Thursday, March 24, 2016

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #25 and Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #4 (Ediciones Surco)

Marvel's Star Wars #25 kicks off a two part story that introduces the villain, Baron Orman Tagge, to the title.  As Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia make their way back to the Rebel base on Yavin 4, we are shown the base being attacked by TIE Fighters.  The Rebel Alliance is baffled about where the TIEs are coming from as this has become a regular occurance.  Luke and Leia trade in the Simon Greyshade's yacht they used to escape the Wheel for a less conspicuous ship on the planet Centares.  There, they see a House of Tagge Mining Explorer heading toward the Yavin system and decide to follow.  While following the House of Tagge ship, Luke and Leia have a discussion that explains why the Rebel base is still located on Yavin 4:

Luke Skywalker: What's this blockade all about?!
Princess Leia: I think the Empire is afraid, Luke.
Luke Skywalker: Princess, no one's got more faith in Rebel fighting ability than me -- but I can't believe we've got the Imperial war machine paralyzed with fright!
Princess Leia: That's not quite what I meant, Luke.  But consider -- besides other earlier victories, we've destroyed their most awesome weapon... The Death Star!  That's not the kind of news that makes it easy for them to control the galaxy.
Luke Skywalker: Leia, you think the blockade is an attempt to keep that defeat secret?
Princess Leia: Partly.  By now, the Empire could have sent a massive fleet in retaliation --- but suppose our forces abandoned Yavin as they once did Dantooine?  Or worse yet: pulled another victory out of the hat?
That's what the Empire fears, Luke.

(This was the situation in the original Marvel series until The Empire Strikes Back adaptation, which is when the Rebellion was constantly on the run, seeking out hidden Rebel bases.  In the new Marvel series, the Rebels abandon Yavin 4 immediately after they destroy the Death Star.)

After an encounter with mines laid by the House of Tagge Mining Explorer, Luke and Leia don spacesuits and observe the spacecraft from a small moon where they learn that the TIE Fighters are actually hiding in the gaseous atmosphere that makes up Yavin.  The issue ends with the pair back aboard their now damaged ship, with information vital to the survival of the Rebel Alliance, under attack by TIE Fighters!

The cover to Star Wars #25 shows Luke and Leia in spacesuits being attacked by TIE Fighters.

Star Wars #25a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 1979)
The cover to Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #4 published by Ediciones Surco is a similar image.

Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #4a - Ediciones Surco, Spain (August 1983)
Star Wars #25 and 26
Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are easily recognizable on the cover to Star Wars #25.  On the cover to Star Wars: la Guerra de las Galaxias #4, Leia is recognizable, but the male character looks nothing like Luke.  Both the U.S. and the Spanish covers have the TIE Fighters drawn with small solar panels.  This was very common for Carmine Infantino who was probably inspired by the Kenner TIE Fighter which has small panels, but the Spanish cover (not drawn by Infantino) has even smaller panels.  On both covers, Leia is an observer, with Luke taking action with his pistol.  I like the background on the Spanish cover, but the characters and ships on the cover to Star Wars #25 are better.  Both covers depict a scene that does not actually occur inside the comic, but is representative of the peril our heroes are in.  Overall, the U.S. cover is the superior cover, although these Ediciones Surco covers are cool because they are so unfamiliar to U.S. Star Wars comic collectors.

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