Old Friends: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palaptine, Wedge Antilles, General Dadonna, C3P0, R2D2
Synopsis: This comic series takes place about a month after A New Hope where the Rebels are still on Yavin 4. The Empire has not regrouped yet in the aftermath of the destruction of the Death Star. Darth Vader is still trying to find out who blew up the Death Star. The details of how he discovered the existence of his son are revealed. The planet Jazbina is a major setting for the story, as it is where all (except one) of the subplots come together at the end. There are alot of new characters, but each is vital to the story.
Review: With the Imperial Fleet scattered throughout space (as a result of the Death Star being destroyed), on the planet Centares, Vader and a group of Bounty Hunters are torturing a Rebel for the identity of the man who destroyed the Death Star. When Vader learns it was a man with the second name of "Skywalker", he and his stormtroopers kill all the Bounty Hunters involved to prevent the information leaking back to Palpatine. However, one survives, Mala-Mala, who thinks of a way to get revenge on Vader......
Meanwhile, the Rebels are still on Yavin 4, knowing the Empire could arrive soon. Luke is trying to deal with the new hero status he got when he blew up the Death Star. However, Jal Te Gniev, a more experienced and battle-hardened Rebel pilot is jealous over Luke's achievement, believing that he himself would have destroyed the battle station, but he was in sick-bay when the attack happened.
Luke is sent on a diplomatic mission to Jazbina, a planet loyal to the Empire, in the hope of convincing it's ruler, Lord Prepredenko, to assist with the Rebellion. Vader (keeping Luke's identity as his son a secret from Palpatine), learns of this and heads for Jazbina...and the story really picks up the pace.
"Vader's Quest" fits perfectly into the post-A New Hope era and is made all the more fun since we know Vader is Luke's father. The story is really Vader's story and can be seen as part of the on-going story of Anakin Skywalker. And we even get a glimpse of the mindgames between him and Palpatine.
Various characters get drawn into (and hence, pay the price) in Vader's search for Luke, while trying to benefit themselves. Some even learn harsh lessons about themselves and the conflict between the Empire and the Rebellion in general. We even, briefly, see citizens of the Empire's attitude to the Rebellion and see a reason for accepting Imperial Rule.
Overall, this comic series was very enjoyable and the glimpses at the various characters was interesting (especially Jal's story) and even though you know the end result as you pick it up, (you're right - Vader doesn't get Luke) it's fun seeing how close Vader got!
The art shows some aliens just a bit wacky, but this is made up for with some great writing by Darko Macan (who wrote the fan-favorite, X-Wing: The Phantom Affair . The colors are bright and vibrant and the art in the book, overall, is nice to look at. Whether you like Darth Vader or not, this is a must read and fits perfectly between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and is an enjoyable chapter in the Classic Star Wars era. If you love Darth stories, get this one now!!
Title: Vader's Quest