Star Wars Comics

February 5, 2016

Got caught up on comics for the week today, figured I would do a bit of a spotlight on one of the more popular sets of books out there.  When Disney bought Marvel a lot of people’s thoughts were along the lines of “maybe we’ll get some really nice Barks/Rosa reprints of the Donald and Scrooge stuff coming.”

Then they doubled down and bought Lucasfilm.  Not long after, it became clear that Star Wars comics were coming back to Marvel.  From 1977 to 1986, Marvel made Star Wars comics.  This was a bit of a challenge, as they struggled to keep consistent talent working on the series.  Part of the problem was that George Lucas gave very little material for them to work with between movies as he kept most of it within his control and often vetoed the ideas Marvel put into the series.

After Marvel let go of the publishing rights, Star Wars was published by Dark Horse for the next couple of decades.  They produced quality stuff, Dark Empire being probably the best storyline.  When Disney bought Lucasfilm, it was only a matter of time before Marvel got it back.

When Disney began the process of planning out Star Wars, one of the boldest moves they made was to reset the canon.  The Expanded Universe–essentially all the novels and comics set after Return of the Jedi–were declared non-canon.  The new comic series would be.  And it has worked out pretty well so far.

The simply title “Star Wars” focused Luke and the crew as they continue their various operations with the Rebel Alliance.  “Star Wars: Darth Vader” has been an ongoing series centered around the Dark Lord’s parallel story as he learns the truth about Luke and pursues the rebels.  Kanan focuses on a former padawan who survived and joined the rebellion, a main character in the TV series Star Wars: Rebels.

There have been a handful of shorter run series as well.  There was prequel to Force Awakens, which centered around Poe Dameron’s parents.  A five issue story focused on Lando working a job gone bad where he’s steals a ship belonging to the Emperor.  Another short series focused on Leia as she follows a call of duty to the people of Alderaan.  There has been a series concerning an adventure for Chewbacca as he gets sidetracked on his way back to Kashyyyk.  Another series has just started, focusing on the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi with a young Anakin.  In April, there will be a series starring Poe Dameron hitting the shelves.

These have all been relatively good.  Top level writers and artists are working on all of them, they keep the bar high.  They offer some interesting looks at Vader, a glimpse into what Obi-Wan did to keep busy on Tatooine, as well as developing the characters everyone grew up with.  As much as I hope they bring in some of the elements of the Expanded Universe–Mara Jade, for instance–I think I’m okay with this.

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