Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #34 and Titans #40

Right before the Empire Strikes Back, Marvel Comics began wrapping up ongoing story lines for several major protagonists to our heroes.  Star Wars #31 - 34 contains a single story arc which shows the final fate for one of the Tagge brothers, the scientist Silas.  In the final chapter to the arc titled Thunder in the Stars, Han Solo and Princess Leia are leading the Rebel fleet to the planet Junction, a major supply source for the Rebellion.  The Rebels believe the Imperials, assisted by the House of Tagge, are going to use the Omega Frost weapon on Junction.  Instead the Imperials have positioned the Omega Frost weapon in the asteroid corridor that the Rebel fleet is using to avoid the Imperial blockage of Yavin.  Luke Skywalker is aware of the trap and destroys one of the Omega Frost towers, saving the fleet.  The fleet discovers the ruse and destroy the nearby House of Tagge mining cruiser with Orman and Silas Tagge aboard.

Star Wars #34a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (April 1980)
The cover for Star Wars #34 is one of my favorite covers in the original Marvel Star Wars series.  Luke is wearing yellow space gear in the foreground while the Millennium Falcon leads the Imperial fleet through the asteroid field.  During this period in the comics, the Rebellion fleet consisted of ships that were variants of the Imperial Blockade Runner used by Leia in the opening of the Star Wars movie.  The cover stands out due to the vivid colors chosen.

Titans #40a - Editions Lug, France (May 1982)
Star Wars #34
French Titans #40 shows Luke wearing the same space gear as he flies past the House of Tagge ship.  Since Luke is nowhere near the House of Tagge mining cruiser inside the comic, this scene is more reminiscent of a scene from Star Wars #33 where Luke Skywalker dons space gear and infiltrates a House of Tagge operation where cargo is being transferred from the mining cruiser to an Imperial Star Destroyer.  In the issue, Luke Skywalker is discovered and stunned by Imperial Stormtroopers overseeing the operation.  During that scene, Luke never wields his lightsaber however.  Additionally, the artist is showing the House of Tagge mining cruiser flying in the wrong direction!  Those 3 round cylinders are the engines, so the ship should be flying away from Luke, not toward him!

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