Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #24 and Titans #30

The original Marvel Star Wars series published several standalone stories in-between the larger stories arcs in the early years of the title not dissimilar to the approach Marvel is taking with the new Star Wars series.  One standalone story that took place between the Wheel saga and the siege at Yavin stories was called Silent Drifting in Marvel Comics Star Wars #24.  This story was originally published in the British Star Wars Weekly #43 and 44.

The comic is framed by a sequence aboard the Millennium Falcon where Han Solo and Chewbacca destroy some pursuing TIE Fighters with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 as passengers.  Prompted by Han's boasting, Leia recounts a tale of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Republic era travelling on a large pleasure cruiser towards Alderaan.  Obi-Wan befriends a robot named 68-RKO and meets the criminal named Augustus Tryll.  The cruiser enters the Merson asteroid belt where it gains the attention of several Merson ships.  Mersons are hostile to the Republic and the ships begin pursuing the cruiser.  Obi-Wan is invited by Captain Quasar to assume command when it is learned that a signal from the pleasure cruiser is being used to attract the Merson ships.  Obi-Wan Kenobi uses the meager defenses on the cruiser to dispatch the Merson ships.  Meanwhile, several drunk passengers on the cruiser learn of the pursuit and accuse the criminal Augustus of sending the signal.  More Merson ships pick up on the signal and begin approaching the cruiser.  Obi-Wan determines an alcohol dispensing machine is responsible for the signal and destroys it, saving the cruiser ship and Augustus.

Star Wars #24a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (June 1979)
In the story, Obi-Wan Kenobi is wearing a blue/black jumpsuit with a white belt and white boots.  He is also sporting a dark grey beard.  The cover shows Obi-Wan Kenobi wearing his familiar Jedi garb and is clearly aimed at attracting fans familiar with the movie.  The cover does not actually depict events inside the comic, although there is one sequence where Obi-Wan dispatches an unruly passenger who is not happy about 68-RKO, a droid, milling around with the passengers.  The droid on the cover is yellow while the droid in the comic is red.  Also, Obi-Wan on the cover is yielding a red lightsaber where in the movie he uses a blue lightsaber.

Titans #30a - Editions Lug, France (January 1981)
Star Wars #24
If the cover to Star Wars #24 is an abstract representation of the story inside, the cover to the French Titan #30 is even more disassociated from the story.  On the French cover, Obi-Wan Kenobi is still wielding a red lightsaber, but he is engaged in battle with Darth Vader!  The golden droid on the cover looks more like C-3PO than the droid from the story.  Since neither cover is accurate to the story, I prefer the French cover that evokes the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader on the Death Star.

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