Friday, December 30, 2016

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Droids Special (12 Days of C-3PO and R2-D2 Covers)

Celebrating day six of the twelve days of C-3PO and R2-D2 covers!

Dark Horse's Droids began in a 3-part story in the anthology title Dark Horse Comics.  They used the same approach with the Tales of the Jedi a year earlier.  Only issue #17, the first part of the story, has a Star Wars cover.

Dark Horse Comics #17a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (January 1994)
The cover shows C-3PO and R2-D2 facing off against some tough looking droids.  The scene on the cover never actually appears in the story and the art is provided by Bill Hughes who also does the interior art.  The tales does feature the bounty hunter IG-88 and his absence on the cover seems like a lost opportunity.

All 3 parts are collected in the one-shot Droids Special.  The cover is provided by Kilian Plunkett who provides the bulk of the cover art for Dark Horse's Droids offerings.  This cover shows C-3PO and R2-D2 surrounded by an assortment of otherworldly creatures and robots.  Recognizable are an Imperial Probe Droid, a Gamorrean Guard, and, in the foreground, a LIN droid.

Star Wars: Droids Special a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (January 1995)
Kilian Plunkett's covers use muted colors and everything looks dirty.  This fits very much with George Lucas' vision of a used universe.  The covers tend to be serious, which is not reminiscent of the tales inside.  Unfortunately, Dark Horse went with a semi-humorous, cartoonish approach for most of the Droids stories not unlike Marvel's Droids title.  I tend to think this is why Tales of the Jedi had 7 highly regarded mini-series while Droids had only 2 mostly forgettable mini-series.

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