STAR WARS: A Most MARVELous Relationship

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Star Wars logo - gold on black, stars in background

In the small town of Kitchener, eons ago, a six-year-old boy was completely oblivious to the ridiculous pop culture phenomenon/epic space opera/mega sci-fi franchise simply called Star Wars. I had most of the original action figures (all gone now!) that came my way via my aunt and uncle and/or friends of the family but never from my parents!!

Star Wars logo - thick gold, black interior on white

[Click here for the opening crawl of the flick]

I was nine years old (1980, you figure out my age;-)] when The Empire Strikes Back was firmly ingrained in my mind. It’s normal not to remember every single thing from childhood. Hell, I can’t even remember what I had for dinner the previous day. The point is that I had more AFs and toys relating to the sequel and my next-door neighbour Mario (his house was right next to mine) had the Marvel Comics’ adaptation treasury edition of said movie. It is hazy whether I even saw the first movie (re-titled A New Hope years later) in the theatre. There were no multiplexes like today nor VHS/DVD/Blu-ray. It’s all a blur but I’m pretty sure I viewed it. I know for sure I had seen Empire in whatever local theatre was in Kitchener (sometimes referred to as Kitchener-Waterloo a.k.a. K-W now K-Dub). Most likely my father was my chaperone and my sister Susy also attended or Mario did with other kids from our street.

Star Wars logo - white on grey

[Click here for the opening crawl of the sequel]

Two years later (1982), I moved to the Azores for a two-year period. It was between that brief period out of the country that the third of the unplanned trilogy hit North America: Return of the Jedi. When I made my way back in 1984, I think I watched that on PayTV at my best friend Walter’s. Even that was an exclusive thing in those days. Ugh. I’m dating myself. I never collected any of the Marvel Comics. How droll. That is the very topic of this article.

Star Wars logo - gold on black, fancier font, red line through

[Click here for the opening crawl of the smash threequel]

Disclaimer: it wasn’t until January of this year (2015) that I actually re-read a STAR WARS comic. Coincidentally, it was under Marvel’s reacquiring of the publishing rights. I even reviewed it for another site (Inside Pulse). Since then, I’ve been reading every monthly issue as well as DARTH VADER. I only picked up the firsts for PRINCESS LEIA and KANAN. More on all those later! Hold up!! I now recall reading Portuguese versions of some stories collected by Brazil’s Editora Abril.

Star Wars logo - gold on black, burst effect

Disclaimer #2: The information used is from Wikipedia. I’m only footnoting five sources. I will cite three and paraphrase the other two. I’m definitely not one for plagiarism. I condemn it completely!! Aside from being a high school teacher whose one subject is English, that’s a major no-no. Even if I weren’t an academic, I would never resort to such a thing. I believe in giving credit where it’s due. Anything that isn’t factual is based on my own anecdotes, musings, opinions, etc. It’ll be pretty obvious. There are thousands, if not millions of articles, web pages, web sites based on this loveably crazy entertainment sensation that branched off from its cinematic origins into other media. I will be looking specifically at Marvel Comics’ history with this two-word giant.

Star Wars logo - black outline on white

1977 – 1986

By the time the first year under Marvel’s domain rolled around, disco was in full swing. Sorry, sidetracking there.

[Click here for the disco-laden theme song]

[Click here for the ‘video’ of the disco version]

The Marvel Universe proper was celebrating its sweet sixteen. Why not tap into the goldmine that was the movie?? This would diversify the line and bring a mega-ton of non-comic readers into the fold.

Star Wars logo - (smaller) gold on black

The major motion picture was officially released on May 25, 1977. The most exciting book to hit the newsstands and drug store spin racks was cover-dated July 1977. Here’s where it gets tricky. Rumour has it that Marvel’s latest offering came out before the movie!! I don’t recall exactly where I read that tidbit but it was many moons ago. Either way, it’s still common practice for comic book companies to have the cover date two months ahead of time so that retailers can order enough copies of whatever they want to sell. That’s the current reasoning. It also serves to entice readers (like me) to salivate in anticipation of what will arrive within sixty days ;-P   In simpler times, it was for the publishers’ benefit to keep track of sales as well as keep bibliographic records. Thus, there could have been planned synchronicity or actual serendipity.

