Marvel has announced that it’s not done with Darth Vader, not by a longshot. A new ongoing series will tell the story of Vader’s early days as a Sith Lord, following the events of Revenge of the Sith. The book will be written by Charles Soule (Lando, Obi-Wan & Anakin, Poe Dameron) and drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli (Amazing Spider-Man).
This series isn’t a continuation of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s fantastic Darth Vader series, which ended last year. That book took place in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Soule and Camuncoli’s book takes place many years before the previous series.
Here’s the synopsis:
When Anakin Skywalker fell, both to the pull of the dark side and to the blade of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he rose back up, more machine than man. Having lost everything that he once held dear, the one who was prophesized to bring balance to the Force instead chose a darker path. Now, in a story set directly after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, he must take his first steps into a darker world as…Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith!
Witness iconic moments in the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of one of its most famous characters! The construction of Vader’s red lightsaber, the fallout of Order 66, the beginnings of the Inquisitor program, and the rise of an Empire. Join Vader as he learns a new way. The way of Darth Sidious…the way of the dark side.
Actually, this sounds like a much darker book than the previous one. I’d have to dig way back in my mental Darth Vader archive to figure out if there’s ever been an origin story for Vader’s menacing red lightsaber. If not, this will undoubtedly be a cool little addition to the canon. I’d like to think he built his infamous weapon from the remains of his enemies’ lightsabers…
This is also the first comic to explore the early days of the Empire. Up until this point, the Marvel comics have mostly lived within the Original Trilogy and just prior to The Force Awakens.
Here’s what series editor Jordan D. White had to say about the new Darth Vader:
I’m so excited that we get to tell more stories about the best villain of all time…and this time, we get to show his very first steps into the Dark Side. I was blown away by some of the stuff we plan to show in this series…and I think readers will be, too—from hardcore Star Wars fanatics to those who want to see more of that deadly threat from the end of Rogue One. Charles has an evil streak in him that readers might have seen whenever he’s written Palpatine in the past. Now, that comes front and center.
Certainly, Rogue One did a lot to make Vader scary again – just go watch A New Hope right after witnessing the Sith Lord wrecking those poor Rebel soldiers in that hallway. His entrance in the Blockade Runner is all the more terrifying.
Here’s the very sexy cover for the first issue, which is out in June:
Just quickly, here’s a reminder that you need to read the first Darth Vader series because I can’t possibly be objective about it: Since Marvel launched its new line of Star Wars comics, there have been many memorable stories – the Lando and Chewbacca miniseries come to mind – but none have been quite as good as Gillen and Larroca’s Darth Vader ongoing. That series included about every single thing you’d possibly want to see Darth Vader do – duel and destroy his enemies, chase after Luke, hire his very own Suicide Squad to go on heists for him, and hang out with the greatest droid duo since Threepio and Artoo. Basically, this comic is everything you ever wanted and it’s only twenty-five issues that are out in trades now. If you only read one new canon Star Wars thing, make it this.