Just announced today, Marvel Entertainment will begin printing Star Wars comics and graphic novels starting in 2015. While this move was predicted by many as Disney continues to synergize more of its properties, it comes as a blow to the comic book publisher, Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse, which is an alternative to the big two publishers of the comic world in Marvel and DC Comics respectively, has published comics of the property since 1991, with its first story, Star Wars: Dark Empire.
Prior to this however, Marvel had actually printed a long Star Wars ongoing series beginning in 1977 and ending in 1986, before jettisoning the property to focus on more superhero fare. Hit the jump for more.
“All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.
For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.
It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of the Star Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.”
“We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Wars comic books and graphic novels. The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away.”
As one chapter closes, another begins. For those distressed about the move, don’t worry, there’s still a full year of stories left for Dark Horse to tell with Star Wars. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll see a Guardians of the Galaxy/Star Wars crossover come down the pike now that Marvel and Lucasfilm have their chickens in the same roost.
Want to read Star Wars books from Dark Horse? Check out the following titles:
- Star Wars
- Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows
- Star Wars: Legacy
- Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi