Saturday, January 03 2015 19:00

Are You Ready for the MARVEL STAR WARS Comic Books? The Rundown on These New Pieces of STAR WARS Canon...

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On January 14, 2015, the first new STAR WARS comic books to bear the MARVEL imprint since the 80s will begin arriving at comic shops (new comics day is Wednesday), expanding the STAR WARS world into exciting new directions with stories that will become official pieces of STAR WARS canon. As these new tales take their places in a timeline that includes the motion pictures and select animated series' (like STAR WARS REBELS), these new books will be an excellent starting point to get new readers into comics, while bringing fresh tales with familiar characters to longtime fans like me. If you're curious what the future of STAR WARS comics holds, take a look at my rundown below - a cheat-sheet of what to look for in the months ahead (release dates subject to change)...

MARVEL Star Wars #1STAR WARS (ongoing series)

Launches January 14 with the release of STAR WARS #1 for new adventures set immediately following the destruction of the first Death Star at the end of 1977's STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE.

What MARVEL says: Luke Skywalker and the ragtag band of rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet -- the destruction of the massive battle station known as the Death Star. But the Empire's not toppled yet! Join Luke along with Princess Leia, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, droids C-3PO and R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they strike out for freedom against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor.

What to know: Variant covers have always been a touchy issue for some (I even wrote a comic with a variant cover once), but when they're offered, it's usually just a few different versions at most. With STAR WARS #1, there are over sixty (yes, 60!) covers known to exist, including standard variants shipped in published ratios (1:50, 1:200, etc), and retailer exclusives available only through a specific store. While some of these are really cool (I love what Alex Ross has done with his), I say stick to the original cover. For those wishing to see all the variants, Rebelscum.com has a nice gallery up. Of all the forthcoming STAR WARS series', this one is the must-read of the bunch - should you only go for one.

Pre-order from TFAW: Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3 | Subscribe direct from MARVEL.

MARVEL's STAR WARS - Issues #2 and #3 Cover Art


Launches February 11, 2015 with the release of DARTH VADER #1. A companion series to the ongoing STAR WARS, this places the Dark Lord front-and-center as the title would imply. 

What MARVEL says: Darth Vader’s known as one of the greatest villains of all time, but in this series, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca explore not only the Dark Lord of the Sith’s action following the destruction of the first Death Star, but also the toll on the man behind the mask.

What to know: It's been confirmed that they're doing the variant cover thing on this title as well, at least for the first couple of issues. While collectors may want to shell out for all the different versions, parents will especially want to go just for the regular versions.

Pre-order from TFAW: Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3 | Subscribe direct from MARVEL.


 jan150727STAR WARS: PRINCESS LEIA (5-Issue Mini-Series)

The first character-centric mini-series from the new run of MARVEL books, PRINCESS LEIA #1 of 5 will be released on March 4, 2015. 

What MARVEL says: When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire as a Rebel spy, she never betrayed her convictions, even in the face of the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan.

When her rescue came, she grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire-the destruction of the Death Star. But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains...what is a princess without a world?

Writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, S.H.I.E.L.D.) and artist Terry Dodson (Avengers & X-Men: Axis, Uncanny X-Men) bring us a story of Leia's quest to help her people and find her place in the galaxy.

What to know: Direct subscriptions through MARVEL will roll-over into future mini-series' that are not-yet-announced, as subscriptions are done in 12-issue increments.  

Pre-order from TFAW: Issue #1 | Subscribe direct from MARVEL


One of the most exciting reveals was announced at NYCC last Fall - an ongoing series focusing on Kanan Jarrus, one of the lead characters from the Disney XD hit, STAR WARS REBELS. While an April release has been promised, there's only one piece of artwork that's been made available thus far. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to learning more about Kanan and how exactly he evaded the destruction of the Jedi (Order 66) and became a rogue. Stay tuned for more on this one.

Will you be reading STAR WARS comics this year?

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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