I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Vader comic book series, and it was recently recommended to me by Patrick of Make Dad Read Comics to read it – I had a $50 gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I finally picked up the first 12 issues, collected in Vader Omnibus – Volume 1.
If you haven’t come across this comic book before, the general idea behind it is that it follows Vader’s antics immediately after the destruction of the first Death Star. It joins the long standing tradition of comics and novels filling in the space in between films, which I can always get behind.
I finally finished the book over the weekend, and I can say that I really enjoyed it. One of the interesting things that it does is knock Vader down several notches. He’s somewhere in between his status in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back; he’s still taking orders from other Imperial officers (Tagge, this time), but isn’t quite as fearsome as he appears in ESB.
What’s interesting is that the Emperor is really displeased with Vader in this comic series. The destruction of the Death Star at the end of A New Hope is a big failure for the Empire, and for Vader in particular. At this stage in the comics, Vader must really prove himself to the Emperor again, while being placed under the supervision of an Imperial officer. What results is Vader taking it upon himself to gather his own covert forces to track down Luke Skywalker.
There are several cool flashback moments in the comic that re-contextualize Vader a little bit. It made me realize that he was probably thinking of his past at a few different points in the movies, even though the prequel trilogy came much later. But the real highlight of these first 12 books are Captain Aphra and her droid factory (I’m hit or miss on Triple-0 and BT but more on the hit side than miss). I just found out today that she’s going to have her own comic book series – and I think I want to check it out.
I would gush more, but I need to give this another read through. Especially since I also just learned that the second volume is coming out Feb 28th, so I have another book to pick up soon. Suffice it to say that the Vader series is well-written, well-drawn, and is fun to read through. I definitely recommend it!