Saturday, September 24, 2016

Modern Marvel: Star Wars: Shattered Empire Disposable Heroes Exclusives

A year ago, Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1 was the top selling comic book, in no small part to its tie-in to The Force Awakens.  Marvel had plans to repeat the success of that mini-series with a tie-in to Rogue One this year, but circumstances prevented those plans from coming to fruition.  It isn't known if their original plans have been abandoned or if we'll see them at a later date.

The 4-part Shattered Empire mini-series takes place in the aftermath of the destruction of the 2nd Death Star as the Imperial Remnant carries out the last order of the deceased Emperor Palpatine.  Operation: Cinder has the Imperials attacking many worlds throughout the galaxy as an act of revenge and to hide Sith secrets.  Swept up in the chaos are a married couple, pilot Lieutenant Shara Bey and special forces Sergeant Kes Dameron, whose lives intersect with those of the main Star Wars heroes throughout the series.  In the first issue, Shara Bey is about to attack the Imperial Shuttle piloted by Luke Skywalker leaving the 2nd Death Star, but upon learning it is piloted by a friendly, flies escort for him until he clears the battlefield around the 2nd Death Star.  The day after the celebration on Endor, Shara Bey and Kes Dameron take part in the assault on an Imperial base on the far side of the moon led by Han Solo.  In the second issue, we learn Shara Bey and Kes Dameron had a son Poe, after the events of the first issue.  Shara Bey is Princess Leia's pilot on a diplomatic mission to Naboo.  Naboo comes under attack by Imperials who plan to use satellites to control the weather and leave the planet uninhabitable.  In the third issue, Kes Dameron is part of the assault team led by Han Solo which discovers the plans of Operation: Cinder while attacking another Imperial stronghold.  Back on Naboo, Shara Bey, Leia, and Queen Soruna use antique Naboo Fighters to launch an attack on the Imperial satellites.  Protected by an Imperial Star Destroyer, the three are about to be overwhelmed by the Imperials when a squadron of Rebel Fighters led by Lando Calrissian come to the rescue.  The final issue has Shara Bey recruited by Luke Skywalker on a mission to steal some Force trees from an Imperial base on Vetine.  The series ends with Shara Bey and Kes Dameron retired and settled on a planet to raise their son Poe Dameron.

The first issue has the usual large number of variant and exclusive covers that defines the modern comic publishing era.  Comic retailer Disposable Heroes Comics is the only retailer to have exclusives for all 4 issues.

Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1p - Marvel Comics, U.S. (September 2015)
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2015)
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2015)
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2015)
The covers all feature the visage of an armored Imperial soldier with a scene below by artist Julian Totino Tedesco.  The first issue has Darth Vader, followed by a Stormtrooper, a TIE Pilot, and an Imperial Scout.  I like the idea, although the Darth Vader helmet should have been larger on the first issue to match the remaining issues.

Disposable Heroes Comics was based out of Belfast, Ireland and shut down operations in late 2015, early 2016 leaving many customers scrambling to recover money they had spent on comic pre-orders.  It isn't clear if these store exclusives sold out prior to their closing or what happened to the remainder of their comic stock.

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