Since The Force Awakens, I’ve lost the actual plot over Chewbacca Mom, crushed hard on Daisy Ridley’s Instagram, and patiently waited for more Star Wars Celebration details. Thankfully there’s been more than viral ephemera and the internet grace of movie stars to keep Star Wars fans’ appetite sated – we’ve got a whole new round of Marvel comics to explore the new expanded universe with.
Since I last wrote about these brilliant books, Lando and Chewbacca have had their own limited series, Star Wars and Darth Vader have crossed over, and we’ve been treated to a Pepe Larraz interpretation of General Grievous versus Kanan. Now, here’s all that’s happening in Star Wars comics from June up until October 2016, and we’ll be back with more listings in Winter.
At £55.99, this hardcover omnibus is for the serious collector, or for any long-suffering fans who champion the adventures of Wicket & Co. as a legitimate addition to the Star Wars universe (as a pro-prequel gal myself, I feel your pain). Featuring all-ages adorableness, this is also a great book to get a small person excited about the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Main expanded universe interest in this title will come from your favourite mechanical odd couple’s time spent in between C-3PO having his memory wiped at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and their recruitment into the Rebel Alliance. – 14 June
Marvel’s Epic Collection program is putting out oversized bumper hardback editions of different Star Wars comics from yore. These are Expanded Universe stories, now branded as Legends. Here we have a collection with a theme not unlike The Force Awakens’ – set right after A New Hope, The Rebellion explores what happens after the fall of the First Death Star, and how this giant success for the Rebel Alliance was, in reality, short-lived. The war must go on. – 5 July
Marvel gave these star-crossed Jedis their own five-part miniseries this year, and it’s a welcome throwback to the Rise of the Empire era. We see them sent on official Jedi business to a planet caught in civil war, and Anakin pushes them to engage in more of the probing into the validity of the Galactic Republic’s methods that is familiar from the prequel films. – 19 July
Collecting the first 12 issues of Vader’s solo series, Salvador Larocca’s art makes this hardcover worth holding out for. Some of the most beautiful character designs of the whole Marvel Star Wars output are found among these pages, so you’ll want to give this one pride of bookshelf place. – 19 July
A rebelling planet provides Vader with a chance to prove himself to Palpatine and the Empire. He’s been struggling to get Darth Sidious to accept him and has been spending lots of time off doing his own thing with Doctor Aphra, so it’s a chance to step back into the role he was groomed to play. Collecting issues 16-19 and a Darth Vader Annual, this is the penultimate trade in Kieron Gillen’s Vader series. – 9 August
After Vader Down, the two core series veer back towards the same direction as Leia heads to the space-station currently imprisoning Dr. Aprhra. While she deals with some weighty moral concerns, Han and Luke are off smuggling together, and the comic does a good job of solidifying the bromance we see truly bloom in Empire Strikes Back. We’re also treated to another flashback via Obi-Wan’s journals, exploring his influence on Luke in the time he was forbidden to see him by Uncle Owen. – 16 August
This 500-page throwback to the original Marvel comics stars with a 1977 adaptation of A New Hope and continues in a manner not unlike the new Star Wars series, seeing the gang rebel all across the galaxy. I think it’s worth buying on Luke’s likeness to He-Man alone – the retro artwork transforms the entire cast in incredible ways. – 6 September
Marvel are collecting the Dark Horse adaptation comics that were released in tandem with the prequel movies. The events of Attack of the Clones – from battling Count Dooku to Padme and Anakin’s wedding – lend themselves to Jan Duursema’s art style impeccably, and are written by The Clone Wars’ Henry Gilroy. – 6 September
Shattered Empire is required reading. If you missed the initial TPB, this edition is the perfect catch-up as it also includes the wonderfully bizarre C-3PO one-shot explaining where he got his new red arm from, and this is the only edition you’ll find that story collected in. – 13 September
This bumper edition collects the first twelve issues of the core series, and at a substantial 288 pages it makes the perfect volume to approach this new Marvel output if you’re not used to reading single-issue comics. – 20 September
This TPB now reads sort of like an alternate universe in light of The Force Awakens – it’s over a century after Return of the Jedi and, unsurprisingly, the Sith are on the rise again, and it’s up to an unwilling Skywalker heir to dethrone Darth Krayt. These comics were originally published in 2006 so the artwork is a little more familiar than some other Legends stories. – 11 October
Colour all of your expanded-universe-induced jitters away with this collection of blank versions of standout artwork from the new Star Wars books. Colour, or colour not – there is no try. – 25 October
Post by Heather
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