Thursday, February 8, 2018

Modern Marvel: Han Solo Millennium Falcon Variants

"Come on, baby.  You know you have more heart than them." - Han Solo to the Millennium Falcon from Han Solo #5.

The Millennium Falcon is easily the most iconic Star Wars spacecraft and it was no surprise this popular ship was brought back for the sequel trilogies.  It received a lot of applause from audiences when Rey's first choice for transport off Jakku is destroyed and instead she and Finn race toward the familiar "garbage" hoping to evade the First Order TIE Fighters.  It is aboard the Millennium Falcon that audiences are reunited with Han Solo and Chewbacca when Han declares "Chewie we're home."  Even after the tragic death of Han later in the film, it is clear the Falcon's indelible influence will live on under the stewardship of Rey and Chewbacca.

Solo: A Star Wars Story's director Ron Howard has said, "The Falcon is a character in the movie, without a doubt."  I know many fans, including myself, will be interested in seeing Han's reaction when he first see the spacecraft that will become an important part of his life.  It is clear from the recently released trailer that the Millennium Falcon is going to play a big part in the movie, as it should.

In 2016, Marvel published a 5-part mini-series titled Star Wars: Han Solo.  The Millennium Falcon's presence is important to the story; Han is recruited by Princess Leia to fly it in a race, the Dragon Void Run, which is a cover for Han to rescue and transport informants back to the Rebellion.  Each issue in the series has a variant cover featuring the Millennium Falcon.

The first cover, by Scott Koblish, is an overhead view of the Falcon.  The drawing is meticulous, almost specification-like, and it is framed so the eye is drawn directly to the Falcon, easily the most interesting item on the cover.

Star Wars: Han Solo #1d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (June 2016)
Millennium Falcon variant
Mike Allred draws the second cover and his interpretation of the Falcon is very detailed, flying threw a vortex that has a signature Allred look.

Star Wars: Han Solo #2b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2016)
Millennium Falcon variant
Declan Shalvey's Falcon is not as bright as Allred's, but he manages to capture an interesting view of the spacecraft flying through an asteroid field.  This is my second favorite cover of the five covers.

Star Wars: Han Solo #3b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (August 2016)
Millennium Falcon variant
Easily my favorite cover of the entire series, Stephanie Hans drawing for issue #4 is beautiful.  Han Solo is standing atop his ship, peering up at the other spacecraft in the Dragon Void Race flying overhead.  Chewbacca is prepping the Falcon for flight.

Star Wars: Han Solo #4b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2016)
Millennium Falcon variant
My least favorite Millennium Falcon variant, issue #5 shows brightly colored ships trailing the Falcon.  The Falcon is encased in flames.

Star Wars: Han Solo #5b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (November 2016)
Millennium Falcon variant
These variant covers were initially distributed in a ratio of 1 for every 10 copies ordered.

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