Star Wars logo - black highlighted in yellow on white

Let me backtrack two years prior. Charles Lippincott, Lucasfilm’s publicity supervisor, initially approached Stan Lee in 1975 about publishing a Star Wars comic book prior to the film’s release to appeal to the film’s most likely audience. However, Lee declined to consider such a proposal until the film was completed, and was only persuaded otherwise in a second meeting arranged by Roy Thomas, who wanted to edit the series. Considering movie tie-in comics rarely sold well at that time, Lee negotiated a publishing arrangement with no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000 at which point legal arrangements could be revisited. [1]

Two years before all this (1973), George Lucas had submitted a thirteen-page treatment named The Star Wars [2] [yes, with that overused first word]. A year later he added various elements that are now common and prevalent within his universe: the Death Star, the Sith, and Annikin Starkiller [that’s not a typo]. For more, tug on the threads of the world wide web.

Back to the absorbing of the franchise!! Jim Shooter, then EIC of Marvel Comics, credits Roy Thomas with saving the monster company from bankruptcy[3] or giving it a much-needed financial boost to employ a euphemism in the dark days of 1977-1978. Say what?!? To say that this was lucrative is a gross understatement. Marvel’s Star Wars series was one of the industry’s top selling titles the next two years[4]: 1979-1980. The only downside for Marvel was that the 100,000 copy sales quota was surpassed quickly, allowing Lippincott to renegotiate the royalty arrangements from a position of strength.[5]

[1] Jenkins, Garry (1997). Empire Building. Simon and Schuster. pp. 81–82.

[2] Kaminski, Michael (2007). “The Secret History of Star Wars” p. 50

[3] http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/07/roy-thomas-saved-marvel.html

[4] Miller, John Jackson (March 7, 1997), “Gone but not forgotten: Marvel Star Wars series kept franchise fans guessing between films”, Comics Buyer’s Guide (1216): 46, “The industry’s top seller? We don’t have complete information from our Circulation Scavenger Hunt for the years 1979 and 1980, but a very strong case is building for Star Wars as the industry’s top-selling comic book in 1979 and its second-place seller (behind Amazing Spider-Man) in 1980.”

[5] Jenkins. Empire Building. p. 186

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #1

Until the mid-1980’s, not a single soul on this good Earth thought of handling these thinly-bound pieces of literature with the utmost of care. Fine. Not everyone was savvy with preserving these little treasures. Avid readers may not have noticed variants nor hunted them down. Marvel did this on the sly with the first four issues of the new monthly series. Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Let me re-phrase that: which came first – the film, the monthly, or the treasury-sized adaptation?? Keeping records did not become a refined art until the sudden sprawl of comic book stores and distributors in the latter half of the 80’s.

MARV SP ED SW TREASURY #1

Going back to the variants. Marvel tested audiences by stealthily printing some higher-priced covers. The going rate was thirty cents (30¢, adjust for inflation) but the first four were sold at some corner stores for a nickel more (35¢). The outrage!! The audacity!! How dare they hoodwink the simple saps?? This day and age, a ‘higher-priced’ copy can fetch you a pretty penny. It depends if you want to go to Amazon, EBay, or elsewhere. The mint condition of the freshly squeezed first issue, first printing is valuated at $2,800.00 on www.mycomicshop.com Interestingly, the variant for number one goes for $3,400.00 on www.comicspriceguide.com Shop at your own pace!! More subtly, or perhaps because it went unnoticed, there were second printings!! In those early days they were simply known as reprints. This was indicated by a diamond shape in the top left corner with the 5-cent increase. The shape may make one associate it with Diamond Distributors but that is purely coincidence since the business did not emerge until 1982.

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #2STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #3STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #4

From this point on, I will present the chronology (to the best of my ability) with my own observations.

