Sunday, February 11, 2018

Classic Cover Comparison: Star Wars #9 and Star Wars Weekly #18

In Star Wars #9, Showdown on a Wasteland World!, Han Solo and Chewbacca are leading their team of Starhoppers to a village on Aduba-3 to protect them from Serji-X Arrogantus and his band of Cloud-Riders.  Prior to reaching the village, they need to defend the village's crops from the flying High-hounds and Han rescues a female name Merri.  It turns out Merri is the daughter of Oncho, the village spokesman.  In an interlude, Princess Leia is communicating with Luke Skywalker who, along with C-3PO and R2-D2, is searching for a new base for the Rebellion.  Luke's transmission is cut short suddenly and Leia announces she is going to find Luke.  Back on Aduba-3, Han and his group are preparing for the fight with Serji-X when Oncho's father tells Han that his help is not needed.  Han dismisses the older man's suggestion and shortly afterwards Serji-X and his gang attack.  As the battle rages between Han's Starhoppers and the Cloud-Riders, Oncho's father summons a giant monster.

The cover for Star Wars #9 show Han, Chewbacca, Amaiza, a shirtless Jaxxon, and Effie firing on Arrogantus' men riding their skyspeeders.  Han is firing two blasters.

Star Wars #9a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 1978)
The cover for the British Star Wars Weekly #18 also show the bandits on their skyspeeders, but this time they are flying over Serji-X Arrogantus.  On the side of the cover we see the floating heads of Chewbacca, C-3PO, and Princess Leia.  Serji-X is holding two blasters.

Star Wars Weekly #18a - Marvel Comics, England (June 7, 1978)
last half of Star Wars #9
The U.S. cover has several inconsistencies with the interior pages.  Jaxxon is wearing a modest outfit and Amaiza is younger inside.  On both the U.S. and British covers, the skyspeeders are drawn differently.  Inside, they have runners on the bottom, not unlike those you find on a snow sled.  In one of the scenes in the comic, the droid Effie grabs a skyspeeder by one of the runners, allowing Chewbacca to attack the rider.

Overall, I prefer the U.S. cover, because it better captures the predicament Han's team is in against the Cloud-Riders.  The Star Wars Weekly cover shows Serji-X Arrogantus who does not appear on any U.S. cover despite appearing in three issues.  Interestingly, the writer Roy Thomas based the character's name and visuals on Sergio Aragonés, a comic creator who is best known for his work at Mad Magazine as well as creating the comic Groo the Wanderer.  Sergio Aragonés writes and draws the one-shot Sergio Aragonés Stomps Star Wars for Dark Horse Comics.

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