War of the Bounty Hunters

January 1 – While the current ‘Darth Vader’ collection is part of the larger multi-title crossover ‘Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters,’ regular ‘Vader’ readers don’t need to read all the other titles to follow the action of the latest “Vader” series.

This ‘Darth Vader’ series continues the storyline of what happens to Vader between the films ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’. It is the third storyline in the series set in this period.

So far in this series, Vader has been searching for Luke Skywalker since he revealed himself to be the young rebel’s father. Father has also incurred the wrath of the emperor.

In the final storyline, “Into the Fire”, the Emperor severely damages Vader’s suit and sets it ablaze on the world where Anakin Skywalker began the physical transformation into Vader. He leaves Vader to his fate, which Vader does brilliantly using spare droid parts. The Emperor also sends a Sith-allied assassin to kill the weakened Vader.

But the Emperor’s goal is not to destroy Vader, but to break him and reshape him in the service of the Dark Side of the Force.

In “Bounty Hunters,” Vader’s exoskeleton is painfully reconstructed as the Emperor accepts him back into the fold of the Dark Side. Instead of looking for Luke, Vader searches for his son’s close friend, Han Solo, who is encased in carbon. The storyline plays into the overarching story of ‘Bounty Hunters’.

While there’s no need to search for other titles in the larger “Bounty Hunters” mega-series to read this Vader collection, readers may be curious to discover more. The “Star Wars” comic titles are arguably better than the final film trilogy.

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