While all of the earlier Star Wars Expanded Universe continuities were set to the side when Lucasfilm was sold to Disney and new Star Wars films were announced, many fans still hold a bright spot for Marvel Comics’ nearly nine year run of Star Wars comics that helped to serve up new adventures during the years between new movies. And while the original series may have been relegated to “Legends” status, Marvel is bringing back the book and it’s original continuity for a one-off special in May.
The one-off special issue – which will retain the old series’ numbering, so #108 – and will be a sequel of sorts to the story from 1981’s issue #50, “The Crimson Forever.” In that adventure, Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewbacca were confronted by a mysterious virus that turned its victims’ skin bright red. The special issue will be written by Matthew Rosenberg, with art from Giuseppe Camuncoli, Luke Ross, Kerry Gammill, Andrea Broccardo and more with covers from former Star Wars artist Walter Simonson. You can check Simonson’s cover art below.
The issue will also see the return of several fan-favorite characters from the book’s initial run including Jaxon, Amaiza Foxtrain, Valance the Hunter and Domina Tagge.
For those unfamiliar, Jaxon, of course, is a mercenary who looks basically like a seven-foot tall green bunny. He, along with human pirate Amaiza Foxtrain, were part of a crew hired by Han and Chewie in one of the comic run’’s earliest post-A New Hope storylines that was essentially a resetting of The Seven Samurai/ The Magnificent Seven in outer space. (This was two years before Roger Corman did the exact same thing with 198’s Battle Beyond The Stars.) Valance the Hunter was a bounty hunter who appeared in the comic’s run between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Domina Tagge is the sister of A New Hope‘s General Tagge. As a member of that powerful aristocratic House and as a Force-sensitive herself, she posed a double threat to the Rebellion.
A a fan who often had to ride my bike to a near-by drug store or cajole my parents into taking me to the local library so I could sneak across the street to a magazine stand in order to I could pick up the latest issue of Star Wars, I have to say that I am pretty excited to see this coming out. Sure, many of the stories weren’t even Star Wars in terms of tone, and certainly went its own way in terms of continuity.(Who else remembers Annual #1 with the mention of an adventure shared by Obi-Wan Kenobi, a pre-Dark Side Darth Vader and Luke’s father?) But it did birth a number of rather fun stories, with probably my favorite being the one about the cabal of Imperial officers who want to assassinate Vader for killing so many from their ranks. It was nice hold over for fans between films and it also helped keep Marvel financially afloat through some rather lean years.