Category Archives: books and comics

Marvel puts Star Wars comics up on comiXology, but…

marvel-comix

If you’re a digital comics fan, the news of the day is pretty big: Star Wars comics became available on comiXology today under new licensee Marvel. Most of the big publishers use comiXology for digital these days, but Dark Horse has stayed an outlier, maintaining their own app, so this is the first time these works have been available through the more popular service.

That’s all well and good – or at least, inevitable. This is the way the comics license works: All or nothing, no matter who actually produced the work.

Okay, this one is a touch ironic.

Okay, this one is a touch ironic.

But one thing: Everything you see in ‘Marvel’s’ Star Wars store is reusing old Dark Horse covers, sans Dark Horse logo. The only changes on any of them are a Marvel logo and the Legends banner. Other than those three things, they are using the Dark Horse covers verbatim.

And, honestly? It looks a bit crass.

It’s not the biggest issue in the fandom, and it’s certainly not without precedent – Dark Horse reprinted all the old Marvel stuff, probably several dozen times a piece. But they also started long before digital comics and the ability to publish several dozen collected editions at the drop of a hat. By the time digital came along, all the old Marvel stuff had Dark Horse covers ready to go.

I don’t expect Marvel to have artists whip up completely (mostly?) new covers for digital, the way they’re doing for print. But surely a quick general ‘Archive’ template and text treatment (Well, maybe two, given the omnibus layouts) would make this look a little less skeevy.

There’s nothing wrong with the Dark Horse covers, and certainly Lucasfilm owns the typography just as much as they do the art. I’m sure there are a lot of factors I’m unaware of here. I don’t even know if they have access to the original art (surely Lucasfilm does?) I don’t know Marvel’s staffing situation or the amount of time they had to throw this all together. And I certainly have no objections to Dark Horse’s big last minute sale: They produced most of it and lost the license to the biggest fish in the pond through no fault of their own – why not get in those last few sales?

But I know, as a fan – and not even a fan who Dark Horse showed much interest in catering to outside of a brief period in the ’90s – this just doesn’t look right to me. And for that matter, why is Marvel is putting up some of Dark Horse’s most popular Star Wars comics – Dark Empire, Legacy, etc. – it only a week before their first new comic even hits? An attempt to reach out to the rabid Dark Horse fans? Will it over-saturate the audience? Can you over-saturate the market for comics fans?

It all comes down to money, yes. Of course it does. And I’m sure Marvel and Lucasfilm made a nice chunk of cash today off all this, to go with their brand new 1 million record. I just wish they’d been a touch classier about it.

Two more Marvel reprint collections revealed

LECNewRep1-192x300Our friends at Jedi-bibliothek.de have discovered two more Marvel reprints of Dark Horse material in the 2015 pipeline.

In their Star Wars Legends Epic Collection series, we have The New Republic Volume 1 coming out on May 26, containing Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand, Shadows of the Empire: Evolution, The Jabba Tape, Boba Fett: Twin Engines of Destruction, and material from Star Wars Tales 1, 3-5, 10, 14-15, 20, 22. The Old Republic Volume 1 collects issues 0-18 of John Jackson Miller’s Knights of the Old Republic and comes out June 16. Interesting that they are calling it simply The Old Republic – will future volumes contain some of the Tales of the Jedi comics after they finish collecting Knights of the Old Republic?

Previously announced was Empire Volume 1, being released April 28.

Link

Dark Horse offers entire Star Wars comic library for $300. With their license expiring in mere days, this is our last chance to get the comics from Dark Horse themselves. The digital bundle includes 568 comics, aka 28353 pages, and will remain in your collection after the new year. Yes, Marvel will be reprinting some of these, but who knows how many? In any case, this is a great bargain.

Marvel remastering original A New Hope adaption

Marvel is reprinting their first Star Wars adaption next year in hardcover, CBR reports today. The comics by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin will be fully recolored by Chris Sotomayor and feature a new cover from Adi Granov.

While I find the old school coloring charming – the new version just looks super generic, at least in the example provided – I have no doubt this will find plenty of buyers. (Presumably the original versions will be available in January’s Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years.) The ‘remastered’ adaption will be out in April, followed by similar editions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi later in the year.

Marvel confirms that new Star Wars #1 has sold 1M copies

marvel-sw1-cropMarvel’s David Gabriel has confirmed last week’s report that the new Star Wars #1 has sold more than a million copies to comic retailers. He tells Comicbook.com (who originated the report) that it’s due mainly to “the strength of the Star Wars brand” and says it’s been “one of the easiest sells in a long time.”

Meanwhile, Jedi News has a rundown of the variant and exclusive editions of the comic, because that stuff is crazy and as an avowed non-collector, I Simply Cannot.