This one should’ve been expected. It was one of the best series of 2015 and feeds into the Star Wars craving that folks have coming out of seeing Rogue One. Marvel’s successful launch of their Star Wars titles included a series by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, Star Wars: Darth Vader.
The series picks up right after Episode IV and shows us the Emperor’s war with the Rebel Alliance from the side of the Imperials. Vader was held in high esteem by Darth Sidious / Emperor Palpatine, but the destruction of the Death Star under Vader’s command has put him in the proverbial dog house. Vader is put under the command of Grand Admiral Tagge and Vader learns that the Emperor has secret plans in motion. Feeling betrayed, Vader goes to Jabba the Hut to put together his own team and hires on two bounty hunters to help him figure out who Luke Skywalker is. He would also turn to Doctor Aphra, a droid specialist, to help him build a private army of battle droids. She creates 000, a protocol droid with knowledge of six million killing techniques and BT, an astromech that is actually a blastodroid. This is pretty much Team Vader.
One of the hardest things to do is to tell a story from a villains point-of-view over a long period of time. The more you know about something, the less you fear it. So the more a villain is in the spotlight, they less of a villain they become. You might even become sympathetic to their cause or at least in what has happened to them to get them to that point. It was the fatal flaw in my opinion of Kylo Ren… seeing him throw tantrums and talk to his grandfather didn’t make him scary, it made him relatable in a way. He wasn’t scary at all really. Vader on the other hand is scary and Gillen was able to keep him that way even though he was knocked down a few pegs. The whole force choking thing still made people nervous.
This was the start of a two-year run on the series that received critical praise and good sales. There are a few trades available form the series, but you should definitely start at the beginning. Gillen’s writing is top-notch and Larocca’s art is perfect for the story. This would be a great gift for all Star Wars fans from the purests who ignore the prequels to the newcomers whose first time visiting the Star Wars Universe was episode VII. And Darth Vader has been voted best villain of all time so many times that you’d think he was threatening the judges. So who would say no to more Darth Vader?
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