As 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.
THIS WEEK’S NEW SCI-FI COMICS
Black Science #8 (Image Comics)
Trapped in a fantastical dimension, the Anarchist League of Scientists discover a race of bizarre creatures that hold the mysteries of the Eververse…and a startling discovery behind the Pillar’s deeper mythological significance.
Borderlands: The Fall of Fyrestone #2 (IDW Publishing)
The adventure continues in part two of Borderlands: The Fall of Fyrestone! The Vault Hunters know that saving Fyrestone means a confrontation with Nine Toes. To succeed they’ll need to enlist the help of a reclusive, quirky blind man. Fan favorite TK Baha makes his comic debut! The action heats up and things get complicated for our heroes in the continuation of this four-part story! Claptrap and TK Baha in the same issue? It’s almost too much awesome to handle!
Written by original game writer, Mikey Neumann, with art by the fantastic Agustin Padilla — this is one Borderlands adventure you don’t want to miss!
Deep Gravity #2 (Dark Horse)
An interstellar cargo ship is hit! Meteors rip through the hull and hundreds of crew members are cast into space. How will the surviving crew make it back to the planet alive?
* Written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Star Wars: Legacy, Planet of the Apes).
* From a story by Mike Richardson (47 Ronin)!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2 (Titan Publishing)
On the Day of the Dead, the mystery deepens in a brand-new brooklyn adventure for the Tenth Doctor!
All Gabriella Gonzalez wanted was to skip her shift at the Laundromat and hang out with her friends. It’s Halloween, and Sunset Park is hosting its first-ever Day of the Dead festival! But her father wouldn’t listen — again — and now Gabby is stuck with a store full of empty washing machines while the rest of the neighborhood goes wild. But this graveyard shift is living up to its name!
Vortexes explode out of the machines, shadowy creatures stalk on the edge of sight, and Gabby finds herself pursued by unearthly forces.
Finally, on the longest night of her life, Gabby is trapped in a powerless subway car – and the only thing standing between her and horrific death-by-monster is some skinny white guy in a suit — who’s waving a blue flashlight around!
Flash Gordon #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
BRAND NEW ARC! SAME CREATIVE DREAM TEAM!!!! JEFF PARKER (Batman ’66, Aquaman), EVAN ‘DOC’ SHANER (Adventures of Superman) & JORDIE BELLAIRE (Moon Knight) take Flash to Sky City, as The Man From Earth battles against the Hawkmen under rule of Ming The Merciless! How’s one man supposed to save a galaxy? Simple…punch stuff and keep smiling! Find out why IGN says, ‘If you are starting a list of best comics of 2014, make sure you leave room for Flash Gordon #1!’
Ghostbusters #19 (IDW Publishing)
Tiamat is too powerful to be destroyed and her growing interest with humanity promises unheard of catastrophe for the city, county, and state of New York if the Ghostbusters don’t come up with a fix… and fast! But with all of their usual methods laughed off, will the team have to make a deal with devil to save the day? Find out in the penultimate installment of Mass Hysteria!
Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth #15 (IDW Publishing)
MechaGodzilla madness abounds as a new villain makes his plan known! He seeks to raise the strongest of Godzilla’s. But what mystery allies will help him? The answer will shock you!
Guardians of the Galaxy #18 (Marvel Comics)
Original Sin Tie-In! You know you want to know how Star-Lord got back from the Cancerverse. And didn’t Nova go in there with him? Guess he’s not into the whole ‘no man left behind’ thing.
Halo: Escalation #9 (Dark Horse)
In the days following the events of Halo 4, the Master Chief faced one of his greatest challenges. Halo lead writer Brian Reed (Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel) takes the Master Chief from the fires of Halo 4 to the pages of Escalation in ‘The Next 72 Hours’ Part 2!
* From Halo lead writer and comics veteran Brian Reed!
* An essential addition to the Halo canon!
The Last Fall #2 (IDW Publishing)
IDW’s original sci-fi/military drama continues! Know your enemy! A top-secret recovery mission explodes into deadly betrayal and Marcus Fall finds himself battling for his life against a most unexpected foe.
Low #2 (Image Comics)
The underwater city of Salus, humanity’s last refuge, is running out of air and time. Poverty, disease, and corruption are rampant, and the church of Optimolgy can offer no solace as powerful as hard cream, the strange drug that keeps the bleak realities at bay. Police Inspector Marik Cain has sunk so low into that haze; should an opportunity for hope present itself, can he rise again?
The Manhattan Projects #23 (Image Comics)
’COLD WAR CRISIS’ With the world split in two, and President Kennedy’s back against the wall, the only hope for the planet lies deep underground in Los Alamos. The thrilling FEEL GOOD, BAD SCIENCE series continues in THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #23: COLD WAR CRISIS.
The Massive #26 (Dark Hose)
What remains of civilization is being obliterated by a series of cataclysmic events. The crew of the Kapital struggle to find a safe haven in the destructive chaos, but to no avail. Mary’s return to Ninth Wave comes with answers, but are they what Cal and the others want to hear?
Pariah #7 (Dark Horse)
As personality clashes cause the Vitros to divide, Maudsley reveals his true colors on Earth, while Lila preps the ship to exit Earth’s orbit.
POP #1 (Dark Hose)
What if the world’s pop stars and celebrities were literally products, grown by the world’s wealthiest (and most depraved) minds — and one of them escaped? As unique as it is entertaining, POP is a white-knuckled thrill ride through the marketing-mastered, technologically tethered tragicomedy we call life.
Saga #22 (Image Comics)
The family is tested.
Harlan Ellison’s Hugo- and WGA Award-winning teleplay, visualized for the first time! Stranded in the past of old Earth, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock search for the focal point that altered the timestream and changed everything about the universe they knew. And once they find her, they could find themselves foiled by a force even greater than the Guardians of Forever — love!
Star Wars: Legacy #18 (Dark Horse)
Ania Solo and her friends find themselves fighting alongside the Imperial Knights and the Empress herself against a legion of Sith! While the others fight for control of the galaxy, Ania fights to save her friend — Imperial Knight Jao Assam, who has been enslaved by the dark side!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #3 (IDW Publishing)
The Turtles hit the high seas when they are dropped in the middle of a pirate battle! Little do they know that the true leader of the pirates is an enemy they are all too familiar with. Getting out of the time period alive will all depend on the quick wits of the Turtles’ captain… Michelangelo?!
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #32 (IDW Publishing)
SLAUGHTERHOUSE! The crew of the Lost Light are used to past decisions coming back to bite them, but nothing-not even an ULTRA MAGNUS-certified crash course in the law of unintended consequences-could have prepared them for the horrors of Sector 113. Be warned: this issue is not for the easily distressed-or the easily heartbroken.
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #2 (IDW Publishing)
BOOTS ON THE GROUND!
The war has begun-and no bars will be held! SCARLETT’s forces go head-to-head with MEGATRON’s hordes — and the most off-beat adventure in comic book history hits a new level of dangerous alliances, deadly invasions, and devastating betrayals!