Some factoids:

  • #1-75 (Jul 1977 – Sep 1983) had the Marvel Comics Group logo [the long strip along the top of the cover. Couldn’t find a single image on any search engine. ARGH!]
  • #76-100 (Oct 1983 – Sep 1986) had the simple Marvel logo (italicized before the modern logo).
  • Ninety-five of the 107 issues were original stories. Twelve were adaptations of the first two movies (#1-6 and #39-44).

[Click on this for the funniest, most absurd covers]

  • #1-4 test price covers 35¢ instead of 30¢ (July 1977 – Oct 1977)
  • STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #1 newsstand 35 centsSTAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #2 newsstand 35 centsSTAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #3 newsstand 35 centsSTAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #4 newsstand 35 cents
  • #1-6 Whitman variants (July 1977 – Dec 1977) – indistinguishable from the reprints in that they sported the same diamond shape on the top left corner
  • #7-10 Pizzazz variants (Jan 1978 – Apr 1978)
  • Pizzazz Mag adPizzazz Mag sub form
  • #7-107 Mark Jewelers variants (Jan 1978 – Sep 1986). There are two major retailers with different spelling thus making them two different entities: Mark Jewellers and Marks Jewelers. I must stress that I didn’t make any typos!
  • Mark Jewelers insertMark Jewelers insert 3Mark Jewellers logoMarks Jewelers logo

In essence, this means that the complete run had flimsy versions of alternate covers or specialness to it. The one hundred and one issues that are exclusive are due to inserts advertising the magazine or the catalog retailer.

  • #1-12 – all reprints [2nd printings] – Identified by the diamond shape in the top left corner of the cover with a price change (35¢)
  • STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #2 reprint (2nd printing)STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #3 reprint (2nd printing)
  • #1-3 – polybagged 3-for-99¢! [Diamond exclusive] Who remembers these from their local supermarkets? Best bargain ever! especially when you knew they were all from the same series and not random selections.
  • STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #1-3 polybagged three for 99 cents
  • #4-6 – polybagged 3-for-99¢! [Diamond exclusive] Oh, Macklemore. If only you rapped in this bygone era. You weren’t even born unless these came out after your entry into this world.

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #4-6 polybagged three for 99 cents

July 1977: STAR WARS #1 published by Marvel Comics; adaptation of A New Hope, pt. 1

1977: (date unknown) MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION #1 – STAR WARS. This compiled the first three issues. Treasury-sized edition [10 1/2” x 13 1/4”] 56 pages in length. One whole buckaroo!! Whitman Comics also had its own version. Same price – $1.00

Aug – Dec 1977: STAR WARS #2-6, adaptation of A New Hope, pt. 2-6

Nov 1977: MARVEL COMICS ILLUSTRATED VERSION of STAR WARS paperback by Del Rey Books. [124 pgs.] $1.50 – reprints main series #1-6

MARV COLL IL VERS SW EP1 PB by Del Rey Books

1978: (date unknown) MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION #2 – STAR WARS. This gathered issues #4-6. Treasury-sized edition [10 1/2” x 13 1/4”] once more. 56 pages in length. $1.00 Whitman Comics got in on the game. Here’s an eye-brow raiser: if the info is accurate, their edition is 84 pages for the exact same price!!!

MARV SP ED SW TREASURY #2

Jan – Dec 1978: STAR WARS #7-18

1978: (date unknown) MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION #3 – STAR WARS. This third and final installment collected the entire adaptive arc [#1-6]. Treasury-sized edition [10 1/2” x 13 1/4”] yet again. 112 pages in length. $2.50 Whitman Comics’ edition has four extra pages. Again, I’m unsure if this is correct but this is what is stated on My Comic Shop.

MARV SP ED SW TREASURY #3

Jan – Dec 1979: STAR WARS #19-30 + ANNUAL #1, when exactly?

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} ANNUAL #1STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} ANNUAL #1 reprint by Brown Watson Rainbow Book

Jan – Dec 1980: STAR WARS #31-42#39-44: adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back

May 1980: MARVEL COMICS ILLUSTRATED VERSION of The EMPIRE STRIKES BACK paperback. [224 pgs.] $2.50 – reprints main series #39-44

MARV COLL IL VERS SW ESB PB

Aug 1980: MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #16: The EMPIRE STRIKES BACK [96 pgs.] $2.00

MARV SUPER SP #16 - ESB 

Jan – Dec 1981: STAR WARS #43-54

Jan – Dec 1982: STAR WARS #55-66 + ANNUAL #2, where exactly?

