Thursday, December 8, 2016

Retro Foreign: Spanish la Guerra de las Galaxias #3 and 4 (Editorial Bruguera)

The title Comics Bruguera contains the first 15 issues of Star Wars.  Editorial Bruguera also published 5 collections, with the first 2 volumes containing the Star Wars movie adaptation.  The 3rd and 4th volume contain Star Wars #18 - 23 or the 6-part The Wheel Saga.

Star Wars #18 with a cover date of December 1978 is confusingly titled The Empire Strikes!  It was traditional for comic covers to have printed dates 2 or 3 months in advance so they had a longer shelf-life so Star Wars #18 first hit newsstands in September or October 1978.  The first time the second Star Wars movie is referred to as The Empire Strikes Back is in an article title Luke Skywalker is Alive and Well in The Empire Strikes Back: An Interview with Gary Kurtz in Starlog #18 also cover dated December 1978:

Going along with this long-range concept, the producer refuses to taint the new production with the usual Hollywood sequel slang.  The film, for instance, is never referred to in Lucas-Kurtz circles as Star Wars II.  "I would never call it that," Kurtz winces.  "Our working title is The Empire Strikes Back.  And as I said, it's part of a plan that George and I had from the inception of the original film.  What we wanted to do was to relate every subsequent Star Wars adventure as an episode of a continuing story, like the old movie serials used to do.  We were going to call this movie Star Wars Episode Two: The Empire Strikes Back, but we ran into some problems.  You see, although this story is a direct sequel to the first movie, we have three more stories that we eventually want to film that actually occur before the point where the first Star Wars begins."

While it is possible Marvel knew the second movie title through their interaction with Lucasfilm, it seems unlikely they would have used it for the title of a story purposely if they had known.  I have come across no source that makes me believe the story title was anything but a coincidence.  Editorial Bruguera took this coincidental title one step further however when they published la Guerra de las Galaxias #3 and 4.  Instead of using the Spanish equivalent of The Empire Strikes!, ¡las Huelgas del Imperio!, as the title for the story on the covers, Editorial Bruguera used the title for the next Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back or el Imperio Contraataca!  Since the title for the movie sequel was known when these two collections were published, it is hard to believe this was done by accident!  Was Editorial Bruguera capitalizing on the coincidence of the story title for Star Wars #18, hoping readers would pick up these two issues expecting an adaptation of the movie that was not even released yet?

la Guerra de las Galaxias #3a - Editorial Bruguera, Spain (July 1979)
contains Star Wars #18 - 20
la Guerra de las Galaxias #3a - Editorial Bruguera, Spain (July 1979)
back cover
The front cover for la Guerra de las Galaxias #3 is from Star Wars #17.  Because the first four volumes are larger in size, 8 1/4" x 11 3/4", than a standard comic, more art is shown on the edges than on the original cover.  The top reads ¡Vuelven, Mas Apasionantes que Nunca los Heroes de la Guerra de las Galaxias or Again, More Exciting than Ever the Heroes of Star Wars! while the blurb reads Nueva y Espectacular Aventura Desbordante de Emocion y Fantasia! or New and Spectacular Adventure Overflowing with Emotion and Fantasy!  The back cover is from Star Wars #23.  If Editorial Bruguera was purposely deceiving Star Wars fans, the art selected for the back and front covers are excellent choices since the imagery is straight from the original movie.  The front cover has the main hero, Luke Skywalker, along with Tusken Raiders, Jawas, and a Landspeeder, while the back cover shows the Millennium Falcon soaring through space against the visage of Darth Vader, the main villain.  Notice the identification of this as the 3rd volume is on the back.

la Guerra de las Galaxias #4a - Editorial Bruguera, Spain (July 1979)
contains Star Wars #21 - 23
la Guerra de las Galaxias #4a - Editorial Bruguera, Spain (July 1979)
back cover
The front cover for la Guerra de las Galaxias #4 is from Star Wars #22 and the back cover is from Star Wars #25.  The two extra TIE Fighters on the back cover not on the U.S. cover are just copies of the TIE Fighters located below them.  Like the previous volume, the identification of this as the 4th volume is on the back.

The idea for this posting came from UNIVERSO COMIC-BOOKS! – EN UNA GALAXIA MUY, MUY BRUGUERA… by Miguel G. Saavedra.

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