More than a year-and-a-half after it debuted, Marvel’s popular Star Wars: Darth Vader ongoing comics series will conclude in August with issue #25.
Kieron Gillen, who has scripted the series since its debut, confirmed the decision in an interview with IGN on May 13, noting that the series’ thrust was to focus on “… how Darth Vader recovers his position post-A New Hope. You know, he’s arguably responsible for the biggest disaster of all time — or at least, the only person responsible still alive — and by Empire he’s in a much more powerful state. We get Vader in an incredibly powerful position by the end of the story. So definitely Vader, by the end of the story, is the man we meet in Empire.”
And what a story it’s been. Not only have readers been afforded to see a side of Vader that was the stuff of talk and legend, but the title introduced several new characters to the Saga canon, including Doctor Aphra, the Indiana Jones-inspired galactic archeologist and techno guru who’s drawn critical and popular acclaim.
Marvel declined to comment on whether a new series would replace Darth Vader, but if its previous actions are any indication, such a move is likely. When Kanan was canceled with issue #12, it was quickly replaced by the Poe Dameron ongoing series earlier this year.
And it’s telling that Marvel even announced the decision to end the series. Typically publishers aren’t known for any fanfare when a series concludes, slipping an announcement in the text of solicits.
Gillen, who along with artist Salvador Larroca, has called the series among his favorites, and offered up a hint as to what readers will see in the final 56-page issue, which is out in August and will retail for $5.99.
“… you always know the final shot will be Vader aboard the Executor, you know, on the bridge, ready to go after Luke. I mean, you know that, because that’s where you want to see Vader, his rise to even greater power. Essentially, the final arc is sort of set around the Executor. That’s kind of the main setting for a lot of the action, that we’re playing with, which is kind of the big conclusion, the apex, of what’s happened so far.”
Star Wars: Darth Vader has been a consistent top-seller for Marvel, routinely charting a position in Diamond Retailer’s monthly top 10 listing of top-selling comics.
The debut issue sold 315,578 copies and almost always hovered at or just below the 100,000 mark every month, according to figures compiled by ComicChron.com, before falling off in recent months. The latest figures, for March, show that Darth Vader 17 sold 80,269 copies, while Darth Vader 18 sold 77,942 copies.
Star Wars, Marvel’s primary monthly title, is also among the top 10 every month, typically topping 100,000 copies.
Matt Moore has been perpetrating journalism since 1985, reveling in Star Wars since 1977 and reading comics since 1974.
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