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} ANNUAL #2

Nov 1982: MARVEL MOVIE SHOWCASE #1 feat. STAR WARS [64 pgs.] $1.25 – reprints main series #1-3

MARV MOVIE SHOW feat. SW #1

Nov 1982: MARVEL MOVIE SHOWCASE #2 feat. STAR WARS [64 pgs.] $1.25 – reprints main series #4-6

MARV MOVIE SHOW feat. SW #2

Jan – Dec 1983: STAR WARS #67-78 + ANNUAL #3, how to place this?

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} ANNUAL #3

May 1983: MARVEL COMICS ILLUSTRATED VERSION of RETURN of the JEDI paperback. [160 pgs.] $2.50 – reprints adaptation of Jedi film.

MARV COLL IL VERS SW JEDI PB

Sep 1983: MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #27: RETURN of the JEDI [64 pgs.] $2.50

 MARV SUPER SP #27 - JEDI

Oct 1983 – Jan 1984: STAR WARS: RETURN of the JEDI #1-4 – official adaptation. Was this a re-hash of the MCIV made more affordable and accessible? My Comic Shop is unclear.

STAR WARS RETURN of the JEDI #1STAR WARS RETURN of the JEDI #2STAR WARS RETURN of the JEDI #3STAR WARS RETURN of the JEDI #4

Jan – Dec 1984: STAR WARS #79-90

Jan – Dec 1985: STAR WARS #91-102

Jan – Sep 1986: STAR WARS #103-107 — last 5 issues were bi-monthly!! Slipping sales??

Marvel Comics decided to keep this steamroller going for almost a whole decade. I do not know why this discontinued. I’ll admit that I didn’t really look into it. Either way, the actual series had an impressive 114 issues counting the annuals and the JEDI limited series. Marvel UK also wanted to bank on the popularity from half an ocean away. That particular branch’s contribution had some name and format changes. One monthly U.S. story equaled three weekly U.K. installments.

Marvel UK logoMarvel UK logo 90's

STAR WARS WEEKLY #1-117 (Feb 1978 – May 1980) #60 was the very first original story. It was part four of “The Kingdom of Ice” continued from the cancelled PIZZAZZ magazine. We’ll get back to that. #94-99, #104-115 also had original stories. Snatch up these rare gems, collectors!!

STAR WARS WEEKLY #1STAR WARS WEEKLY #60

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK WEEKLY #118-139 (May 1980 – Oct 1980) The blockbuster sequel inspired this re-branding.

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK WEEKLY #121

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK MONTHLY #140-158 (1981-1982 est.) Lack of interest or cost saving measures? What prompted the change?? #149, #153-157 brought more new content.

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK MONTHLY #152

STAR WARS (U.K.) #159-171 (Jul 1982 – Jul 1983) Why not stick with what’s simplest? The series was finally cancelled only to re-appear as…

RETURN of the JEDI WEEKLY #1-155 (1983 – Jun 1986) Third time’s the charm. The American issues re-printed are unclear since the main series ended the same year.

Ah ah ah. I’m not finished! The surge in popularity from this simple yet wondrous movie spawned prime real estate for Marvel Comics as well as an abundance of action figures, toys, costumes, etc. Marvel had created a humorous magazine chock-full of entertainment. The celebs of the day got photo coverage and pieces were written about Marvel’s properties on TV or elsewhere. Plus, this was spearheaded by Stan “The Man” himself. Thus, all bets were off in terms of the oddball approaches and other areas of entertainment. This mag was PIZZAZZ!!

