Sunday, February 26, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Released on June 26, 2003, Star Wars Galaxies was the first Star Wars massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).  In the 8.5 years it operated, it saw three expansions.  The Sony Online Entertainment game was shutdown on December 15, 2011 to make way for the 2nd Star Wars MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Released on December 20, 2011, Star Wars: The Old Republic quickly surpassed Star Wars Galaxies with approximately 1.7 million subscribers at the game's peak.  The Bioware game is still active, having survived Star Wars' transition to Disney, although it's existence as part of canon or legends has not been formally announced.  The sixth expansion was released in December 2016 called Knights of the Eternal Throne.  To help promote the online game, three novels and two comic mini-series were published before it was released.  After the release, another novel was published.

The first Dark Horse 6-part mini-series is comprised entirely of formerly published web comics released on StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com from February 27th, 2009 through September 24, 2010.  An "ashcan" was given away for free at the Dark Horse booth at the 2009 San Diego ComicCon.  It has a chromium cover and measures 6 1/2" x 4 1/2".

Star Wars: The old Republic - Threat of Peace Ashcan - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2009)
San Diego ComicCon exclusive
The cover artwork is by the interior artist Alex Sanchez.

The first three issues make up the Threat of Peace arc.  The first issue has a variant cover.

Star Wars: The Old Republic #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2010)
Star Wars: The Old Republic #1b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2010)
Star Wars: The Old Republic #2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 2010)
Star Wars: The Old Republic #3a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (September 2010)
The final three issues make up the Blood of the Empire arc, which chronologically takes place before the story in Threat of Peace.

Star Wars: The Old Republic #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (October 2010)
Star Wars: The Old Republic #5a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (November 2010)
Star Wars: The Old Republic #6a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (December 2010)
The covers by Benjamin CarrĂ© are decent.  The best cover is found on the variant for issue #1; it is done by ATTIK, an advertising agency that has provided other work for The Old Republic game.

The covers are much better than the interior artwork.  Alex Sanchez is a capable artist, but his style is not to my liking.  His line work is clean, but most of his panels look flat, providing no depth by way of shadows.  This makes it appear like the characters are suspended in space, not interacting with their surroundings.  His art reminds me of the work found in a coloring book.  To be fair, some of the blame for the lack of depth to the art should also fall on the colorist and undoubtedly the short deadline Sanchez had to work under.

No comments:

Post a Comment