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Written by 5:35 am Comic Guide

Best Star Wars Comics

Best Star Wars Comics

Best Star Wars Comics

Star Wars comics have been around since the first movie came out in 1977. Over the decades, hundreds of comic series and one-shots have been published, expanding the Star Wars universe and telling new stories. This massive body of work has allowed creators to explore every corner of the galaxy far, far away through the comic medium.

With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming for new readers to know where to start. This comprehensive guide breaks down the absolute best Star Wars comics that are must-reads for any fan. From beloved movie heroes to original fan-favorite characters, these exceptional Star Wars comics run the gamut of eras, tones, and styles. There’s something for every Star Wars fan on this list.

Best Ongoing  Star Wars Series

Ongoing comic series allow more room for in-depth storytelling and character development compared to one-shot comics or mini-series. These long-running stories let writers and artists fully explore the characters and worlds that fans love. Here are the standout ongoing Star Wars comics spanning across the saga’s timeline that no fan should miss.

Comic Series Timeline Placement Key Characters Issues
Star Wars (2015) Between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker, Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader 1-75
Darth Vader (2015) Between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra, Inspector Thanoth 1-25
Doctor Aphra (2016) Between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back Doctor Aphra, Triple-Zero, BeeTee, Magna Tolvan 1-40

1. Star Wars (2015-2020)

Kicking off Marvel’s return to Star Wars comics, this series picks up shortly after the events of A New Hope and runs until just before The Empire Strikes Back. It focuses on the core characters from the original trilogy – Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2. There are also appearances from classic villains like Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt as they continue threatening the Rebellion.

With amazing art from Stuart Immonen, Leinil Francis Yu, and more paired with compelling writing that fits perfectly into the established canon, this series is a must-read for fans. Though it ended in 2020 after 75 issues, Marvel Omnibus collections are available that compile the entire run. This allows new readers to easily catch up on this quintessential Star Wars comic series.

2. Darth Vader (2015-2018)

This top-notch series ran alongside the main Star Wars comic and unsurprisingly focuses on the dark lord of the Sith himself. It picks up right after A New Hope and details Darth Vader’s rage and scheming in the wake of the Death Star’s destruction. We get to see the lengths he goes to to regain favor from his master Emperor Palpatine.

Fan-favorite characters like Doctor Aphra, Triple-Zero, BeeTee, and Inspector Thanoth also make their debut here. Major events like the “Screaming Citadel” crossover and “The Shu-Torun War” keep things thrilling over 25 issues featuring stunning art from Salvador Larroca. This is the quintessential comic series for Vader devotees.

3. Doctor Aphra (2016-2019)

A breakout star from the Darth Vader (2015) comics, rogue archaeologist Chelli Lona Aphra was popular enough to land her ongoing series. It sees her getting up to all sorts of hijinks across the galaxy accompanied by her murderous droid companions Triple-Zero and BeeTee. She encounters other iconic bounty hunters and scoundrels like Bossk, Boba Fett, and even Han Solo as well.

Doctor Aphra is notable for being one of the few major LGBTQ characters in Star Wars through her relationship with Magna Tolvan. This representation combined with Aphra’s cool factor makes it a special 40-issue series. Aphra certainly earned her place amongst the most popular Star Wars comic characters.

Best Mini Star Wars Series

In addition to ongoing comics, Star Wars has seen various limited-run mini-series that tell self-contained stories over a handful of issues. These mini-series have allowed creators freedom to tell some incredibly unique tales in a galaxy far, far away without having to worry about extended plotlines.

Mini Series Timeline Placement Key Characters Issues
Vader Down Between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker 1-6
Lando Before Empire Strikes Back Lando Calrissian, Lobot 1-5
Obi-Wan and Anakin Between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker 1-5

1. Vader Down (2015)

This exhilarating 6-issue crossover brings together Darth Vader and the main Star Wars (2015) comics series. It sees the Sith Lord getting shot down onto a remote planet and having to fight his way through waves of Rebel soldiers. Luke Skywalker even joins the fight for an epic lightsaber duel.

With nonstop action rendered through stunning pages by Mike Deodato Jr., Vader Down is a thrilling event comic that lives up to the hype. Watching Vader unleash his full power against whole armies is simply magnificent.

2. Lando (2015)

Before becoming a Rebellion hero in Empire Strikes Back, Lando Calrissian had his share of misadventures across the galaxy as a dashing scoundrel. This 5-issue mini-series written by Charles Soule details Lando teaming up with his friend Lobot to pull off an epic heist.

With stylish retro art by Alex Maleev and Lando’s irresistible charm on full display, this comic is a super fun read. It’s an origin story of sorts that gives one of the saga’s most beloved rogues his due diligence.

3. Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016)

Set between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, this 5-issue mini-series explores the early days of Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi training under Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. During their adventures, flashbacks provide insight into Anakin’s mysterious past as a former slave on Tatooine before joining the Jedi Order.

A wonderful character study that expands the oft-overlooked prequel era, Obi-Wan and Anakin may well be the best prequel story ever. It makes Anakin extremely sympathetic while highlighting the almost brotherly bond he shares with Obi-Wan before their fated duel.

Best Limited Star Wars Series

For comic tales too long to be contained as mini-series but not quite an ongoing status, Star Wars has seen several limited series over 12-15 issues. These allow for meatier storytelling than mini-series but with a clear endpoint in sight.

