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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Star Wars Key Comics

Due to a request, I'm gonna attempt a Star Wars key comics list. Since Disney has kept a tight lid on leaks concerning the actual characters the new cast members will be playing, I will mostly focus this on the important characters already established.

Some will have to do with minor characters from the series as well, just to illustrate a few points, but not so much. Once we get deeper into this, we will be looking at some modern key issues from other publishers but it will be brief at best.

Alright let's try jump into hyperspace and get this Kessel Run going! May the Force be with you!

1st issue to comic series
Movie adaptation

I believe I've talked about this issue before. Charles Lippencott, the publicity supervisor for Lucasfilms, approached Marvel Comics to print a Star Wars comic book prior to the movie's release date to capture the comic book crowd at the time. Stan Lee disagreed, only wanting to do such a thing after the movie was completed.

Movie adaptations did not usually do well in the comic market. Not until Roy Thomas convinced Lee in a 2nd meeting was when Marvel agreed to do this. However, the stipulation was that there were to be no royalty fees to Lucasfilms unless sales exceeded 100,000. Only until then would the contract be revisited for further negotiations.

The comics sold fast and far exceeded the expectations and actually saved Marvel. It became the highest selling comic from 1977 to 1978. The first six issues would be an adaptation of the A New Hope Star Wars movie. What huge Star Wars geeks know about this comic is that it was adapted from the full shooting script by George Lucas. It has several scenes in it that was ultimately cut out from the original released film.

This comic, though not noted by comic industry, sees the first appearance of Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, the droids C-3PO and R2-D2, and the iconic villain Darth Vader. July, 1977 is the publishing date for this comic that has become such a pop culture icon.

eBay - Butt load of copies for this issue on the mighty eBay at the time of this writing. No problem finding unslabbed or slabbed copies. Two complete sets of the #1-6 movie adaptations all in CGC high grades is up on eBay right now. Quite a few 9.8s and 9.6s for this first issue and the lowest grade seems to be a 9.4 NM.

mycomicshop - A lot of copies here so far. Only one CGC 9.8 though and it's a Signature Series signed by Stan Lee. Three CGC 9.6s also and two slabbed 9.2 low NMs. One of the low NMs is a PGX copy. Rest are raw copies and the highest is a 9.0 VF/NM.

ComicConnect - Three copies here at the moment. All are CGC copies. The highest is a 9.6 NM and is up for auction at the time of this writing. It's the only regular one of this issue.

1st issue to series
Movie adaptation
Low distribution
The infamous or famous low distributed 35 cent variants of the first issue of the Star Wars comic series. This price variant commands an extreme amount over it's regular printing and is considered a prized possession for any Star Wars fan.

For the record, the real 35 cent variant has a box-shape around the price difference. The later printings would have a diamond shape. Also the UPC has the lines in it, while the reprints would be blank white. Just so you don't get confused.

Just as it's regular priced 1st print, this issue kicks off Part 1 to the six part A New Hope story arc for the comic series. This was also published July, 1977. Definitely a more solid investment than the regular printing but has a higher amount of moolah to acquire.

eBay - Only two copies here located. No raw copies and both are slabbed. Highest is a 7.0 FN/VF and the lowest is a 5.5 low FN.

ComicConnect - Two 35 cent variant copies here, both are CGC. Highest is a 9.0 VF/NM and the other a 5.0 VG/FN.

ComicLink - Only one copy here and it's a CGC 6.5 FN+.

2nd issue to series
A New Hope: Part 2 of 6
1st appearance of Jabba the Hutt
1st appearance of Han Solo & Chewbacca
Because the comic series was adapted from the actual shooting script, we don't see Han Solo and his trusty co-pilot Chewbacca until issue #2 of the comic series. It's a bit strange that industry only notes this issue as the first appearance of Jabba the Hutt while leaving out two of the most iconic heroes in the Star Wars legacy.
In this issue, we also meet Obi-Wan Kenobi as well, and it replays the famous Han Solo and Greedo scene. In the comic, there is no debate about who shot first. It's definitely Han who does. This issue was published August, 1977.

eBay - No problem finding this issue as well. Raw copies available but watch out for the reprints. Definitely less CGC options for issue 2 currently. Highest is a 9.6 NM+ so far with two 9.4 NM rounding out the second highest available on eBay.

mycomicshop - A few copies here as well. Highest are three slabbed 9.4 NMs, and two are PGXs and the other a CGC. Lowest slabbed copy is a CGC 9.2 low NM. Raw copies on consignment as well and the highest is an 8.0 VF and the lowest a VG+. One VG+ is in actual stock.

