Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #12 and Titans #21

Star Wars #12 is the second chapter in the Dragon Lords story arc.  The issue starts with Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2, in an escape pod floating in an ocean, watching as two sea-dragons, led by a Dragon Lord, are salvaging their sinking spaceship.  Three of Governor Quarg's water skimmers approach and a battle between the Dragon Lord and Quarg's men takes place.  Two of the skimmers are destroyed but the wounded sea-dragons and the Dragon Lord retreat.  Quarg's men capture Luke and the two droids and take them to their floating base.  Governor Quarg is upset about the loss of the two skimmers, but decides to spare the men's lives as they explain they have something better, two droids.  Quarg orders the droids dismantled for parts, but Luke convinces him the droids are worth more whole.

Meanwhile, a tenuous partnership between Han Solo and Crimson Jack sees Han navigating Jack's Star Destroyer to the Drexel system.  Han knows from Leia that Luke's last report had him in that system and Han convinced Jack the Rebel Treasury is there.  Chewbacca, guarded by a pair of Jack's men, is aboard the Millennium Falcon docked in the Star Destroyer, presumably uploading star charts to the larger ship.  (We find out in a later issue that Chewbacca is actually erasing the star charts from the Star Destroyer.)  The Star Destroyer drops out of hyperspace into the Drexel system with the one water covered planet.  Crimson Jack is suspicious and pulls his gun on Han wanting an explanation.

Star Wars #12a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (June 1978)
The cover artwork for Star Wars #12 shows Luke brandishing his lightsaber as Quarg's men demand Luke hands over the droids.  C-3PO and R2-D2 are cowering in the background.  The lightsaber is very short and the wrong red color.  Luke was given his father's blue lightsaber by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the movie.

Titans #21a - Editions Lug, France (July 1979)
Star Wars #14
The cover for Titans #21 shows the same scene with everyone aboard the skimmer with the same poses, except Luke and C-3PO are facing the other direction.  Luke is drawn smaller and his lightsaber, still incorrectly colored red, is much longer.

Since both covers are nearly identical, it is hard to say which is better.  I like the larger Luke on the U.S. cover, but the French cover is painted.  Overall, the scene does a good job of showing the predicament that Luke and the droids are in.

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