Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison

19 years prior to A New Hope the largest Imperial officer graduation ceremony becomes ground zero for a massive coup.

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison
written by Haden Blackman
art by Agustin Alessio
Dark Horse
April 2013

Laurita Tohm, our narrator via his report on the coup attempt, can’t wait to graduate as an officer. When the attack comes he battles his peers – members of a secret group loyal to a high ranking Imperial who is tired of seeing his cadets die in wasteful wars – when he finds himself with Darth Vader working to save the Emperor, who has been poisoned.

The only safe place to run to while the Emperor is healed is a secret prison full of ultra violent criminals and rebels (not in the sense of the movies). Once there they work to recruit an army imageof deadly prisoners to take back the Empire. (Some of the best scenes in the book can be found here.)

Ultimately, this is a story about Vader and how he becomes the monster hinted at in Episode III but fully realized in Episode IV. A fascinating and multifaceted portrayal that sheds light on the once hero, now villain, and one day to be redeemed right hand of the Emperor. Watching and learning from Lord Vader is the highlight of Tohm’s life – and of this book.


The artwork is outstanding. In a world dominated by Jim Lee clones, Alessio hits exactly the right balance between artistic freedom and realism. (Right).

The story is never interrupted by oddly shaped, overly buxom women or overly buff men. Vader and icons of the Star Wars universe are instantly recognizable and extremely well done.

The cover art and full page pinups are also outstanding. Wilkins does a great job artistically portraying Vader! I love his Vader / skull pinup! (Left).

This is a great graphic novel. It’s well written, adds to the universe, and is beautifully done.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.