Force Works: Marvel Announces Three New Star Wars Titles From All-Star Creative Teams
The Cup O' Joe panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday featured one of the biggest announcements of the weekend as Marvel unveiled the creative teams for its first three all-new Star Wars comics. The new books have been hotly anticipated since plans for Marvel Star Wars books were first announced back in January.
Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca will team for a Darth Vader ongoing series; Mark Waid and Terry Dodson will author a five-issue Princess Leia mini series; and Jason Aaron and John Cassaday have been named as the creative team for a Star Wars ongoing series. The three series will launch through the first quarter of 2015.
The new series will tell original stories set between the events of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back -- the obvious place within the original trilogy to expand the universe and explore the characters. The core Star Wars title from Aaron and Cassaday will naturally focus on the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they go up against Darth Vader's imperial forces.
Star Wars: Darth Vader, from Gillen and Larroca -- with covers by Adi Granov -- will explore the Star Wars story from the celebrated villain's point of view, presumably in a way that gets to the core of his humanity. Or maybe it'll just be about him killing younglings. Sounds good either way.
Star Wars: Princess Leia, from Waid and Dodson, follows the Disney princess as she comes to terms with the destruction of her homeworld, Alderaan, and goes around kicking butt. The book is a five-issue mini series, and we would speculate that further mini series focusing on other popular Star Wars characters will follow.
Disney acquired Marvel back in mid-2009, and snapped up Lucasfilm in late 2012. Disney's focus has obviously been on producing a new Star Wars film trilogy and spin-off movie franchises. While a Disney/Marvel/Star Wars synergy always seemed likely, Disney owns a great many properties that Marvel hasn't exploited. BOOM Studios did a great line in Muppets comics until Disney bought out The Jim Henson Company, and now Muppets comics have essentially dried up under Marvel.
Yet Star Wars is obviously a more promising license for Marvel; it serves a similar audience to the publisher's core audience, its reach and appeal over the next few years should be huge, and most of Marvel's editors and creators probably count themselves as hardcore Star Wars fans.
We'll have a better idea what sort of caretakers Marvel will be in January when Star Wars #1 arrives in stores and online. Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 follows in February, and Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 in March.
ComicsAlliance will have interviews with Jason Aaron; Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca, and Adi Granov; and Mark Waid, Terry Dodson, and line editor Jordan D. White tomorrow.