NewKadia - One raw copy here and it's a VF+.

1st appearance of Jabba the Hutt
1st appearance of Han Solo & Chewbacca  
 Low distribution
A New Hope: Part 2 of 6
Just like the 35 cent variant for issue #1, it holds the same story except that it cost five cents more and has a lower distribution that the regular 1st printing. Most gun for issue #1, but number two is often an over-looked comic in the market. I'm not quite sure if most collectors realize this is the issue that introduces Han and Chewy, but if you didn't before, you do now!

The 35 cent variant isn't as easy to hunt down as the 35 cent variant for issue #1. This variant for issue #2 to the first Star Wars comic series was also published August, 1977, and is still quite rare and quite expensive to have. They are more prized investments over their regular printing counterparts for sure.

eBay - Only one CGC 5.5 low FN copy for the 35 cent variant of issue #2 on eBay at the moment. No raw copies yet.

Part 3 to A New Hope movie adaptation

Star Wars #3 takes up where issue #2 leaves off and sees the Deathstar blow up Princess Leia's home world of Alderaan with it's super laser. We then have our heroes in the Millennium Falcon speeding towards the Deathstar to save Princess Leia and that scene where we see Luke beginning to train on the ship against the remote droid that flies all around him zapping lasers at him while he wears the helmet that blinds him.

As in the movie, they work there way onto the Deathstar, pose as Storm Troopers and Luke finds Leia's cell. The comic ends with our heroes blocked off by Storm Troopers in the Corridor of Death. This issue was published September, 1977.

eBay - When it comes to CGC, there's a few 9.8s and 9.6 NM+s. Actually, there's only high grade copies for issue number 3. As usual, there's no shortage of raw copies on the mighty eBay at this time.

mycomicshop - Three copies of this key issue at mycomicshop for now. One is a CGC 9.8, and that's the only slabbed copy available. There are two raw copies in stock. One is a VF+ and the other is a VF.

ComicConnect - Only three copies for the regular issue here at the moment. All are unslabbed and the highest is a 9.2 low NM. The other two are both VF+s.

Part 3 to A New Hope movie adaptation
Low distribution
Yep, Star Wars #3 also came with a 35 cent variant that had low distribution. Actually, the 35 cent variants ran up until issue #4 and starting with issue #5 did the 35 cents become regular pricing.

Like with all the variants from #1 through #4, the boxes with the price in them were square and had a UPC. Diamond shaped price boxes and UPC boxes that are blank denotes reprints and those are not valued as highly. They may be good if you want to read them and see the difference between the shooting script and the actual edited and finished movie. Published September, 1977.

eBay - No copies of the first print 35 cent variant on eBay. Only one reprint that's a raw copy for now. May be a good reading copy.

ComicConnect - One copy here and it is CGC graded. It's a high grade 8.5 VF+.

1st of the Special Treasury Edition

This is a special collector's edition that Marvel put out during 1977 in magazine-sized form or Treasury-sized. It's about the size of Life Magazine so it's not small for sure.

The comic magazine basically reprints issues #1-3 and cost a whopping dollar at the time. There are two versions of this Treasury-sized comic.

eBay - Quite a few unslabbed copies of this Treasury edition. High grade copies may be a different story though. No CGC or slabbed copies at the time of this writing though. That may change in the future or not.

mycomicshop - One VG/FN raw copy on consignment here. Pretty expensive asking price if you ask me.

1st of the Special Treasury Edition for Star Wars
Whitman variant

The Whitman variants were not reprints of the Marvel Special Edition Star Wars #1. They were released simultaneously. It's just the Whitman copies were distributed to different outlets.

I don't think these variants are more rare than their other #1 counterpart. They are easily identifiable with the Whitman logo in the upper left hand corner just above the price.

eBay - Only raw copies on eBay for the Whitman variant as well. Decent selection but not a great selection for this one at the moment.

mycomicshop - Only one copy here and it's a raw copy at a VF+. It's on consignment.

Alright, we've got our first six Star Wars key issues on this list, and we will definitely be getting into some more soon. If you look at some of the prices for issues #2-3, you can see that they are pretty over-looked in the market. 

Part 2 to this Star Wars key comics list is ready so just click that link below to jump to hyperspace and enjoy Part 2.

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