Pizzazz Mag ad groovy

  • #1 (Oct 1977) – C-3PO & R2-D2 grace the cover of the inaugural edition! [52 pgs.] 75¢
  • PIZZAZZ #1 feat. C3P0 & R2D2
  • #5 (Feb 1978) – C-3PO rockin’ w/ Cap, Doc Strange & Linda Ronstadt. [48 pgs.] 75¢
  • PIZZAZZ #5 feat. C3PO rockin w Cap  Strange Linda Ronstadt
  • #7 (Apr 1978)Star Trek & Star Wars on the same cover :0 *gasp* [48 pgs.] 75¢

PIZZAZZ #7 feat. STAR TREK & STAR WARS

  • #1-9 – This has the distinction of having the very first untold STAR WARS comics preceding the monthly series if records are correct. “The Keeper’s World” by Roy Thomas & Howard Chaykin (1-6, 8), Tony DeZuniga (7, 9).
  • SW KEEPER'S WORLD Ch. --
  • #10-16 – More first-time tales! The serialized story of “The Kingdom of Ice” by Archie Goodwin, Walt Simonson & Klaus Janson (10-13), Dave Cockrum & John Tartaglione (14-16).

SW KINGDOM of ICE

Concluding the first run of the big screen heroes brought to four walls, Marvel put this baby to rest the year of its quarter anniversary. It’s a shame that the last issue didn’t sport one of those special 25th b-day border covers. The saga would not restart for another twenty-nine years!! That’s one shy of thirty!!! If you’re ultra-obsessed and want to replay the nostalgia loop, #107 fetches for $300 mint on My Comic Shop or $60 on CPG.

STAR WARS {1st Marvel Series} #107

Technically, the STAR WARS brand faded away from Marvel’s vaults in 1987. Under the Star Comics imprint (aimed at a much younger audience), two titles were offered for fans of the animated series:

 

  • EWOKS #1-14 (May 1985 – Jul 1987) – bi-monthly
  • STAR WARS: DROIDS #1–8 (Apr 1986 – Jun 1987) – bi-monthly

EWOKS #1DROIDS #1

Obviously immense changes would have occurred as the calendar pages were being flipped fast and furious. Phase II was just a matter of time >_<

2015

 

Appropriately, Marvel released the thematic “Welcome Home” variants for twenty of its titles. Being a former variant freak, at first I had no clue about the nature of the theme. Even looking at the covers separately left me perplexed and unimpressed. It wasn’t until one of the employees at the local comic shop spelled it out for me. Boy, did I ever feel stupid!! Two simple words added to another two. Advertising really is ingenious!! There never really is any need to overcomplicate or overthink (I’m notorious for that!) Marvel was bringing back its beloved child, embracing it warmly and telling the globe that this is history redux. Plus, it was a very very good thing that would bring smiles to all and make every fanboy, fangirl, fanwoman, and fanman jump for joy 🙂

Welcome Home variants - interconnected covers

I will take a few steps back. The masses were floored with reports of The Walt Disney Company buying Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. The announcement was made Aug. 31, 2009. Much criticism and skepticism arose. Six years later there’s still no merging of Spider-Mickey or Iron Duck. *chuckle* Disney has respected Marvel’s identity and not interfered.

Marvel logoDisney logoMarvel logo with Mickey silhouette

Scoops are always given with plenty of notice. In this case, Marvel mentioned in January 2014 that it would restock the shelves with all-new all-different adventures. A bit more than 365 days passed before that fateful day arrived. May 2014 specified that the first two entries would be STAR WARS {2nd Series} and DARTH VADER. By July, PRINCESS LEIA was awarded her own solo series, five issues in length. In September, it was emphasized that one particular series would be set in another era. October catered to followers of the Expanded Universe with the upcoming launch of KANAN.

Marvel was extremely aggressive in promoting the return and in enlightening those who may have veered away. They wanted the populace to have stars in their eyes waiting with bated breath for continuous storytelling. The black hole hunger was sated, way beyond Marvel’s own expectations! Without further ado, here is a brief chronology of published works along with specs.

It’s common for Marvel Comics to organize launch parties with several retailers. This is a ‘ploy’ that easily reels in the most eager and enthused. Any diehard collector and/or fan will not pass up an opportunity like this when s/he can go the local comic shop and get an über-exclusive alternate cover. The hype that led up to Jan. 14, 2015 attained warp speed levels. It was a full-on feeding frenzy with this store and that store printing its own cover. Game Stop also participated offering two variants: one colour and one B&W. The point being that at least three acquaintances from my neighbourhood store purchased the ginormous pile. How many? Look below for deets.

