Get Started In DARTH VADER

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated Jun 2019

Darth Vader is the iconic villain of the original Star Wars trilogy and needs little introduction, as he has permeated nearly every corner of modern culture. Originally a Jedi Knight prophesied to bring balance to the Force, Anakin Skywalker falls to the Dark Side of the Force and is instrumental in destroying the Jedi Order as the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Due to wounds suffered in his climactic battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, his mentor and friend turned adversary, Vader is more machine than man. The cybernetics preserve his life and give him his iconic look with its immediately recognizable armor and helmet. In the last moments of Vader's life, he is apparently redeemed, when he embraces the Light Side once again and refuses to let his master, Emperor Palpatine, destroy his son, Luke Skywalker. But before that, he did some truly ruthless stuff, implied in the movies...but only seen in his comic book stories.

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Current Series

This is a curated list of the most current series to help you get started with Darth Vader comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

Marvel's second ongoing Darth Vader series recently ended, but the Sith Lord is starring in a couple mini-series.

PublisherFrequencySeries 
MARVELLimited (5)STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019](anthology mini-series exploring the legend of the Sith Lord from different characters' perspectives)
MARVELLimited (6)STAR WARS: TARGET VADER [2019] (Vader vs. Valance the Hunter)
IDWLimited (5)STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE [2019](sequel anthology mini-series)
MARVELOne-ShotSTAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION--DARTH VADER [2019]
IDWOne-Shot (Softcover)STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI [2019-SC]

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Darth Vader. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Darth Vader.

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS #1Quick ViewMar 2019STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 5 (mini-series beginning))OUT OF STOCK$4.99
STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS #2Quick ViewMar 2019STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 5)IN STOCK$3.99
STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS #3Quick ViewApr 2019STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 5)IN STOCK$1.99
STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS #4Quick ViewMay 2019STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 5)IN STOCK$3.99
STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS #5Quick ViewJun 2019STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019] #5   (Part 5 of 5 (mini-series end))IN STOCK$3.99
      
STAR WARS: TARGET VADER #1Quick ViewJul 2019STAR WARS: TARGET VADER [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 6 (mini-series beginning))IN STOCK$3.99
STAR WARS: TARGET VADER #2Quick ViewAug 2019STAR WARS: TARGET VADER [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 6)IN STOCK$3.99
STAR WARS: TARGET VADER #3
Quick View
Sep 2019STAR WARS: TARGET VADER [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 6)PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.39
STAR WARS: TARGET VADER #4
Quick View
Oct 2019STAR WARS: TARGET VADER [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 6)PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.39
STAR WARS: TARGET VADER #5
Quick View
Nov 2019STAR WARS: TARGET VADER [2019] #5   (Part 5 of 6)PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE #1Quick ViewOct 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE [2019] #1 FRANCAVILLA CVR A  (Part 1 of 5 (mini-series beginning))PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.79
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE #2Quick ViewOct 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE [2019] #2 FRANCAVILLA CVR A  (Part 2 of 5)PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.79
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE #3Quick ViewOct 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE [2019] #3 FRANCAVILLA CVR A  (Part 3 of 5)PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.79
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE #4Quick ViewOct 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE [2019] #4 FRANCAVILLA CVR A  (Part 4 of 5)PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.79
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE #5
Quick View
Oct 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE [2019] #5 FRANCAVILLA CVR A  (Part 5 of 5 (mini-series end))PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.79
      
STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION--DARTH VADER #1Quick ViewJun 2019STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION--DARTH VADER [2019] #1   (one-shot)IN STOCK$3.99
      
STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI
Quick View
Jul 2019STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI [2019-SC]   (one-shot)UNAVAILABLE$8.49

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Darth Vader comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Darth Vader. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
DARTH VADER VOL 01: VADERQuick ViewOct 2015DARTH VADER [2015-TPB] VOL 01: VADER
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
DARTH VADER VOL 02: SHADOWS AND SECRETSQuick ViewJan 2016DARTH VADER [2015-TPB] VOL 02: SHADOWS AND SECRETS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: VADER DOWN Quick ViewApr 2016STAR WARS: VADER DOWN [2016-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
DARTH VADER VOL 03: THE SHU-TORUN WARQuick ViewAug 2016DARTH VADER [2015-TPB] VOL 03: THE SHU-TORUN WAR
1ST PRINT
  
IN STOCK$14.44
DARTH VADER VOL 04: END OF GAMESQuick ViewNov 2016DARTH VADER [2015-TPB] VOL 04: END OF GAMES
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH VOL 01: IMPERIAL MACHINEQuick ViewNov 2017STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH [2017-TPB] VOL 01: IMPERIAL MACHINE
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH VOL 02: LEGACY'S ENDQuick ViewApr 2018STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH [2017-TPB] VOL 02: LEGACY'S END
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH VOL 03: THE BURNING SEASQuick ViewSep 2018STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH [2017-TPB] VOL 03: THE BURNING SEAS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH VOL 04: FORTRESS VADERQuick ViewJan 2019STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH [2017-TPB] VOL 04: FORTRESS VADER
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
DARTH VADER VOL 01Quick ViewJul 2016DARTH VADER [2015-HC] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
DARTH VADER VOL 02Quick ViewFeb 2017DARTH VADER [2015-HC] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER BY KIERON GILLEN AND SALVADOR LARROCA OMNIBUS Quick ViewSep 2017STAR WARS: DARTH VADER BY KIERON GILLEN AND SALVADOR LARROCA OMNIBUS [2017-HC]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH VOL 01Quick ViewOct 2018STAR WARS: DARTH VADER--DARK LORD OF THE SITH [2018-HC] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE Quick ViewApr 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES: TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS Quick ViewJul 2019STAR WARS: VADER--DARK VISIONS [2019-TPB]
  
UNAVAILABLE$10.39
      
STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION--VILLAINS Quick ViewJul 2019STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION--VILLAINS [2019-TPB]
  
UNAVAILABLE$11.69

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Darth Vader, if it's within your budget. Of only trivial interest perhaps, the first issue of STAR WARS [1977] was published on 12 Apr 1977, over a month prior to the 25 May 1977 movie debut.

