Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #51 and Titans #52

I have always believe Star Wars #51 and 52 contains the best Marvel story published.  I think Return of the Jedi would be a better movie if our heroes infiltrated the Death Star II in a manner similar to how they infiltrated the Tarkin in this story.

Star Wars #51a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (September 1981)
The cover for Star Wars #51 is a terrific piece of art by Walt Simonson.  Simonson would go on to achieve fame in his classic run in Marvel's Thor title, but I feel Simonson's art is also one of the highlights of Marvel's Star Wars title.  Carmine Infantino left his indelible mark on the Star Wars title pre-The Empire Strikes Back and Walt Simonson did the same after The Empire Strikes Back movie adaptation.  This cover shows Luke Skywalker on an unnamed asteroid being attacked by a AT-ST after discovering an Imperial communications beacon.

Titans #52a - Editions Lug, France (May 1983)
Star Wars #51
The cover to Titans #52 captures the same scene.  Despite my propensity to enjoying the French painted covers more, in this case, I think the U.S. cover is superior for one main reason, the drawing of Luke Skywalker.  Luke Skywalker has such incredible hair on the cover to the French comic that he really does look like a female.  Additionally, the French cover shows a startled Luke that looks like he is on the verge of turning around and running away from his adversary or is going to break down and start crying.  On the U.S. cover Luke is all business as he defends himself from the oncoming mechanical menace.  There is one aspect of the French cover that I like more and that is the star filled backdrop.  I have a fondness for covers where the characters are on an atmosphere-less planet and you can see space.  In the comic, there is an atmosphere on the planetoid however, so the U.S. cover is more accurate.

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