Thursday, February 4, 2016

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #29 and Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #6 (Ediciones Surco)

Marvel's Star Wars #29 is the issue where Darth Vader confronts Valance the bounty hunter.  Valance was first introduced in Star Wars #16 and Vader learns about him in Star Wars #21.  Luke Skywalker crosses his path on Junction while trying to find parts for R2-D2 in Star Wars #27.

Valance is obsessed with finding and killing Luke Skywalker because of his kindness towards C-3PO and R2-D2.  Valance, being a cyborg, understands the hatred towards mechanical being, including cyborgs, but does not understand the devotion Luke and the droids have.  When he is about to kill Luke on Junction, C-3PO intervenes to save Luke's life and Valance has a change of heart.  Star Wars #29 sees both Darth Vader and Valance converge at the poisonous Rubyflame Lake on the planet Centares.  A Rebel named Tyler Lucian is holed up in this decrepit resort and Valance arrives first to kill Lucian.  Before Valance can act, Vader appears to extract the name of the Rebel pilot that destroyed the Death Star from this Rebel who fled during the battle of Yavin.  Valance and Vader fight, resulting in the death of Valance.  Lucian decides to take his own life by plunges into the lake, denying Vader the name of the pilot.

The cover to Star Wars #29 shows the battle between Darth Vader and Valance.  Valance is outmatched throughout the fight and the scene on the cover never occurs in the story.

Star Wars #29a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (November 1979)
The first publisher of Star Wars comics in Spain, Editorial Bruguera, published Marvel Comics' Star Wars #1 - 15 as single issues for Spanish readers from November 1977 through August 1978 using the title la Guerra de las Galaxias.  The cover art used is from the U.S. series.  The second publisher, Ediciones Vértice, published nine magazine-sized issues from October 1981 through May 1982.  Each issue contains two U.S. Star Wars comics starting with issue #1, so they published Star Wars #1 - 18.  The covers were redrawn and closely resemble the U.S. covers.  The first two issues of the Ediciones Vértice series were titled Guerras Estelares and was changed to la Guerra de las Galaxias for the rest of the series.

The third publisher, Ediciones Surco, also published Star Wars in the magazine-sized format and continues where Ediciones Vértice left off.  Their eight issue run is titled Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias, contains Star Wars #19 - 34 and was published in 1983.  (The dates I use are a guess on the exact month.)  They also commissioned all new art based on the U.S. covers for most issues, except the cover art is wildly different than the U.S. issues with the exception of Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #6.

Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #6a - Ediciones Surco, Spain (October 1983)
Star Wars #29 and 30
The cover art used on Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #6 is extremely close to Star Wars #29.  The platform that Darth Vader and Valance are standing on has been modified and the red colored lake can be seen on the Spanish cover.  Vader's legs and arms are slightly different as well as Valance's cybernetic arm and the blast coming from his hand.  The biggest difference between these covers is the color choices.  On the U.S. cover, Valance is wearing a reddish pink outfit with yellow boots but on the Spanish cover he is clad in green with brownish tan boots.  Neither cover accurately depicts the blue outfit with black boots he wears inside.  The U.S. cover has a gradient blue sky where the Spanish cover has a blue sky melt into a red glow from the lake.  Inside, the background is off white.  There are hints of Valance's blast reflecting on Vader's armor on the Ediciones Surco cover.

I like the color choices used on the Spanish cover and while this scene and these colors do not appear inside, this is the superior cover.  Notice how large the C-3PO and R2-D2 corner figures are.  The Spanish words "encuentro sombrio" on the cover translates to "gloomy meeting" which is an understatement.

When Valance's story was told, it wasn't known that Darth Vader himself would turn out to be a cyborg.  I always wonder how that revelation would have changed the ending to Valance's arc.  While the droid bigotry has not been explored further in the movies, I love that Marvel picked up on it from the exchange between the cantina bartender and Luke Skywalker in Mos Eisley and ran with it in their Star Wars title.

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