Saturday, December 3, 2016

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1

Dark Horse was nothing if not ambitious with it's Star Wars comic line.  In December 1991, Dark Horse began their Star Wars publishing with Dark Empire, a ground breaking series that continued the story of the main Star Wars characters after the Battle of Endor.  While Dark Empire pushed the boundaries that then defined Star Wars storytelling, Dark Horse was not content with just continuing the stories about the character's we've seen in movies.  In February 1993, Dark Horse also dove into the Star Wars galaxy's past, when "for over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic", with Tales of the Jedi.  During the period the prequel movies were released, Dark Horse's Star Wars stories mostly centered on the Old Republic, the prequel era, or the original trilogy era.  In June 2006, Dark Horse again expanded the Star Wars frontier by showing us what happened to our beloved galaxy 150 years after the original trilogy with Legacy.  The Legacy comic was written by John Ostrander with art by Jan Duursema and that series ran for 51 issues plus a 6-issue mini-series.  The success of Legacy led Dark Horse to use John Ostrander and Jan Duursema again to create another untold era of Star Wars stories prior to a Galactic Republic, the Dawn of the Jedi!

Like Legacy, the Dawn of the Jedi series is preceded by a preview issue, Dawn of the Jedi #0 in February 2012.  Less a comic than prose accompanied by art from the forthcoming series, Dawn of the Jedi #0 was eagerly anticipated by Star Wars comic fans and disappeared quickly from retailer shelves.  Later the same month, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1 was released with a standard cover and a 1:5 retailer incentive cover.  The comic does a lot of world building quickly.  Force sensitive sentients are brought to the planet Tython in massive pyramid-like spacecraft called Tho Yors.  The story of several generations of Tython's are revealed and now their descendants inhabit planets throughout the Tython system, with the force-sensitive Tython's remaining on their home world.

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 2012)
The standard cover features the antagonist for the Force Storm story arc, Xesh, a Human Force Hound for the Rakata.  Additionally, the mysterious Tho Yor spacecraft are shown in the background.

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 2012)
1:5 retailer incentive
For the retailer incentive cover, Xesh is shown, but so are the 3 main heroes: Je'daii Journeyers Dathomirian Shae Koda, Twi'lek Tasha Ryo, and Sith Sek'nos Rath.  Twi'lek Je'daii Ranger Hawk Ryo is also shown; he notifies the Je'daii Council on Tython of the approaching Rakatan ship that contains Xesh.  The final character is the Cathar Je'daii Temple Master Tem Madog.

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1c - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 2012)
second print
Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1 was an immediate hit.  It went back to print twice.  The second print has the same artwork as the first print's standard cover, except Star Wars in the title is all white and the UPC box clearly states it is a second print.

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1d - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 2012)
third print
The third print has an all new cover by Jan Duursema that shows Xesh without his Force Hound armor.  The UPC box clearly states it is a third print.

Prices vary wildly on first print copies of this issue, but expect to pay more than cover price for the standard issue and $10-25 for the retailer incentive.

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