Thursday, September 28, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars (1998) #1 - 6 Exclusives

Online retailer released exclusive chromium covers for the first six issues of Dark Horse's 1998 Star Wars title.  The six issues are part of the Prelude to Rebellion story arc.  Jedi Knight Ki-Adi-Mundi is on his homeworld of Cerea.  An off-worlder, Bron, is inciting a rebellion in the young Cereans who want to embrace technology while the elders who lead the society have shunned technology.  One of Ki-Adi-Mundi's estranged daughters, Sylvn, supports the pro-tech movement and Ki gets caught up in a serious of events that will see him pursue his daughter all the way to Tatooine.

The cover artwork on the exclusives is the same as the standard covers.  The difference is the exclusive covers have a chromium coating that is both glossy and thick.  Ken Kelly provides the cover artwork for issues #1 - 3, 5, and 6, while the cover for issue #4 is by Dan Brereton.

The first cover shows Ephant Mon and Ki-Adi-Mundi.  Ephant Mon, a background character in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi, is the main antagonist in the story and is illegally smuggling a rare mineral, Malium, off the planet.  He is also illegally smuggling and selling technology to the Cerean youth to finance his operations.

Star Wars #1b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (December 1998) exclusive
Sylvn's boyfriend, Maj-Odo-Momor, accidentally kills another Cerean at a pro-tech rally in the first issue using Ki's lightsaber and Ki is framed by Bron.  He is quickly found innocent and is asked by the Cerean elders to bring Maj to justice.  He travels to one of the Republic citadel on the planet looking for clues and the second cover shows Ki-Adi-Mundi fighting off-worlders in the citadel.

Star Wars #2b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (January 1999) exclusive
In the citadel, Ki-Adi-Mundi finds Ephant Mon's deserted hideout.  Ephant Mon has already been told Ki is pursuing him and he evacuates the planet with Sylvn, Maj, and another of Sylvn's friends, Twin.  He leaves behind a droid that attacks Ki as shown on the cover.

Star Wars #3b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 1999) exclusive
Ephant Mon is delivering a Hutt delicacy, Divvik pupae, to Jabba, but the pupae hatch, trapping Ephant Mon, Sylvn, Maj, and Twin aboard a freighter in orbit over Tatooine.  Ki travels to Tatooine to rescue his daughter.  As the cover shows, he boards the freighter and must fight off the hatched creatures.

Star Wars #4b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (March 1999) exclusive
A 3-part tale begins in issue #4 that chronicles the events around Ki-Adi-Mundi becoming a Jedi.  His parents are at first reluctant to allow the Jedi to take the young Ki, but when their farm is raided by Bin-Garda-Zon's raiders, they acquiesce to the Jedi's wishes since they feel a Cerean Jedi could defeat Bin-Garda-Zon.  Years later, a trained Ki returns to Cerea to seek justice, but learns that Bin-Garda-Zon has been replaced by a woman.  The cover shows the battle between a young Ki and the woman who leads the raiders.

Star Wars #5b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 1999) exclusive
The final cover shows Ki-Adi-Mundi and the droid he fought in the citadel.  The droid, FLTCH R-1, was reprogrammed to help Ki on his mission.  The pair are on the surface of Tatooine in the middle of a storm.

Star Wars #6b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (May 1999) exclusive
Dan Brereton has a unique style that is easily identifiable.  The cover on issue #4 is not one of his better pieces.  It is worth checking out some of his other work, specifically his creator-owned title Nocturnals, to get a better appreciate for his style.

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