Comic(s) Relief: Marvel To Republish Select Dark Horse Star Wars Comics

Dark Horse's Star Wars legacy will live on.

By David Wharton | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

star_wars_the_empire_coverAs part of the whole post-Disney buyout restructuring of pretty much the entire Star Wars media empire, one of the groups left holding a shorts straw was Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse held the Star Wars comics license for over two decades, publishing a ton of memorable series beginning with the Return of the Jedi follow-up Dark Empire all the way back in 1991. But since Disney already owns a major comics company — Marvel — it made good business sense for them to move the Star Wars comics back in house. The good news is that Marvel isn’t just ignoring those 20+ years of Dark Horse/Star Wars history. In addition to publishing new Star Wars comics, Marvel will be republishing select Dark Horse material as well.

This mirrors the approach Disney and Lucasfilm have been taking with the volumes of existing “Expanded Universe” material that has been rendered non-canon as part of their attempts to create a more cohesive Star Wars universe going forward. The old EU material will remain in print and available, but under the banner of “Star Wars Legends,” to denote that it’s not part of the new canon. The comics will follow suit as part of the Legends line, and Marvel will be republishing the Dark Horse Star Wars comics in their “Epic Collection” format, full-color volumes which typically bundle together 20 or so issues of a series.

The first collection of republished Dark Horse content is set to release in April 2015. Entitled Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire, Vol. 1, it will include material from several different series, all exploring the rise of the Galactic Empire in the aftermath of the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In other words, it’ll be a nice thematic counterpoint for any fans who are by that point enjoying the Star Wars Rebels ‘toon.

After that, there’s no telling which part of Dark Horse’s Star Wars back catalog Marvel will resurrect. David Gabriel, Marvel’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, told The Hollywood Reporter that the Star Wars Legends imprint will “be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years.”

Longtime Star Wars comics fans will recall that this isn’t Marvel’s first foray into George Lucas’ universe. Marvel published a long line of Star Wars comics in the 1970s and ’80s, and much of that material is going to be reprinted as well. And, of course, Marvel will begin publishing new Star Wars comics early next year, with three series so far announced: a core series called simply Star Wars, another focusing on Princess Leia, and a third telling new tales of Darth Vader himself.


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