Darth Vader

“Star Wars” fans should really look into the Marvel Comics series of “Star Wars” titles.

The books capture the flavor of the original trilogy of movies (“Star Wars,” “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”) while offering plenty of new characters and plot twists.

A variety of the books are firmly situated within the time frame of the original trilogy, too.

The current “Darth Vader” series is set in between “Empire” and “Jedi.” Vader knows Luke Skywalker is his son and Luke knows Vader is his father ... even though the majority of the people in the Republic and the rebellion have no inkling that Vader was once the jedi Anakin Skywalker.

The latest “Darth Vader” collection is part of the “Crimson Reign” crossover event running in several “Star Wars” comic books. The collection includes “Darth Vader” issues 18-22.

But readers should be on solid ground picking up this collection without reading the other “Crimson Reign” crossover titles. However, having read the previous “Vader” issues or collections is a must to better follow what unfolds here.

Essentially, Crimson Reign is another faction at work in the galaxy. It is not a part of the rebellion and it is not a part of the empire. It is a crime syndicate that feeds off both the rebellion and empire and threatens both.

Vader is on a mission to dismantle the syndicate while establishing his new mantra of order to the empire and the galaxy.

But even he cannot do it alone. He leads a team of assassins and heroes to stop Crimson Reign.

Of course, he has one major surprise to his plans: the return of Sabe, once handmaiden to Vader’s love as Anakin Skywalker, the late Padme Amidala.

Writer Greg Pak walks a fine line, as have past writers and artists, in maintaining the power, terror and mystique of Vader while revealing new facets of his character and personality.

The comic book Darth Vader is everything you would imagine and expect from knowing more about the life and actions of Vader.

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