Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Modern Marvel: Star Wars: Vader Down #1 Comic Con Box Exclusive

Subscription boxes for a variety of products have been around for several years now.  The idea behind a subscription box is a customer subscribes to the service, and once a month the company sends a box full of product to the customer.  Usually, the customer does not know what they are getting and the company claims the value of the items in the box are higher than is being paid.  These have become so popular, even big retail stores like Walmart are planning on offering their own box service.  It has become commonplace for customers to post a video on YouTube as they dig into these boxes for the first time.  In recent years, there has been a steady rise in subscription boxes that offer pop culture memorabilia.  Some even offer comics including: Comic Bento, Comic Block, Loot Crate, ZBOX, and Comic Con Box.  And some of these comics are exclusive to the service.

The first Star Wars comic exclusive from one of these subscription box services was the Star Wars #1 Loot Crate exclusive.  It is believe the Loot Crate variant for Star Wars #1 accounts for 1/4 of that comics approximately 1 million copies.  When Star Wars: Vader Down #1 was published in November 2015, it was natural for exclusives to accompany the release.  There were a few more subscription box service exclusives than were published for Star Wars #1.  Three of the subscription box exclusives came from Comic Con Box with two of them in their Box 8 offering and one made available with a 3 month subscription.

Comic Con Box 8
Comic Con Box is owned by Wizard World and is one of more expensive subscription services.  Most of the services cost $15 - $20, but Comic Con Box wants $30 per box.  After inquiring, I decided to just purchase the 1 month subscription for Box 8 which includes 2 different Vader Down #1 variants, a color and a black and white exclusive.  With other box services, you usually only receive one comic, so this box having two Star Wars comic exclusives made the purchase more palatable.  I could not justify spending close to $100 to buy the third cover which is the same as the first two covers, except it is a virgin variant (i.e. it doesn't have the Star Wars logo on the cover.)

Comic Con Box 8 opened
I had purchased the Loot Crate box for the Star Wars #1 exclusive and outside of a Transformers T-shirt I still wear, I cannot remember what else came in the box.  To be honest, I am not interested in most of the items they send with these boxes; I want just the Star Wars comics.  The Comic Con Box was slightly better.  Not only did I receive the two Star Wars comics, but it also has a Star Wars T-shirt and the Walking Dead #1 Wizard World Las Vegas exclusive.  There is another comic called Home: Lighter Than Air #1 by Double Take, but a quick glance shows me I am not interested in that particular comic.  As for the rest of the items in the box, I already gave them away to my kids.

Comic Con Box 8 content
Return of the Jedi was originally titled Revenge of the Jedi, but the name change came after several early promotional pieces were released, including the poster this cover is based on.  Like the original poster, this homage still has Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker engaged in a lightsaber duel, but on the comic cover they are joined by Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca.

Star Wars: Vader Down #1w - Marvel Comics, U.S. (November 2015)
Comic Con Box color exclusive
Star Wars: Vader Down #1x - Marvel Comics, U.S. (November 2015)
Comic Con Box black & white exclusive

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