Jan 03 2014

Breaking News: Dark Horse Loses Star Wars License To Marvel Comics

Published by at 2:21 pm under Comics

Vader

Hey, fellow readers, I hope you know of my affinity for the stellar work that Dark Horse Comics has done with the legendary Star Wars property.

I’ve plugged their various titles a handful of times here at Unreality, and I’ve got nothing but unending praise for the work scribe Brian Wood has done with his new ongoing monthly; he’s taken us back to the era of the Original Trilogy when evil had a face in the galaxy, and that face was under a big black mask who answered to the name ‘Vader’, and he used the Force to throttle those (often to death) who didn’t agree with him.

While there were some critical favorites in those two decades that I honestly didn’t care for, I always saw the value in what Dark Horse’s stable of talent did with the property, always trying to bring something fresh, something new, something different to that time long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Anyway …

The sad news I have to break today is that, coming in 2015, Disney has sought to bring its property fully under the MouseHouse’s control, meaning that the reins will be passing to Marvel Comics.

Here’s the release I just received from the Horse’s mouth, Michael Richardson:

The End of an Era

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.

Sad, sad news indeed for Dark Horse, but I guess all of those fans clamoring for that Wolverine/Vader match-up may just get their wish after all.





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4 responses so far

  • David R

    Is that Patton Oswalt thing actually coming true?

    Oh, and this reminds me that I need to keep my eye out for whenever the TPB of Rinzler’s project comes out. Did that ever go beyond “interesting experiment” territory?

    • E. Lee Zimmerman

      Are you talking about “The Star Wars”? Methinks so. I’ve been reading it, and I have to honestly say I’m sadly coming up with a big ‘meh.’ If anything, “The Star Wars” shows good reason why Lucas had to break his story up into two trilogies (if even that were big enough) — he had WAY too much backstory woven in what’s been released of it so far. In fact, Dark Horse recently released a #0 issue that has been pretty helpful in clarifying some of the roles & relationships that have hampered “The Star Wars” from really seeming similar to DUNE’s meaty political structure in a lotta ways.

  • Rex_Hondo

    I don’t think there was ever any question that this was going to happen. This just gives us an answer when it’s happening.

    • E. Lee Zimmerman

      That’s true. Once the MouseHouse bought it from Lucas, I think many of us suspected it was bound to happen some time or other.

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