Friday, January 1, 2016

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Blood Ties #4 (12 Days of Boba Fett Covers)

Celebrating day eight of the 12 days of Boba Fett covers!

Not all Star Wars comics published by Dark Horse were distributed through the newsstand.  Early titles like Star Wars: Dark Empire, Classic Star Wars, and Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi were only distributed through comic specialty stores, but by the mid 1990s, most new Star Wars title did get newsstand distribution.  Dark Horse stopped newsstand distribution around the time they published their last Star Wars comic in the fall of 2014.  I suspect the loss of the Star Wars license prompted this decision.  In early 2015, they did resume a program with the Books-a-Million bookstore chain for select titles.

For those titles with both newsstand and direct distribution, the early direct editions have no UPC box and the later direct editions say "Direct Sales" in the UPC box.  The early newsstand editions have a UPC box with no words and later newsstand editions have one of the following phrases in the UPC box:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Wars Adventures
  • Star Wars Universe
  • Star Wars Presents
  • Dark Horse Special
  • DH Comic Special

As far as I know, there is no other discernible difference between a Dark Horse newsstand and direct edition comic besides the UPC box.

Published in August 2010, Star Wars: Blood Ties #4 was published with a newsstand and direct version.  The direct edition says "Direct Sales" in the UPC box.  The newsstand edition says "Star Wars: Universe" in the UPC box.

Star Wars: Blood Ties #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 2010)
Direct Edition
Star Wars: Blood Ties #4b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 2010)
Newsstand Edition
The cover shows Boba Fett in the clutches of a Rancor!

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