant, the twitchy Ochi of Bestoon, can be trusted. Ochi is eager to please Vader, but the Sith Lord needs allies he can rely on, with the balance of power in the galaxy being threatened by the re-emergence of crime syndicate Crimson Dawn…

As a standalone story – titled The Assassin’s Choice – this issue of Vader’s very own series is pretty fun, with the increasingly difficult tests putting the nervous Ochi through the wringer. Raffaele Ienco’s art is excellent, with a great level of detail and some fantastic, authentic Star Wars ambience. The only wobble is with the depiction of ripped Hutt Bokku, whose boggle-eyed reactions just seem ridiculously over the top, even though his washboard abs are usually his most distractingly daft feature.

As an episode of War of this Bounty Hunters, it’s another disappointment that doesn’t give us any interesting developments or insights to add to the crossover, which has been underwhelming at best so far. Though there’s been some fun details and characters casually added back into Star Wars continuity – and it’s interesting to have Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn back in the series – there’s clearly not been enough going on to sustain even the main series, let alone all of these tie-in chapters in its orbit.

The major success of this issue is barely related to the crossover though; I’m keen to see what writer Greg Pak has in store for the skilled – but not especially bright – Ochi, at least.

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