Classic Comic Cover Corner – Star Wars #9

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Star Wars #9 – March, 1978

Cover art by Gil Kane

Star Wars #9 – March, 1978
Star Wars #9 – March, 1978

The axiom goes, “the future ain’t what it used to be,” but in the case of Star Wars mythos, the past is no longer what it used to be either. This was made official last week as the Star Wars universe returned to Marvel Comics, where the expanded universe began back in January 1978 with the publication of Star Wars #7, the first story to go beyond the Episode IV film.

With the new Marvel Star Wars #1, the comic publisher is once again picking up where Episode IV left off, this time as part of the “official” Star Wars canon. Not that the 1978 stories were not officially licensed material, it’s just that the old stories no longer fit into a future (or past) that no longer exists. Confused? Read: Existing Star Wars Expanded Universe passes into ‘legend’

There were a multitude of variant covers created for the new Star Wars #1 release event, but my favorite of them all was the so-called “party” cover (illustrated by John Tyler Christopher), where the early expanded universe character, Jaxxon, is attempting to enter the room where the Star Wars party is happening, but being blocked by the other primary characters (sans C-3PO for some reason.)

Marvel - Star Wars #1 - art by John Tyler Christopher
Marvel – Star Wars #1
art by John Tyler Christopher

I’m not a huge fan of the large green space-rabbit and Star-Hopper that was created by the legendary Marvel writer, Roy Thomas, and artist, Howard Chaykin, but I love this new cover because of its fun and symbolic nod to the past history of the Marvel Star Wars stories.

Even though I’m a devotee of the old Star Wars comics, I have to admit that the 2015 version, by writer, Jason Aaron, and illustrator, John Cassaday, is a pretty awesome throwback to the adventurous fun of the first movie. These guys nailed it and I highly recommend this comic, regardless of which cover you choose.

So what about this week’s featured cover?

Jaxxon first appeared in Star Wars #8 when he hooked up with Han Solo as part of the “Eight for Aduba-3” team (think the Magnificent Seven, plus one, in space.) And while issue #8 is a fine cover, I like the following issue, Star Wars #9, even better, as it captures more action and a bit of Jaxxon’s personality, with the Lepus carnivorous rabbit, the sexy Amaiza Foxtrain, and Chewie and Han taking on the evil “Cloud Riders.”

On a side note, while I’m enjoying reading some new (old) adventures of Luke Skywalker and the gang, I’ve recently decided to take a vow of abstinence when it comes to reading information or viewing trailers leading up to the 2015 film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’m really hoping for this to be a special film-going experience (a la Episode IV back in 1977), and with every article, photo, and video of Episode VII, another piece of its potential magic slips away, like midi-chlorians in some far away universe, sucking all the mystery and fun out of an upcoming adventure.

How about you? Will you be indulging in pre-Episode VII exposure and analysis, or will you wait and try to make the movie experience as new and magical as possible? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bob Leeper
Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.