Hands up who wants to see the thriumphant return of Jaxxon?
January 7, 2014 10:43 AM   Subscribe

"Now, nerds have a long memory. I am dead certain that somewhere out there in the great world there are fans who are looking forward to once again buying "real" Star Wars comics. There are probably even a few brave souls who entertain the notion that Marvel will simply pick up with issue #108 (in spirit if not in deed) as if the subsequent thirty years were just a bad dream. " -- As long expected, Marvel will start publishing Star Wars comics again next year. Tim O'Neil looks at what this means from a fannish point of view.
posted by MartinWisse (40 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting publishing ramifications:

When asked whether it would retain its publishing rights to its backlist and keep re-issuing previous material or if Marvel would be absorbing its backlist, Dark Horse stated “All rights go to Marvel.” Dark Horse has said that Star Wars Comics purchased before 2015 on Dark Horse Digital will remain on its cloud afterward, but print copies of existing material will not continue. Marvel hasn’t announced any of its publishing plans yet and declined early comment, so its still unknown if they’ll pursue collecting seminal works like The Dark Empire Trilogy or even its own previous 114(ish) issue series that was published between 1977 and 1986 (which, of course, Dark Horse recollected during its time with the license).
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on January 7, 2014

I'm trying to imagine a more thankless task (in the world of popular media in which I am even slightly interested) than being at Marvel and deciding just how Star Wars comics will fit into existing continuities, and I'm drawing a blank.

It even makes Doctor Who executive producing seem like a cakewalk.

(from a fannish-appreciation point of view I mean)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:56 AM on January 7, 2014

One of the difference between Star Wars and other possible licenses is that I don't see Marvel having much trouble enticing A-list talent to want to work on the franchise. (That might not even be a bad thing: Hickman, for instance, could be uniquely suited to write good Star Wars stories.)

Um. Yes please.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:56 AM on January 7, 2014

So: if the Dark Horse license is going into the binary sunset, what is worth picking up from it in the meantime?
posted by graymouser at 11:04 AM on January 7, 2014

Oh god, imagine a Grant Morrison Star Wars story.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:05 AM on January 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jaxxon and Jar-Jar... imagine the possibilities. With Ewoks!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:05 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

expensive hardcover Omnibi

I felt a great disturbance in the blog, as if millions of Latin teachers suddenly cried out, and then were told to shut up.
posted by RogerB at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2014 [11 favorites]

I look forward to the Captain America/Ewok cross-over mega-event.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:13 AM on January 7, 2014

10 Essential STAR WARS Comics
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'll take the return of Zaxxon, please.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:16 AM on January 7, 2014 [8 favorites]

I like the Boba Fett stories that John Wagner did a lot, which pull of the trick of feeling very much set in the Star Wars universe while simultaneously feeling an awful lot like Strontium Dog.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on January 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

Star Wars does indeed need more tall green rabbits.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:23 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like the Boba Fett stories that John Wagner did a lot, which pull of the trick of feeling very much set in the Star Wars universe while simultaneously feeling an awful lot like Strontium Dog.

God, Cam Kennedy was such a perfect fit for the dirty, clunky, run-down technology of Star Wars.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:32 AM on January 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

Actually, scratch that, Cam Kennedy's Star Wars aesthetic is just hands-down better than Lucas' in general. To me it's the platonic ideal of what Star Wars should look like.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:35 AM on January 7, 2014

Agreed. They should hire Cam Kenendy to do the production design for the sequels.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:37 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

10 Essential STAR WARS Comics

This list does not contain Tag and Bink. Therefore, this list is invalid.
posted by Hamusutaa at 11:41 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

--I ain't no RODENT!

It's kind of interesting how being really true to the spirit of the material in a way that most of the other spinoff stuff isn't — that is, it's another iteration of a comically bastardized, imitation-Kurosawa tale of chivalry — somehow still doesn't make Eight for Aduba-3 feel all that Star Warsy. It's almost as if getting the sensawunda visual style right were more important than the relatively straightforward beats that the story has to hit!

But then the chivalric character who really seems like he might be interesting in a spinoff story is Don-Wan Kihotay, not the rabbit.
posted by RogerB at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sadly Cam Kennedy is no longer working due to sight loss. One of the greats though.

Alos he might not be up for it:
Cam, who is married to former primary school teacher Isobel, 62, is bemused at how obsessive some fans can be.

