Thursday, January 28, 2016

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #18 and la Guerra de las Galaxias #9 (Ediciones Vértice)

Marvel's Star Wars #18 kicks off the six part The Wheel saga.  The story starts with Luke Skywalker going into a coma while he is performing a Jedi meditation aboard the Millennium Falcon.  Han Solo decides to take Luke to The Wheel for medical attention.  On the way to The Wheel, they discover an injured Rebel floating in space near a damaged House of Tagge merchant ship.  The Rebel tells Han and Princess Leia that the merchant ship was carrying The Wheel profits and the Imperials are framing the Rebellion for attacking the ship.  Imperial TIE Fighters attack the Falcon which races to The Wheel followed closely by the Imperials led by Commander Strom.  The Falcon lands on The Wheel and our heroes split up.  Han and Leia head for the upper levels hoping to lose themselves among the tourist who are on vacation gambling.  Chewbacca takes the now dead Rebel with him and C-3PO and R2-D2 depart to take Luke to a medical facility.  The Imperials board the space station and The Wheel administrator, Senator Greyshade, contacts Commander Strom to get an explanation for this intrusion.  Strom explains that the Rebels attacked the ship carrying Wheel profits and he is in pursuit of those Rebels.  Greyshade allows the Imperials to continue their activities as long as they keep it contained to the lower levels away from the tourists.  The Imperial Stormtroopers are closing in on C-3PO, R2-D2, and an incapacitated Luke.  The issue ends with Greyshade monitoring the Rebels from his quarters who recognizes Princess Leia.  The Wheel saga is a fast-paced story packed with twists and cliffhanger endings which keeps the reader engaged.

The cover to Star Wars #18 shows the scene where the Imperial Stormtroopers confront C-3PO and R2-D2 with Luke.  It is a nice cover that captures the danger our heroes are in.

Star Wars #18a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (December 1978)
The cover to la Guerra de las Galaxias #9 published by Ediciones Vértice is the same scene redrawn.

la Guerra de las Galaxias #9a - Ediciones Vértice, Spain (May 1982)
Star Wars #17 and 18
The Imperials are much closer to the droids on the cover to la Guerra de las Galaxias #9.  Additionally, Luke looks more feminine.  Carmine Infantino was not the most exact artist when it came to drawing characters and space ships, as is obvious on the cover to Star Wars #18, but it is easy to recognize what he was drawing.  On the Spanish cover, C-3PO's head looks nothing like the character.  The artist references the stylized Stormtroopers drawn by Infantino, but it is unclear why C-3PO's face was not referenced.  Both covers make it look like the scene is taking place in a city exposed to space.  Inside the comic, this scene takes place in a corridor of The Wheel and space is not visible from the location.

While I enjoy looking at the Spanish cover because of it's differences, the U.S. cover is the better cover.  Drawing the Imperials closer to the droids does not increase the tension.  I do like the lack of word balloon on the cover to la Guerra de las Galaxias #9, but the title for the story "The Empire Strikes!" on the U.S. cover is cool because it is similar to the title The Empire Strikes Back, which was released almost 2 years after this issue was published.

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