Tag Archives: marvel comics

Catching up with Marvel: April solicitations, reprints, and what can we do for more Leia?

Princess Leia #3 (Marvel)Marvel solicitations for April are out. (Hattip to ‏@DarthSpiriah.) It includes Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 (which has a little art peek at StarWars.com,) but the real curiosity may be Princess Leia #3 – or rather, the second woman on the cover. Some are suspecting it’s Winter, a Legends character it would make sense to bring back given that we know the miniseries is dealing with Alderaan, but I wouldn’t say no to a brand-new lady pilot. Either way, we’ll find out in April. UPDATE: She’s a new character.

And depite the million or so copies in circulation, Star Wars #1 is going back for a second and third printing. In CBR’s latest Axel’s In Charge Q&A, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talks a bit about Star Wars #1 and the line in general. On that note, Darth Vader #1 is looking like it’ll sell more than 200,000 copies.

There was a report from Bleeding Cool yesterday that a Lando Calrissian comic is in the works. It’s a nice idea, but don’t expect any announcements today, per Marvel editor Jordan D. White.

Meanwhile, on his Tumblr, White has answered a few Star Wars questions. Here’s one to be aware of – while the current Leia comic is a 5-issue miniseries, it could lead to an ongoing if sales are good enough. As for Mara Jade? “Only time will tell.” Waru, on the other hand, gets a pretty firm “nope.”

But for those hungry for more prequel era stories beyond Kanan, Jordan does say he has “a couple of ideas for series I think would fit really well there.”

Review roundup: Star Wars #1 does pretty well for itself

marvel-sw1Now that the million or so copies of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 have hit the comic books shops, let’s see what people are saying:

  • IGN: “There’s an emphatic “Give the people what they want!” feel to this issue, and the creative team certainly delivers.”
  • iDigitalTimes: “…the best character work is Princess Leia…” (spoilers)
  • /film:”Not only does Vader make a great dramatic entrance but theres a very cool tense sequence that feels ripped out of Homeland (this is a strong compliment) and Vader’s response is nothing short of bad ass.”
  • Nerdist: “Writer Jason Aaron perfectly captures the pacing, action, and humor of the original Star Wars in a way that a lot of the comics haven’t for a long time it seems.”
  • Jedi News: “The true test of any comic script is does it leave you longing for more, and I can’t imagine anyone reading this issue and not being absolutely compelled to pick up issue #2.”
  • Tosche Station: 4/5 – “At times, it was difficult to NOT hear the actors’ voices inside my head reading the lines.”
  • Big Shiny Robot (a double review from Bryan and myself): “It brings us to familiar territory while still feeling fresh.”
  • Coffee with Kenobi: “Reading “Star Wars” No. 1 is like watching a movie.”
  • EUCantina.net: “Marvel knew they had to make a big impression with their first Star Wars issue, and they have succeeded.”

Talking with the creators:

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.

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.

Will the new Marvel Star Wars #1 actually sell 1 million copies? Comic retailers seem to think so

marvel-sw1-crop

Comicbook.com claims today that Marvel’s new Star Wars #1 will sell over a million copies. Or rather, that comic retailers have ordered a million copies – who knows how many will find themselves in the hands of readers.

According to the story, no comic has broken the 1M mark since 1993’s Batman #500, and “fewer than fifty comics have sold more than 200,000 copies” in the last 15 years. The bestselling comic book in that period sold only about 530,500 copies, per Comichron. (Though it’s worth noting those numbers, through the comic shop distributor Diamond, don’t include digital sales – everything here reflects the ‘direct market,’ aka actual comic shops.)

Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics sold steadily, but they weren’t exactly topping the charts regularly. Their 2013 Star Wars #1 clocked in at nearly 100,000 copies, per writer Brian Wood, and was reprinted multiple times. Marvel has the benefit of heightened interest in the franchise due to The Force Awakens. But will it bring people into the shops? The retailers seem to think so…

In any case, StarWars.com just posted a preview of Star Wars #1. The comic will be on sale January 14 – and I doubt you’ll have a hard time tracking down a copy.

Marvel’s February comic solicitations; Alexandra Bracken added on kid’s ANH adaption

Darth Vader #2

Darth Vader #2

Marvel’s February solicitations (via The Beat) are out, and it includes not only Darth Vader #1, but the second issue as well. (Cover at right.) Both issues will have variant covers, naturally. You can get a preview of Darth Vader #1over at Marvel.com. Also listed is Star Wars #2.

The third SDCC title, the Princess Leia miniseries, will launch in March.

In other EUish sorts of news, we learned a few days ago that Alexandra Bracken is replacing R.J. Palacio on the retelling of A New Hope for young readers. Subtitled Being the Story of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and the Rise of the Rebellion, it’s due out on June 23. The book was announced back in April, and the other two original trilogy adaptions are still being penned by authors Adam Gidwitz and Tom Angleberger.