In a way, isn’t everything a prologue to Episode VII?

§ August 4th, 2014 § Filed under star wars § 1 Comment

In one of those odd-if-minor retailing coincidences, I had someone on Saturday asking about the Marvel Star Wars treasury editions from the 1970s, adapting the original film…and then an hour after that customer left, someone came in with a collection containing a couple of those treasuries. As 1970s treasury comics go, Star Wars seem to be the most common, at least given how often we’ve seen them at our shop (the Howard the Duck treasury being a close second).

Now, that first person was asking about the Star Wars treasuries because he had the copies he owned from his childhood framed and displayed on his son’s bedroom walls. Specifically, he was wondering if he was inadvertently sitting on a vast fortune of rare comics, slowly depreciating as sunlight cascading through the windows gradually turned the covers a pale blue. He did relate, in a rare case of someone not familiar with the hobby recognizing that there is such a thing as “condition,” that his copies were well-read and worn, so I assured him that, in all likelihood, his copies probably weren’t worth a whole lot. It’s my feeling that the Star Wars treasuries exist in such large numbers, most of which read to death by 1970s-era children (some of whom may have even used markers to color-correct the lightsabers…not naming names, but that child’s initials may have stood for “Mike Sterling”), that actual mint or near-mint copies will command premiums, but anything less than that is much, much cheaper.

I also shared with him my old story about, a couple of decades back, we had full cases of the Star Wars treasuries that we’d been stuck with, and we ended up blowing out copies for a quarter apiece. We were glad to get that much, since of course at that time Star Wars was dead, dead, dead and it was never coming back, not ever again. And, as I related that story, it occurred to me that surely we weren’t the only shops to have cases of unopened copies of these treasuries, and some may yet remain unopened still, stowed away in some dusty corners of rarely-visited storage units, awaiting the day they are uncovered and dumped onto the marketplace, unleashing an ÜberStraße Götterdämmerung of plummeting price guide values.

And then after that fellow left, the person with the comic collection for sale dropped by, where I obtained the first Star Wars treasury, along with the seemingly more rare (well, relatively speaking) third treasury, which was a collection of the first two, effectively putting the entire movie under one cover. I remember seeing this in the wild back when it was originally released, being excited that, hey, there was a new Star Wars treasury that was different than the ones I’d already had, read a million times, and perhaps colored in though I admit nothing. Once I discovered that is was simply reprinting the other comics, I was disappointed and passed on buying it (or, rather, didn’t try to talk my parents into buying it), and I’m guessing this was a common experience. Oh, I’m sure some people bought it to maintain a complete collection, or replace the previous books they’d read to pieces, or just straight up bought it without realizing it was something they already had. But if I had to guess, I’m sure the print run on #3 was far less than #1 or #2.

In this case, it didn’t really matter since both were beat to hell and we’re probably not selling them for much more than a couple of bucks each anyway. However, the third Star Wars treasury remains a rare enough sight that I can’t help but still remember that small bit of excitement seeing it when I was a kid and thinking it was brand new Star Wars material.

Speaking of Star Wars comics, I mentioned a while back I was going to discuss the new Marvel titles announced at Comic Con, and, well, now that I look, I don’t really have much to say. This article has a good overview of what’s coming, and it looks like at least one series is essentially replacing the current Brian Wood series at Dark Horse for the “between Episodes IV and V” period. I was expecting something a little more Episode VII-prologue-y, but maybe it’s still too soon for that.

Then again, since Han, Luke and Leia are appearing in the forthcoming movie, maybe in a way these comics featuring the Original Trilogy characters are lead-ins to Ep. VII in a way. I wonder if any elements in the forthcoming film will pop up in these books? You know, like Admiral Ackbar appeared in the Star Wars comic strip before Return of the Jedi? (“WHO IS THIS MYSTERIOUS CHARACTER? Find out next year…or, like, 25 years later in story time, in Star Wars Episode VII: Lobots on Parade!”)

One Response to “In a way, isn’t everything a prologue to Episode VII?”

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Marvel Star Wars treasury editions from the 1970s”

    LOVE THOSE!!! And Marvel Treasury editions in general.

    “a couple of decades back, we had full cases of the Star Wars treasuries that we’d been stuck with, and we ended up blowing out copies for a quarter apiece.”


    “the Howard the Duck treasury”

    I’m going to need one of those, too!