Darth Vader is without question one of the most iconic villains in fiction, and arguably the most iconic villain in science fiction.
Since Marvel Comics acquired the license to publish the Star Wars Universe, Darth has seen a renaissance, largely due to the quality of his ongoing series by creators Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca.
The below reading order through Darth Vader comics begins with this reinvigorating look into the Sith Lord’s activities following A New Hope, and before Empire Strikes Back.
Once you’ve completed the Marvel Darth Vader run in order below, I also include some of the iconic Darth Vader stories published by Dark Horse Comics during the 1990s and 2000’s.
As always, leave any questions or feedback in the comments, and enjoy the comics!
Darth Vader Comic Books Reading Order
Collects: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 to #5
As with all things Star Wars, you certainly don’t need to start with Clone Wars era Anakin Skywalker to enjoy Darth Vader comics. Nonetheless, chronologically these comics are the closest look we have from Marvel at this formative time in Anakin’s training as a Jedi.
Collects: Darth Vader #1 to #25, Darth Vader Annual #1, Star Wars: Vader Down #1, Star Wars #13 to #14
Gillen and Larroca’s Darth Vader has been so well received it achieved hallowed Omnibus status mere months after the series conclusion. The Omnibus will be released in 2017, which means you’ll have a window throughout the year to get yourself a copy.
For the more affordable and less rare variety, you can check out the Darth Vader trade paperbacks below.
Collects: Darth Vader #1 to #6
Collects: Darth Vader #7 to #12
Collects: Star Wars: Vader Down #1, Darth Vader #13 to #15, Star Wars #13 to #14
Collects: Darth Vader Annual #1, Darth Vader #16 to #19
Collects: Star Wars Annual #1, Star Wars #15 to #19
Issues #16 to #19 of Star Wars directly follow-up Vader Down and show what’s been happening with Doctor Aphra and the Luke, Leia, and Han trio.
Collects: Darth Vader #20 to #25
Collects: Doctor Aphra #1 to #6
Not directly a Darth Vader narrative, but follows up with Doctor Aphra’s story.
Gillen & LaRocca Issue by Issue Darth Vader Reading Order
I include the most relevant Star Wars issues below, but for full context of Marvel’s Star Wars universe, you can check out Comic Book Herald’s complete Marvel Star Wars comics reading order.
Star Wars #1 to #3
Darth Vader #1 to #3
Star Wars #4 to #5
Darth Vader #4 to #6
Star Wars #6
Darth Vader Annual #1
Darth Vader #7 to #12
Vader Down Reading Order
Vader Down #1
Darth Vader #13
Star Wars #13
Darth Vader #14
Star Wars #14
Darth Vader #15
I’d note here that the Gillen and Larocca Darth Vader omnibus does include the Star Wars crossover issues that are a part of Vader Down. I’ve read the event both with and without, and honestly, if you’re here for Darth Vader and reading on Marvel Unlimited, you’ll be just fine reading strictly through the Vader issues and filling in what’s happened with the recap openings.
Darth Vader #16 to #25