Saturday, October 24, 2015

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Anakin Skywalker Dynamic Forces Holo-Foil Exclusive

1999 was a big year for Star Wars fans and especially for Star Wars comic collectors.  After a 16 year gap, the first new Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace, was released to movie theaters in May.  The previous year, Dark Horse Comics was part of the Lucasfilm marketing plans when in December 1998, they released Star Wars #1 starring a new Jedi Master from The Phantom Menace, Ki-Adi-Mundu.  This ongoing title would be joined by The Phantom Menace trade paperback in April and the 4-issue adaptation in May as well as several related titles starting with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Anakin Skywalker.  The Anakin Skywalker one-shot proceeded one-shots for Obi-Wan Kenobi, Queen Amidala, and Qui-Gon Jinn and they would be collectively known as the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Adventures comics.

In addition to the release of The Phantom Menace, 1999 would be the year that Dark Horse would start publishing Star Wars comic exclusives for Dynamic Forces.  Dynamic Forces is a company that specializes in variant and signed comics.  They had been doing this with comics and trade paperbacks for Marvel, DC, and Image Comics as well as other publishers.  This year, they published variant, signed, and sketch covers for several of the first issues of Marvel Star Wars titles.  Dark Horse had published Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics for Dynamic Forces earlier, but the first Star Wars comic was the Star Wars: Vader's Quest gold foil cover on March 3, 1999.  A Vader's Quest gold foil cover signed by David Prowse was released on June 2nd.  Dark Horse would publish many Star Wars comics for Dynamic Forces over the next few years, mostly for #1 and other special issues.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Anakin Skywalker c - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (1999)
Dynamic Forces holo-foil exclusive
The Anakin Skywalker one-shot was released in May 1999 with two covers, a photo cover and an art cover.  The Dynamic Forces holo-foil cover is the same as the photo cover (including the $2.95 price), except the large Star Wars logo contains a holo-foil overlay.  It comes with a certificate saying it is limited to 15,000 copies and originally retailed for $10.  Each certificate is individually numbered.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Anakin Skywalker d - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (1999)
Dynamic Forces holo-foil exclusive
signed by artist Steve Crespo
Dynamic Forces also released a signed edition of this comic in 1999.  This signed edition was limited to 10,000 copies and originally retailed for $19.95.  Each certificate is individually numbered and matches the number on the cover.

When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Anakin Skywalker was released, it sold approximately 69,000 copies to retailers and was ranked as the 17th best selling comic for the month (The 4 issues of The Phantom Menace 4-issue adaptation would rank higher the same month.)  The Dynamic Force issues are additional copies not included in those numbers.  Besides the holo-foil cover, there is also a gold foil cover for this comic.  Many of these Dynamic Forces variants took many months, if not years, to sell out.

Demand for the Dynamic Forces Star Wars exclusives have increased in the past year on eBay.  Prior to this, it was common to find this comic priced around $3 - 5.  Because of the large print run for these The Phantom Menace variants compared to modern variants, they have not increased in price as high as some of the other Dynamic Force Star Wars variants.  This particular variant can still be found on eBay for less than the original retail price of $10.

Since earlier this year, I have been gathering information about the many Dynamic Forces exclusives for Dark Horse's Star Wars titles per a suggest from a poster on the CGC Forums.  Dynamic Forces did release several new covers in addition to enhanced covers.  There are also more signed copies that do not have a new or enhanced covers.  Personally, I treat the new and enhanced covers as variants and seek them out for my collection.  I have plans to publish blogs in the future showcasing those comics.  As for the signed covers, even though they come with certificates, I do not feel they are any different than the many signed Star Wars comics with certificates from other retailers or dealers.  I am not seeking those out and will only show them when it accompanies a variant cover.

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