Since Star Wars comics made the jump from Dark Horse Publishing to the all-encompassing bosom of Marvel in 2015, one thing has been made gloriously clear: Darth Vader is the biggest badass in the galaxy.
After decades of watching Anakin Skywalker on screens big and small, Star Wars fans were chomping at the bit to see Obi-Wan Kenobi's former pupil embrace the Dark Side, don his iconic armour and re-establish himself as science-fiction's greatest villain. In that respect, Marvel has been impressive. Most impressive.
Everyone's favourite Sith Lord has flourished under Marvel's stewardship. From Kieron Gillen's seminal run in 2015 to Greg Pak's current stint at the wheel (not forgetting Charles Soule's exemplary work with the character as well), Marvel's writers have done a superlative job in establishing how Vader earned his reputation as the most feared man in the galaxy far, far away.
This list will take a look at 10 times Vader was at his imperious, homicidal best. Watching the Dark Lord of the Sith lay waste to his adversaries is a giddy thrill - akin to watching a great sports team dismantling their rivals, or seeing your favourite wrestler squash an opponent - and it's a sensation Marvel have delivered time and time again.
10. Darth Vader's Best Marvel Kills - The Ender
Starting at the end(er), the first entry on our list takes a look at the time Darth Vader butchered an honest-to-goodness kaiju.
This battle occured in Dark Visions #1, the first of a five-issue miniseries dedicated to the exploits of Palpatine's apprentice. The series definitely had its moments (we have a soft spot issue #3, which focused on the one and only woman in the galaxy who found Darth Vader sexy), but it arguably peaked in its opening act. After all, it's hard to top the image of Vader fearlessly leaping into battle against the skyscraper-sized lovechild of Jaws and Godzilla.
As that image implies, Vader's battle against The Ender is a summer blockbuster in comic book form. From gouging out the Ender's eye with his lightsaber, to charging into battle on a demonic wildebeest that looks like it came straight out of DOOM, Vader looks every bit the action hero. Hell, he even finds time to save a child's life during the tussle! (Granted, Vader only force-pushes the boy out of harm's way because he's inadvertently blocking Vader's path, but still! Bonus hero points for the Dark Lord).
Vader vs. The Ender is sheer popcorn-movie perfection - a five-minute adrenaline rush that cements Vader's place as the galaxy's apex predator and leaves the reader grinning from ear to ear.