Friday, March 31, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds

When most people hear the phrase the British Invasion they immediately think about the influential musical groups that came from the United Kingdom during the 1960s such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  A second British Invasion occurred two decades later and had a huge influence on U.S. comic books.  This British Invasion was mostly confined to DC Comics and led to the launch of their Vertigo imprint under editor Karen Berger.  The British writers who led the change showed that comics were not just for kids and their adult-oriented work tackled more sophisticated fare.  At the forefront of this movement was Alan Moore, who achieved critical fame on Swamp Thing and Watchmen but also wrote From Hell, V for Vendetta, and Batman: The Killing Joke.  His Wildstorm imprint, America's Best Comics, would garner Moore even more acclaimed with work on titles like Promethea, Tom Strong, Top 10, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Before Alan Moore wrote for DC Comics, he honed his craft writing for British anthology titles 2000 AD and Warrior.  During this period, he also wrote for Marvel U.K. including five Star Wars stories.  These tales are published in The Empire Strikes Back Weekly #151, 154, 155, and 156 as well as The Empire Strikes Back Monthly #159.  Moore's stories are different in tone than what was being produced for the Star Wars title and this might be why those stories were never published in the U.S. by Marvel.  It would not be until 1996, when Dark Horse Comics published the two issue mini-series Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds, before U.S. readers would see those stories.

Star Wars: Devilworlds #1 includes the Alan Moore stories from The Empire Strikes Back Weekly #155 and The Empire Strikes Back Monthly #159.  It also includes non-Moore original Star Wars stories from The Empire Strikes Back Weekly #153 and 157.

Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds 1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 1996)
Star Wars: Devilworlds #2 is an all Alan Moore issue containing his stories from The Empire Strikes Back Weekly #151, 154, and 156.

Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds 2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (September 1996)
Interestingly, there is one more original Star Wars story, from The Empire Strikes Back Weekly #149, that is not included in Devilworlds.  This story would not see print in the U.S. until Dark Horse publishes Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume #1 in 2013.

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