Friday, October 9, 2015

First Appearance: Han Solo

Han Solo is perhaps the most beloved character in the original Star Wars trilogy.  Han Solo's popularity hinges on him being the grey character in the original movie.  Han is a smuggler and cynic, he is loyal to his companion and copilot Chewbacca, and his approach to the life is practical as opposed to idealistic like his younger friend Luke Skywalker.  As the trilogy unfolds, Han wins the affections of Princess Leia and he evolves from the reluctant hero to a leader in the Rebel Alliance.

Han is due to play a major role in The Force Awakens and one of the anthology movies will delve into his past.  With so much interest in the character, it makes sense that Star Wars comic collectors are beginning to realize the importance of his first appearance in comics which pre-dates the original movie.  Star Wars #2 has a cover date of August 1977 but was on sale in May 1977 just prior to the release of Star Wars.  While Han Solo does have a cover appearance on Star Wars #1, it is the interior of Star Wars #2 that we are introduced to the character.

Star Wars #2a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (August 1977)
Newsstand
1st appearance of Han Solo
Star Wars #2c - Marvel Comics, U.S. (August 1977)
Direct
1st appearance of Han Solo
Star Wars #2d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (August 1977)
Newsstand reprint
1st appearance of Han Solo
Star Wars #2e - Marvel Comics, U.S. (August 1977)
Direct reprint (reprint in indicia only)
1st appearance of Han Solo
Star Wars #2f - Marvel Comics, U.S. (August 1977)
Direct reprint (reprint on cover and indicia)
1st appearance of Han Solo
Star War #2 has more going for it than just the first appearance of Han Solo.  It is also the first appearance of Ben Kenobi and Chewbacca!

Above are the different printings for Star Wars #2 minus Star Wars #2b, the expensive $0.35 newsstand version.

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