The Dreadstar graphic novel, published in 1982, was the third in a series of Marvel Graphic Novels. This graphic novel is also the third part of the Metamorphosis Odyssey, and was printed in color from paintings by Jim Starlin.
Following the events told in the Eclipse Comics portion of the Metamorphosis Odyssey, the Dreadstar graphic novel opens with Vanth Dreadstar leading the life of a peaceful farmer. The planet on which he lived was the site of an Instrumentality experiment to create a race of cat-human hybrid warriors. The experiment was a failure, the hybrids were mild-natured and generally only suited to farming. Dreadstar married a human scientist and lived quietly for some decades.
As the story continues, it becomes apparent that the power of the sword has granted Dreadstar immortality, so he did not age along with his wife. He spent his time farming and studying magic and politics with sorcerer Syzygy Darklock. From Darklock he learned about the history of two equally matched enemies, the Instrumentality and the Monarchy. These two galactic empires fought a stalemated war for generations, finally turning into a conflict that neither side wanted to win since else their war-based economies would collapse. Darklock's plan was to force an end to the war.
At first Dreadstar was unwilling to resume his role as a warrior. But after a fleet of Monarchy ships destroyed his home, killing his wife and all his friends, he joined the military forces of the Monarchy and set into motion the plan to force an end to the war.
Dreadstar quickly rose to a military command rank, which enabled him to ensure that all members of the attack force that killed his wife and home were sent on suicide missions. He then assassinated the King of the Monarchy and intimidated the new monarch, the weak-willed Gregzor, into following his plan. When Gregzor protested that the great nobles and captains of industry would resist following along but Dreadstar answered that he would deal with any resistance the way he dealt with the former king.