Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #57 and Titans #58

Star Wars #57 is the second of a two-part story about Lando Calrissian's return to Cloud City.  In the previous issue, Lando and Imperial Captain Treece agree to work together to subdue a damaged Lobot intent on killing them.  Lando repairs Lobot who in turn disarms bombs set by Ugnaughts to blow up Cloud City.  At the end of the issue, Captain Treece throws Lando off Cloud City.  At the beginning of Star Wars #57, Lobot uses a jet pack to save Lando, but their combined weight takes them to the surface of Bespin where they crash into a swamp near an Ugnaught news crew.  The crew is there to film the destruction of Cloud City.  An Imperial Skimmer shows up and Lando helps the Ugnaughts destroy the craft.  Meanwhile, back on Cloud City, Luke Skywalker, Shira Brie, and R2-D2 show up to check on Lando and come under attack by Captain Treece.  Back on Bespin, Lando and Lobot are taken to the the Ugnaught's leader King Ozz who explains that the Imperials had turned Cloud City into a slave labor camp.  The Ugnaughts return Lando and Lobot to Cloud City where Imperial reinforcements have Luke and Shira pinned down.  Lobot is shot and Luke uses the force to detonate the bomb primers, making everyone believe he has set off the actual bombs and Cloud City begins to sink.  The Imperials abandon Cloud City and Luke let's Lando in on what is actually happening.  In the end, Cloud City is free from the Imperials and Luke, Lando, and Shira leave.

Star Wars #57a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 1982)
The cover for Star Wars #57 shows Luke and Shira in a battle with Imperial Stormtroopers on Cloud City.  The Ugnaught news crew is filming the battle from one of the nearby buildings.  A crouching Luke hits an Imperial Stormtrooper in the side and pieces of the Stormtrooper's armor shatters from the shot.

Titans #58a - Editions Lug, France (November 1983)
Star Wars #57
The cover for Titan #58 is another depiction of the same scene, this time focusing on Luke Skywalker and the Stormtrooper.  Instead of hitting the Stormtrooper in the side, Luke's shot hits the Stormtrooper's blaster, destroying it.  In the background, Cloud City is shown burning.

It is clear there is something wrong with the Stormtrooper's helmet on the cover for Titans #58.  There is a single eye visor instead of two, making the Stormtrooper look like a cyclops.  The problem is the cover artist for Titans #58 used the Stormtrooper on Star Wars #57 as a guide, but that Stormtrooper doesn't show the complete mouth area since much of the lower helmet is hidden by the blaster.  On Star Wars #57, the impression is the head is turned more and we are seeing the side of the Stormtrooper's helmet.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for the cover of Titans #58.

The idea that the Imperials will not return to Cloud City or Bespin for retribution is naive.  I imagine this was only a temporary victory for the Rebels and Ugnaughts.  The Empire will return and, upon discovering the duplicity, make life even harder for the Ugnaughts.

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