Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Special - part 16

I have the entire run of Marvel's "Star Wars" comic book series. Unfortunately, it is in storage, and out of reach. Since I couldn't scan my own comics, I had to use what I could find and the image quality isn't optimal.

It serves well enough for this post though.

The first six issues of the comic book series were an adaptation of the movie. The first issue has a nice iconic image containing most of the elements of the movie. After that, the covers take more and more license with the content, until they can be accused of blatant false advertising.

The second cover escalates the quick dispatching of two cantina thugs by Ben Kenobi into a huge bar fight, with a confident Luke Skywalker, taking charge and barking orders at Ben. I like the buff purple-blue Gotal that Luke is pushing under the chin with his elbow. I think this must be how Luke retold the story later to save face.

Issue #3 had a somewhat restrained cover compared to the others. It can be argued that it's a pretty fair representation of the escape from the detention block, even though Luke's two fisting with a blaster and a lightsaber, his angry expression mirrored by the red Sith lightsaber blade he's wielding.

Cover #4 leads us to believe that Luke steps in to battle Darth Vader himself, while Ben rushes in to stop him. I guess that sort of happens in the movie, if you stretch things a bit.

Cover #5 takes a lot of liberties. Not only do Han and Chewbacca heroically stay to aid the rebels, but the Death Star hovers right above the rebel base firing down with a multitude of death rays before the rebels can even reach their ships. Sure is exciting though.

Cover #6 completely crosses the line into blatant false advertising. Talk about exciting, who wouldn't want to see Luke and Darth Vader having a thrilling lightsaber fight among the nearby explosions caused by star fighters battling all around them?

As ridiculous as the covers to the movie adaptation issues got, they would soon be topped by what came to be known as "the expanded universe." Here, on the cover of issue #8, Han and Chewie join up with a porcupine-man alien, a floozy, a tank-centaur droid, a Don Quixote-type with a lightsaber, a stand in for Luke Skywalker, and a big green humanoid bunny.

Unlike the movie adaptation covers, this was not false advertising.

As an added bonus, here is the pin-up that Howard Chaykin drew for issue #3. Dig Leia, the saucy pixie.


Robert Pope said...

When I was reading those issues, I was always amazed at how off-model Howie got Vader's helmet. Years later, when I've been occasionally asked to do a Star Wars-type Illustration ( I did a Illustration for an issue of Toyfare with the cast of "Family Guy" in a parody of the iconic Star War's "Leia and Luke" poster) I came to understand that Vader's helmet may just be the hardest thing to draw in the known universe (even if Al Williamson made it look easy in the "Empire" adaptation)

Stephen said...

I have the complete run, too. I always loved the covers, especially the first movie tie-in ones, probably BECAUSE they were so different from the movie. I mean, look how cool it is that the Death Star is bearing down and shooting at the Falcon and they have to high-tail it out of there. And the cover for #2 is just the best.

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

I also have every issue. They may seem kinda silly now, but they were pretty cool to an 11 year old kid.