Darth Vader and Cry of Shadows

Friday Disney announced it is pulling the Star Wars exclusive licensing deal from Mike Richardson’s Dark Horse Comics at the end of the year–a deal that gave fans the very best Star Wars stories written in the franchise over the past 20 years.  Disney owns Marvel Comics and so this was not a big surprise, although it is disappointing to see something so successful going from one of the “little guy” independents to a big conglomerate that has sucked up everything from ABC to ESPN and has become adept at throttling the number of voices in the media marketplace.  Star Wars comics hold the reputation they have because the expanded universe was built brick by brick at Dark Horse in Milwaukie, Oregon, by some of the best writers and artists around.  The mainstream press is quick to refer to the franchise “going back to Marvel Comics” because Marvel published the initial Star Wars series Issues #1-107 back in the 1970s and 1980s, but that series just can’t compare to what was done at Dark Horse, beginning with its Dark Empire series.

If you haven’t read the expanded universe of Star Wars via comic books, you’re missing out.  Get to a comic book store now to check out the current monthly Star Wars series while they are still made by the best creators around, including Brian Wood’s Star Wars, which takes place between the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and The Star Wars, based on George Lucas’s original draft screenplay, each reviewed here last month.  We think Dark Horse will have no problem backfilling its market niche with other new series, one of which should be expanding its Firefly/Serenity book line.

Here are some other great Star Wars series published by Dark Horse Comics that you might have missed:

Dark Empire

Check out where it all began with Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, Dark Empire II, and a two-issue third act Empire’s End all available in the Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy.  If you love the original characters of the saga you will be happy with this book.  Dave Dorman’s painted cover art for the series is some of the best movie poster quality Star Wars art to appear in print.

Thrawn trilogy

Continue reading

Advertisements