In a year of abnormalities, some of the most consistent industries have been forced to alter their means of production and release. The world of comic books is one such field, and after a long delay Marvel's Star Wars lines finally made its triumphant return.
The popular third ongoing of the Darth Vader series recently completed its first arc, and now the conflicted Dark Lord must face a test from the Emperor himself. In the main Star Wars run, Luke Skywalker has gotten his hands on a new lightsaber, and Valance and Aphra are set to face their own perils in Bounty Hunters and Doctor Aphra, respectively.
What happens next? A wave of new reveals has given us a sense of direction for the trajectory of these compelling stories, and what's at stake...
The official Star Wars website have released the covers and solicitations for their January 2021 ongoing comic lines:
STAR WARS #10
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art by JAN BAZALDUA
Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN
“OPERATION STARLIGHT, PART 2 (OF 3)” – REELING FROM THE LOSS OF ONE OF THEIR OWN, THE REBELS FINALLY SEE A PATH FORWARD!
- THE REBELS attempt to create a new communications code that THE EMPIRE will never be able to crack, in hopes that they might be able to safely reunite their scattered fleet and rejoin the fight.
- However, the code has a cost, one that LANDO CALRISSIAN is not willing to pay!
- Meanwhile, STARLIGHT SQUADRON, the group of elite pilots tasked with finding the scattered divisions of the fleet, heads out on its first deadly mission.
Additionally, the New York Comic Con x MCM Metaverse edition of Star Wars #7 was revealed, featuring an exclusive cover of Luke Skywalker with his yellow lightsaber by artist John Tyler Christopher. The piece is limited to just 4,000 units and will be available for $25.
Things continue to stay grim for the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars. While Lando is hanging around with the group, he's not exactly committed to the cause just yet. It seems like the scoundrel is key to obtaining a code that will help the shattered segment of the rebellion safely return to the larger fleet, but he's not yet ready to stick his neck out this far.
We'll likely continue to see Luke's journey as he comes to grip with his lineage and forges his path towards Jedi knighthood, and perhaps the son of Sywalker will eventually bond with the crystal in the Temple Guard lightsaber to create his green weapon.
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #9
Written by GREG PAK
Art by RAFFAELE IENCO
Cover by AARON KUDER
THE ASSASSIN RETURNS!
- In his search for vengeance in the depths of MUSTAFAR, DARTH VADER has seized the mysterious key to the EMPEROR’S greatest secret.
- But the key itself needs a key — which only the deadly assassin OCHI OF BESTOON seems to have. Vader and Ochi are in for the fight of their lives with the fate of the Emperor in the balance — but how much of this is all PALPATINE’S plan?
- And what happens when the SITH LORD and the SITH ASSASSIN start to figure that plan out?
Darth Vader's life sucks. His journey is essentially a series of miserable events, and we're learning quickly that the Dark Lord had a rough year Darth Vader leading up to Return of the Jedi. With his personal mission to uncover the truth of Luke's birth out of the way, Vader now faces the wrath of the Emperor, and based on the cover he's going to be taking a beating.
The figure leaping at him is Ochi of Bestoon, so we can expect to get some connections to the Sith Eternal. The clone Emperor and Sith Assassin Ochi plotline were pulled out of a hat in The Rise of Skywalker, so it will be interesting to see how this arc attempts to make sense of these late additions to the canon.
STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #9
Written by ETHAN SACKS
Art by PAOLO VILLANELLI
Cover by MATTIA DE LULIS
THE “TERMINUS GAUNTLET” CONTINUES!
- Trapped on a REBEL transport under attack by pirates, VALANCE must make a desperate gambit to survive.
- But little does the cyborg bounty hunter know he’s on a collision course with his old rival, DENGAR!
- Plus, a familiar face makes a shocking return with a plan that will change the underworld forever.
STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #7
Written by ALYSSA WONG
Art by RAY-ANTHONY HEIGHT
Cover by SWAY
- Hired by DOMINA TAGGE, APHRA sets her sights on a mysterious piece of tech that could shift the balance of the galactic civil war.
- Her hunt takes her to CORELLIA… and to SANA STARROS’ doorstep!
- But Aphra’s not the only one on Corellia with an eye on the tech…!
The Doctor Aphra and Bounty Hunters comic lines are lesser known runs, but are high-energy thrill rides for those diving into the pages. Valance continues to find himself in trouble and our old friend Dengar is due return, facing the cyborg yet again after the events of Target Vader.
Aphra has become a fan favorite over the course of two ongoing series and appearances in the initial 2015 Darth Vader and Star Wars runs. It's no surprise that rogue archeologist is on the hunt again, and this time her search could lead to something with galactic ramifications. But a familiar face will be making an appearance, as Sana Starros once again makes her return to the comic world.
We've got quite the lineup down the pipeline. These stories won't debut until early next year, but the series are continuing now with new issues set to hit in the coming weeks. Star Wars comics have been a major element of the canon's storytelling, and whatever Lucasfilm has in store for us next will undoubtedly make it's mark.