1. Star Wars: Republic (2002-2006)

Set during the prequel trilogy era, this epic series ran for 83 issues over 4 years. It primarily follows Jedi Knights like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Quinlan Vos as they fight against the rising Separatist movement in the lead-up to the devastating Clone Wars.

With stories written or overseen by the likes of John Ostrander, Haden Blackman, Jan Duursema, and Timothy Truman, Republic delivers quintessential Jedi adventures on par with the movies themselves. This is a must for prequel fans.

2. Kanan (2014-2015)

The cowboy Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus quickly became the fan-favorite character from the animated series Star Wars Rebels. This 12-issue series written by Greg Weisman and drawn by Pepe Larraz chronicles his complete backstory, depicting his survival of Order 66 as a young Padawan and evolution into a blaster-slinging Rebel hero.

With emotional storytelling and a visual style that mirrors Rebels, this comic enhances Kanan’s character tremendously. Readers will love seeing him struggle to come to terms with the Jedi’s fall while also getting early adventures with Hera and the Ghost crew before their rebel days.

3. The High Republic (2021 – Present)

Kicking off Lucasfilm’s ambitious new publishing initiative unconnected to the Skywalker saga, this ongoing series follows Jedi Master Avar Kriss and her brave comrades as they fight against the fearsome Nihil marauders 200 years before the films.

With stunning art from various illustrators paired with massive Force battles, compelling new characters, and major connections to other High Republic stories across various mediums, this series is off to an epic start after 15 issues. It’s a glorious new era of Jedi heroism for the franchise beyond the Skywalkers.

Best One-Shot Star Wars Comics

Beyond massive series, Star Wars comics have delivered some stellar self-contained one-shot issues focused on beloved characters. These single issues tell complete stories all on their own.

1. Star Wars Tales (1999-2005)

These anthology comics told one-off stories in the periods from the original trilogy to the prequels to the then-fledgling Expanded Universe which is now considered Legends. With various creative teams and main characters across its 21 issues, Tales stands as a diverse collection of captivating tales.

Highlights range from a post-Jedi Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade adventure to an Imperial stormtrooper realizing they’re on the wrong side. Tales has something for every Star Wars fan.

2. Star Wars: Empire (2002-2006)

Similar to Tales, this series told one-off stories set at the height of the Galactic Empire’s rule between Episodes III and IV. Focusing exclusively on Imperial characters, Empire provided compelling insight into the inner workings of the Empire through unique perspectives often not seen.

3. Vader: Dark Visions (2019)

A spiritual successor to Empire, this series features one-shot comics spotlighting Darth Vader through the eyes of various characters. We see views ranging from a smitten Imperial officer to a painter who tries to capture Vader’s likeness to a space pirate convinced they can defeat Vader.

With utterly stunning and stylistic art across all 5 issues from Paolo Villanelli, Dark Visions stands as one of the most visually dazzling Star Wars comics ever. It makes great use of the one-shot format.

Best Crossover Star Wars Events

Best Star Wars Comics

When original Star Wars comics cross over with other Marvel series, the results are often legendary. These major comic book events add an extra air of spectacle by combining the galaxy far, far away with Marvel’s Earth-based heroes and villains.

1. Star Wars & Planet Hulk (2015)

Two of Marvel’s mightiest franchises collided in this epic as the Hulk found himself transported across the cosmos into a galaxy far, far away. Seeing him battle against Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and more brings this wish-fulfillment story brought to life.

The plot itself, involving aliens wanting to use the Hulk’s powers as a weapon of conquest, is engaging enough. But the sheer joy and novelty of this crossover make it required reading for Marvel fans.

2. The Screaming Citadel (2017)

In this eerie yet thrilling 7-issue crossover, Luke Skywalker encounters a mysterious castle that seemingly holds lost Jedi secrets and knowledge. But its vampire queen has sinister plans of her own.

The vampiric angle combined with the striking art by Andrea Broccardo makes The Screaming Citadel a hauntingly fun crossover. It also features the first comic book encounter between Luke and Doctor Aphra, which is a treat for new canon fans.

3. Star Wars/Doctor Aphra Annual #1 (2021)

Doctor Aphra crosses over with another roguish Marvel hero in this annual issue—the delightfully bizarre Gwenpool. Their meeting leads to lots of fun pop culture references and hilarity as Gwenpool introduces Aphra to Earth fiction like Star Trek and more.

This lighthearted breather of an issue makes for an enjoyable crossover, showing how perfectly Aphra fits into the Marvel universe. It is a nice change of pace for Aphra between her usual dangerous adventures.

Conclusion

That covers the most acclaimed Star Wars comic series, mini-series, one-shots, and crossover events of the past decades. From beloved movie heroes to original fan-favorite characters, these comics run the gamut of eras, tones, and styles. There’s something for every Star Wars fan on this list.

For newcomers looking to dive into Star Wars comics, titles like the 2015 main Star Wars series, Darth Vader (2015) series, and one-shot anthologies like Star Wars Tales are perfect starts. Then you can move into more obscure titles once you get a handle on the vast world that is Star Wars comics.

Veteran comic readers are sure to adore series like Doctor Aphra, along with crossover events like Vader Down and Star Wars/Planet Hulk. And the new High Republic comics usher in an exciting new chapter with completely original characters and settings to explore.

The comic medium has allowed creators the freedom to expand the Star Wars galaxy in ways even the movies can’t. There are countless worlds, characters, and periods left to be explored. So strap in and get ready to experience some of the greatest Star Wars stories you’ve never seen before—now in vivid comic form!

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