STAR WARS {2nd  Marvel Series} #1 main cover

We are entering the seventh month of the re-addition. STAR WARS and its spinoffs are a sales juggernaut for Marvel. The interest shows no signs of slowing down. Multiple printings and top ten rankings are the proof in the pudding. The dates shown are the ‘real-time’ releases, not the advance solicitation that publishers use.

Jan 2015: STAR WARS {2nd Series} #1  – over 100 variants [speculation at 119-120]

– 2nd printing Feb 4, 2015

– 3rd printing Feb 25, 2015

– 4th printing Apr 1, 2015

– 5th printing May 6, 2015

– 6th printing Jul 8, 2015

STAR WARS {2nd  Marvel Series} #1 2nd printingSTAR WARS {2nd  Marvel Series} #1 3rd printingSTAR WARS {2nd  Marvel Series} #1 4th printingSTAR WARS {2nd  Marvel Series} #1 5th printingSTAR WARS {2nd  Marvel Series} #1 6th printing

STAR WARS {2nd Series} #2 (Feb 2015)

– 2nd printing Mar 11, 2015

– 3rd printing Apr 15, 2015

– 4th printing May 27, 2015

– 5th printing Jun 24, 2015

STAR WARS {2nd Series} #3 (Mar 2015)

– 2nd printing May 6, 2015

– 3rd printing Jul 1, 2015

STAR WARS {2nd Series} #4 (Mar 2015)   – 2nd printing Jul 15, 2015

 

STAR WARS {2nd Series} #6 (Jun 2015)     – 2nd printing Jul 8, 2015

Number five has yet to receive a new printing! Why discriminate?? Buy this book!!

It is the norm nowadays to have multiple books featuring vigilantes, antiheroes, or genuine villains! The Dark Lord of the Sith cannot be ignored! Readers went bananas (myself included) at how complex and nuanced Anakin Skywalker really is. The third issue is quite costly at this point in time since it introduced a never-before-seen character: Aphra, the amoral archaeologist. Everyone gobbled up this fresh face, so much so that even second and third printings are coveted.

DARTH VADER #1

Feb 2015: DARTH VADER #1 – 20 covers (perhaps more?) according to Comics Price Guide

– 2nd printing Apr 1, 2015

– 3rd printing May 6, 2015

– 4th printing Jul 8, 2015

DARTH VADER #2 (Feb 2015) –double-shipped this month only to give it a major push

– 2nd printing Apr 1, 2015

– 3rd printing May 6, 2015

– 4th printing Jun 24, 2015

DARTH VADER #3 (Mar 2015)

– 2nd printing Apr 29, 2015

– 3rd printing Jun 24, 2015

DARTH VADER #4 (Apr 2015)

– 2nd printing May 20, 2015

– 3rd printing Jun 24, 2015

Without sounding dismissive, female-led series have been given more attention. The major two companies are rectifying their negligence in this department. Breaking news of Luke’s sister’s own chronicles thrilled the target audience. Despite being a limited series, her character development was true to form. I’ve always stated being a feminist. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first issue and could hear Carrie Fisher’s voice as I read the word balloons.

PRINCESS LEIA #1

Mar 2015: PRINCESS LEIA #1 – 14 covers (any others?) according to CPG

– 2nd printing Apr 22, 2015

PRINCESS LEIA #2 (Mar 2015) –double-shipped this month to satisfy all

– 2nd printing May 6, 2015

PRINCESS LEIA #3 (Apr 2015) – 2nd printing Jun 10, 2015

I have admitted time and again that I’m more of a Star Trek fan. On that note, I never ventured into the SW TV series, toons, umpteen novels, books, etc. In other words, the EU (Expanded Universe) never entered my radar. Fans of Star Wars: Rebels rejoice!! The ‘cowboy Jedi’ was also thrust in the spotlight.

KANAN #1

Apr 2015: KANAN the LAST PADAWAN #1 [shortened to KANAN] – 5 covers CPG

– 2nd printing May 6, 2015

This current month of July had Lando Calrissian be honoured. The premiere for the smooth-talking smuggler was just last week (July 8th). This on-going(?) will take readers on Lando’s journey from being a suave con artist to a selfless leader among the Rebellion.

LANDO #1

July 2015: LANDO #1 – 11 covers. It’s only a matter of time before this goes to 2nd printing.

Now that J.J. Abrams has shifted ‘STAR’s, Marvel will promote the upcoming first chapter of the third trilogy (making it a nonology). Unless you live under a rock, by Christmas 2015 The Force Awakens will be broadcast on every corner of the planet. A prequel for the movie is in the works.

How apropos that we look to the future ^_^

Sep 2015: SHATTERED EMPIRE by Greg Rucka & Phil Noto

SHATTERED EMPIRE

Oct 2015: CHEWBACCA– 5-part mini with the fuzzy wuzzy Wookie by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

CHEWBACCA #1CHEWBACCA #1 photo variant

Nov 2015: “Vader Down”– The first crossover (about time!) between STAR WARS and DARTH VADER. Expect this to be a top-seller.

Speaking of which…Segue!!

The two main series have consistently been in the Diamond Top 10 for the last seven months. Only the first issue managed to grab the throne back in January. Either way, the public craves more!!

  • SW #1 was 1 for Jan. 2015
  • DV #1 was 2, SW #2 was 4, DV #2 was 7 for Feb. 2015
  • PL #1 was 1, SW #3 was 2, PL #2 was 5, DV #3 was 9 for Mar. 2015
  • SW #4 was 1, DV #4 was 5, K #1 was 8, PL #3 was 10 for Apr. 2015
  • SW #5 was 4, DV #5 was 6 for May 2015
  • SW #6 was 3, DV #6 was 7 for June 2015

Marvel is now producing omnibuses with the most recent as well as past tales. The kicker is that they are reprinting the Dark Horse material from 1998-2002. Jump on these since the very first comes out this month!! Two Marvel omnis were released earlier this year. Good thing I dug deep 😉

Jan 2015: STAR WARS: the ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS vol. 1 [Marvel 1977-1981] [collects #1-44 and ANNUAL #1]

SW OMY OMNI 1

Jun 2015: STAR WARS: the ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS vol. 2 [Marvel 1981-1983] [collects #45-78 and ANNUAL #2]

SW OMY OMNI 2

Jul 2015: STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: The OLD REPUBLIC vol. 1 TP [Dark Horse 2006-2007]

SW LEG OR EC #1

Aug 2015: STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: RISE of the SITH vol. 1 TP [Dark Horse 1998-2002]

SW LEG RS EC #1

STAR WARS: EPISODE V – The EMPIRE STRIKES BACK! HC [Marvel 1980]

SW ESB HC new ed.

Sep 2015: STAR WARS: PRINCESS LEIA [Marvel 2015] [entire 5-part mini]

 

STAR WARS: the ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS vol. 3 [Marvel/Marvel UK 1983-1986] [collects #79-107, ANNUAL #3, material from PIZZAZZ, RETURN of the JEDI #1-4, SWESBM, SWM]

SW OMY OMNI 3

STAR WARS vol. 1: SKYWALKER STRIKES TP [Marvel 2015] [first 6 issues of re-launch]

 

Oct 2015: STAR WARS: the MARVEL COVERS vol. 1 HC [Marvel 2015] [This should be the decisive factor in terms of the number of variants!]

SW MARV CVR #1

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER vol. 1- VADER TP [Marvel 2015] [first 6 issues]

That’s a wrap, folks! This monumental re-acquisition leaves all parties content from the holding companies to the long-time admirers. Congrats to Marvel, Disney, and Lucasfilm. You all mutually benefit from your passion and recognize the quintessential importance of this massive divertissement. On a personal note, I will continue to follow the current chronicles and eagerly await Chapter VII of IX.

May the Force be with us - YodaMay the Force be with us - stylized fontMay the Force be with us - Darth Vader

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