Monday, February 13, 2017

Retro Foreign: Lebanese Beyond the Universe #12 - 16

The Star Wars movie adaptation was translated to Arabic by publisher Bissat El-Reeh or Flying Carpet.  The Arabic version first appeared in the science fiction anthology title Beyond the Universe in issues #11 - 16.  Flying Carpet published comics in Lebanon during the civil war, making it astonishing copies of this series survived.

Beyond the Universe #12a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
Beyond the Universe #13a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
Beyond the Universe #14a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
Beyond the Universe #15a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
Beyond the Universe #16a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
Issues #12, 13, and 15 have non-Star Wars covers, although issues #12 and 13 show small Star Wars images on the cover.  Fans of Space 1999 should recognize Commander John Koenig and Doctor Helena Russell on the cover of #15.  The cover for issue #14 uses the cover artwork from Marvel Super Special Featuring Star Wars #1.  Some of the color choices are interesting when compared to the original cover, such as Luke Skywalker's belt, and Princess Leia's gown and cape.  The main artwork on the cover of issue #16 is from Marvel Super Special Featuring Star Wars #2.

Many times when early copies from this series show up for sale, it is apparent they are ripped from a Beyond the Universe Album.  The biggest giveaway is how rough the spine is and many times the pages are loose.  When these issues are bound into the Beyond the Universe Album, they are also trimmed so unbound issues are slightly larger than the copies that are removed from the albums.  I want to thank N. Scott Robinson from Globo C√≥mico for helping me acquire these beautiful unbound copies!  Scott has been very helpful in providing information on these Lebanese comics as well as other foreign Star Wars issues I own.

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