Vader's Quest is a four part miniseries released in 1999. The trade paperback came out later that same year, and it was collected in the Early Victories omnibus in 2008.
Vader's Quest serves as something of a sequel to Episode IV: A New Hope. The main plotline concerns Vader's attempts to learn the identity of the pilot that destroyed the Death Star. Once he discovers that it was his son, he attempts to cover it up, presumably so Palpatine cannot use it against him. He gets some ruthless scenes early on, and the conflict that this revelation instills in him is conveyed fairly well. This aspect of the story is easily the best, but it is weighed down by one of the most awful plotlines in Star Wars history.
|The reason Luke got to blow up the Death Star? This guy had measles.|
Luke's storyline is somewhere in the middle. Sent on diplomatic mission to the world of Jazbina, his stay quickly takes a turn for the worst. Blinded and imprisoned, Luke spends much of the comic in a somewhat helpless state. The politics and Rebel movement on Jazbina also leaves a bit to be desired; none of the original characters feel interesting, and the movement itself is very poorly constructed. Luke's plotline doesn't really amount to much, but it is better than Jal's, if nothing else.
Overall, Darth Vader's segments had plenty of promise, but throwing in the extra two sub plots were a bad idea. Not only is this too much story for a comic that has less than 100 pages, the plotlines themselves leave much to be desired.
Art in Vader's Quest is a mixed bag. There are plenty of new ideas and design concepts at work, but some of them are underwhelming to say the least, and derivative designs further hurt the success of the comic.
|Mala Mala is the best concept to emerge from Vader's Quest|
|Bobek, Alliance recruit|
|An example of both the architecture and people of Jazbina.|
Something of a study in lost potential, Vader's Quest is badly hurt by a completely nonsensical plotline, and artwork that is derivative in design, and mediocre in execution. Vader's story shows promise, but it isn't exactly the focus, and as a result I cannot recommend this comic.