He said: “I would be at a Star Wars convention and these anoraks would come up and pump my hand, saying how my drawings had changed their lives. Frightening.”

But the illustrator, who realised he had artistic potential while living in France in the 70s, is not a big Star Wars fan.

He said: “I spent two years living in Oregon drawing for the Star Wars Dark Empire series. When I was asked to take the job in 1991, I had never seen the films and had to watch them on video tape.

“I did two series of six comics but, when George Lucas tried to persuade me to do a third, I politely declined.

“I didn’t want to commit my whole life to Star Wars, drawing space ships and uniform after uniform. Life’s too short.”

posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'd always wondered at the debacle of Empire's End. Kennedy declining to do it makes much more sense out of it now. Not sure his art could have saved the truncated story...
posted by JARED!!! at 11:57 AM on January 7, 2014

TBH, and not to knock Veitch, he was 90% of the appeal of Dark Empire to me.
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on January 7, 2014

Me too. His artwork was just glorious.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:11 PM on January 7, 2014

Ahem: www.jaxxons11.com

The stars are right; his time has come around again, at last.
posted by kikaider01 at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2014

Man, that cover of Marvel Star Wars #1... would it have killed the artist to have actually seen the film before drawing that? The ships (esp. X wing) are wonky, and Vader's mask is not only asymmetrical but shaped totally wrong to boot.

I've seen that cover photo before and it just hurts to look at, every time.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:30 PM on January 7, 2014

Wow, yeah, everything about that Marvel Star Wars #1 cover is just terrible. I can write off Vader's green helmet and Leia's red hair as artifacts of a cheap printing process, but "Will Luke Skywalker save the galaxy--or destroy it?" isn't even a theme of the story. Or did the comics adaptation diverge wildly?
posted by I've a Horse Outside at 2:43 PM on January 7, 2014

That's just how comics were back then.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2014

How Star Wars Saved Marvel and the Comic Book Industry

Using camera stills, concept art, and several iterations of the Star Wars script, Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin crafted the story and visuals that became the Marvel adaptation, printed as Star Wars #1 through #6. The duo did not see a cut of the movie until the first and second issues were at the printers, leading to the inclusion of the scenes that were not in the final cut of the movie, such as the conversation between Biggs Darklighter and the glimpse at the quieter life Luke had on Tatooine with his friends, Fixer and Cammie.
posted by Artw at 3:04 PM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I remember having a copy of Star Wars #1 back in the day. I was utterly mystified by that cover because it was just so wrong.
posted by nubs at 3:36 PM on January 7, 2014

I just watched Star Wars Despecialized 2.5 (previously) and am in a serious Star Wars kick right now. Probably gonna end up reading wookieepedia for 5 hours and then finding comics.
posted by gucci mane at 3:37 PM on January 7, 2014

Cover Vader looks a lot like Vader-mask-sans-Helmet as seen here
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on January 7, 2014

OMG. One of the few items from my childhood I still carry with me is my set of the first 20 Marvel Star Wars comics from the late seventies. IIRC (I'm not getting out of bed to check) two of the covers featured Han saying "Keep firing, Chewie!" As if Chewbacca forgetting to fire his blaster and wandering away in the middle of a firefight were a common plot point. Anyhow, the series was just phoned-in-awful, taking full advantage of fan club kids like me who would buy anything. I loved those comics so much.
posted by ariel_caliban at 6:40 PM on January 7, 2014

I guess this means I'd better get buying come collections.
posted by Mezentian at 8:34 PM on January 7, 2014

Or some collections even.
posted by Mezentian at 2:31 AM on January 8, 2014

That's gotta be a satisfying job.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:36 AM on January 13, 2014

Destroy All Monsters: Stop JJ Abrams
posted by nubs at 11:32 AM on January 17, 2014

I must admit, I'm profoundly disinterested in seeing the continuing adventures of Luke, Leia and Han... unless it's the original actors shuffling around onscreen, that'd be cool.

Not that the presence of of Harrison Ford in a movie made past 1990 pretty much indicates that it is going to be awful.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on January 17, 2014

Sure, but 2014's Carrie Fisher, back in the earmuff wig and robe, swinging across ventilation shafts and mocking too-short stormtroopers? You can take that to the bank.
posted by RogerB at 11:53 AM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Would it be cruel to say Mark Hamill has voice-actor looks these days?
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on January 17, 2014

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