My look back at the “Star Wars” saga comic adaptations concludes with the best and the most disappointing entries, both from the legendary duo of Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson (“Classic Star Wars”), along with background artist Carlos Garzon: “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”(1980) and “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” (1983). “Empire” is exactly what we want from an adaptation – the spirit of film, without being a mere copy – while “Jedi” fails mostly because it’s too short.
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Before May 1999, we heard a lot about how the prequel era was off-limits to Expanded Universe writers since George Lucas was saving it for himself. Nonetheless, a few stories from this era slipped through the cracks. The very first one was Marvel issue 24, “Silent Drifting,” which hit newsstands in March 1979.
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“The Wheel” arc, issues 18-23 of the “Star Wars” Marvel comics run marks the first time the series truly feels like “Star Wars.” Writer Archie Goodwin and artist Carmine Infantino invent the Wheel, a gambling paradise that the Empire leaves alone in exchange for the considerable tax revenue.
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After an inauspicious beginning under the auspices of Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, the “Star Wars” Marvel comics run gets a bump up in quality with issues 11-15, written by Archie Goodwin with art by Carmine Infantino. The gang — or the “star hoppers,” in Marvel parlance — gets back together for a story that may or may not have influenced the 1995 movie “Waterworld.”
Continue reading “‘Star Wars’ flashback: Marvel Issues 11-17 (1978) (Comic book reviews)”