  • STAR WARS [1977] #1  (1st appearance of Star Wars; 1st appearance of Darth Vader)

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. Darth Vader does not have a typical superhero 'origin story.' His origin basically is the enire three movies that make up the Prequel Trilogy.

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Darth Vader comic books. Darth Vader is one of the most important characters in the Star Wars saga and has had a virtual multitude of comic book appearances. While he is a prime plot device in many stories that take place between Order 66 and The Return of the Jedi, there are suprisingly few stories centered on him. Dark Horse proved Vader could be the star of his own story with the STAR WARS: VADER'S QUEST [1999] mini-series, but the wildly popular PURGE [2006] one-shot was a bigger hit. Dark Horse followed up with more Purge tales and then a series of mini-series carrying Vader's name. This paved the way for Marvel to grant him his own self-titled, ongoing series, DARTH VADER [2015]. This series masterfully explores the time right after Episode IV, and a follow-up ongoing series explores the time right after Episode III. The list in this section contains only series where Darth Vader was a key, 'headline' character, but contains both Legends and New Canon series.

Secondary Publication History

In addition to his Main Publication History, Darth Vader has made a multitude of appearances in Star Wars comic books. While there is little utility to be gained in an exhaustive list of these appearances, here are a few small gems hidden among his countless cameos you could hunt down to get started in Darth Vader comic books. Darth Vader plays a fairly significant role throughout the STAR WARS: DARK TIMES [2006] series and its three follow-on mini-series (two are listed in the Main Publication History), as well as the STAR WARS TALES [1999] anthology series. Both of these series are Legends, but they are definitey worth checking out to get more Darth Vader among some other quality Star Wars material.

  • CLASSIC STAR WARS: DEVILWORLDS [1996] #1   (contains a 6-page Darth Vader story by Alan Moore (Legends))
  • STAR WARS TALES [1999] #1-2   (EXTINCTION, hunts down a Jedi (Legends))
  • STAR WARS TALES [1999] #3-24   (sporadic appearances throughout the rest of this anthology series (Legends))
  • STAR WARS: EMPIRE [2002] #14   (THE SAVAGE HEART, in a unique tale, Vader becomes a wild animal pack leader (Legends))
  • STAR WARS: EMPIRE [2002] #19   (TARGET: VADER, becomes a target himself while strong-arming underworld contacts for Alliance information (Legends))
  • STAR WARS: DARK TIMES [2006] #1-17   (appearances throughout this series (Legends))
  • STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2009-DIG] VOL 04: THE WILL OF DARTH VADER   (reluctantly teams with a wisecracking smuggler to destroy a Rebel base (Legends))
  • STAR WARS ADVENTURES: TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE [2018] #1-5   (spooky anthology stories connected to Vader's castle)

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Darth Vader, any one of which can be a good place to get started. Entries here may be from series where Darth Vader was not the headline character of the series. Also, entries in this section come from both Legends and New Canon.

Key Storyline cover 1 for DARTH VADERKey Storyline cover 2 for DARTH VADERKey Storyline cover 3 for DARTH VADERKey Storyline cover 4 for DARTH VADER
1977STAR WARS [1977] #1-6   (A New Hope adaptation, classic Original Trilogy saga material)
1980STAR WARS [1977] #39-44   (Empire Strikes Back adaptation, classic Original Trilogy saga material)
1983STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI [1983] #1-4   (Return of the Jedi adaptation, classic Original Trilogy saga material)
1999STAR WARS: VADER'S QUEST [1999] #1-4   (quest to find the pilot who destroyed the first Death Star (Legends))
2012STAR WARS: DARTH VADER AND THE GHOST PRISON [2012] #1-5   (fantastically dark story of a military overthrow attempt put down by Vader (Legends))
2015DARTH VADER [2015] #1-6   (VADER!, masterful New Canon introduction from Kieron Gillen (New Canon))
2016STAR WARS: VADER DOWN   (fast-paced crossover storyline where Alliance presses all against a crashlanded and solitary Vader (New Canon))
2017DARTH VADER [2017] #1-6   (THE CHOSEN ONE, another great start to a strong solo series from Charles Soule (New Canon))

Media Source Material

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Darth Vader, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. But, with Star Wars, movies and other media are typically not produced from comic source material. Comic book adaptations and comic book spin-offs are produced from movies and other media. See the Selected Key Storylines section for the Original Trilogy movie adaptations, in which Darth Vader appears.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Darth Vader, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

Key Issue cover 1 for DARTH VADERKey Issue cover 2 for DARTH VADERKey Issue cover 3 for DARTH VADERKey Issue cover 4 for DARTH VADER
  • STAR WARS [1977] #1   (1st appearance of Star Wars; 1st appearance of Darth Vader)
  • DARTH VADER [2015] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • DARTH VADER [2015] #3   (1st appearances of Doctor Aphra, 0-0-0 (Triple Zero), BT-1 (Bee Tee))
  • DARTH VADER [2017] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • DARTH VADER [2017] #3   (1st appearance of Kirak Infil'a)