Dark Horse loses SW Comics license to Marvel in 2015

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    I don’t think it’s ever been a big secret that I have a deep and abiding love of the early Marvel Star Wars comics of the ’70s, especially those that came right after the first movie. There was no “universe” outside of that movie, and the sky was the limit, and you had writers and artists like Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin at the wheel. Good times. Now that Lucasfilm is owned by Disney and Marvel is owned by Disney… guess what? [LINK]

    Marvel will take over the publishing of new “Star Wars” comic books, with Dark Horse Comics losing the licensing deal its had for over 20 years. The rights to the sci-fi franchise will be handled by Marvel starting in 2015, giving Dark Horse the time to wrap up storylines in current series. Its first was Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s “Dark Empire,” in 1989.

    Disney releases J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII” on Dec. 18, 2015.

    The move to Marvel makes sense considering Disney owns the company. And Marvel is no stranger to the series, having published the first comic books based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy for nine years, starting in 1977. “Star Wars #1″ sold more than 1 million copies.

    Dark Horse is naturally disappointed.

    “All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals,” said Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson in a statement on Friday. “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.”

    The first two words that spring to mind are: JAXXON LIVES!

    …buuuuuut given that Jaxxon’s about as popular as Jar Jar, I’m being a bit facetious there. (Don’t get me wrong, I actually did like Jaxxon. It’s just that no one else did.) All will depend on which writers and artists are assigned to the title(s).

    Dave Thomer and I tag-teamed reviews of the first three compilations of the original Marvel comics several years ago here: Volume 1, 2 and 3.

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