Sunday, December 7, 2014

Marvel Provides a Sneak Peek @ New Star Wars Comic Book Series

Comic books featuring the cast of characters and story lines revolving around the original trilogy of Star Wars movies aren't anything new as Marvel Comics had a monthly series in print during the time these films were released which was published between 1977 and 1986.  Dark Horse Comics followed that with a monthly series called Empire that had a variety of story lines tied to the movie Star Wars: A New Hope, including how Luke Skywalker's best friend Biggs Darklighter defected from the Imperial Navy to join the Rebels, that ran from 2002 through 2006.  More recently Dark Horse published a monthly series titled STAR WARS that was focused on the time period directly after the events in Star Wars Episode IV that ran from 2013 into 2014.

Marvel Comics is regaining the license rights for Star Wars comics in 2015 and is debuting a series titled STAR WARS with brand new stories focused on the time period between the movies A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.  While this isn't exactly new territory to explore in the world of comic books, what is new about what Marvel is doing that will set these stories apart from previous ones is that they will now be part of the recognized canon for the Star Wars story.  This means they will be considered officially as much a valid part of the Star Wars universe and its over all tale as the movies.  In the past novels and comic books were treated more like fan fiction than an extension of the movies - as past published works are now known as the Legends Collection - so including these new stories as an official part of the Star Wars saga is really a brand new arc for comics.

With excitement for the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens blockbuster that is arriving in theaters in December of 2015 joined with the fan and critical praise for the new Star Wars: Rebels animated television series there is a lot of excitement and renewed interest in the franchise that Disney acquired from George Lucas in 2012.  Marvel Entertainment, which was also acquired by Disney in 2009, is adding to this hype with its renewed publishing of Star Wars comic books.  In fact is reporting that Star Wars #1 has collectively received more then a million orders from comic book stores for the series' January 14, 2015 debut issue.  Putting that into perspective, the last comic book issue to print and sell a million copies was the milestone 500th issue of BATMAN in 1993.

For all the fans counting down the days until January 14th, Marvel just released a sneak peek of the upcoming Star Wars #1:


So here is the synopsis from Marvel for the upcoming #StarWars #comicbook series:

Luke Skywalker and the ragtag band of rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet—the destruction of the massive battle station known as the Death Star. But the Empire's not toppled yet! Join Luke along with Princess Leia, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, droids C-3PO and R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they strike out for freedom against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder) and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!

Another angle that Marvel is using to drum up sales and to also cater to its collector markets is that there will be a variety of variant covers, at least 13 of them, that will be printed in quantities significantly lower than the main release version of the comic book.  One will be my favorite comic book artist Alex Ross that will pay tribute to the original cover of Star Wars #1 published by Marvel Comics in April 1977.   Another variant will interlock with the first issue covers of the upcoming Darth Vader series and Princess Leia min-series to create a poster when all three are combined together.  The one I like the best though is a reproduction of the Kenner package for their Luke Skywalker action figure which is the first Star Wars toy I ever owned as a kid and which the artwork I find to be just really impressive.  

So what do you think of Star Wars #1 ... are you going to be picking up a copy from your local comic book shop?

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