The Last Jedi, She-Venom, Dungeons & Dragons and More…
I hope everyone has a nice Christmas and got all comics they wanted. I spent my holiday giving the Last Jedi a second chance and let me tell you it just doesn't hold up. As time goes on I believe this film will go down as one of the least appreciated. Despite more box office dominance I keep hearing about how so many viewers disliked it. All I know is Suicide Squad proved that massive sales do not make for a great film. Unfortunately the director/writer took a bunch of talented actors and actresses and crammed them into a film devoid of meaningful plot. The film is filled with some impressive moments but the lack of a well crafted narrative is clearly on display. Let's all just pray the JJ Abrams has a few tricks up his sleeve a la Alias to rescue this franchise.
Good news for fans of collecting Star Wars comics that have connections to the films, there's a few in this article!
On to this weeks picks…
Astonishing Spider-Man 45
Casting for Venom’s wife Anne Weying was announced this week. Appearances of the character are limited. We all know how hot Sinner Takes All 3 got when the first rumors appeared but that book isn’t exactly rare. This UK cover appearance is.
Boys’ life August 1981 & Dragon 52 August 1981
First Comic appearances of Dungeons and Dragons
A new D&D film is coming. It was announced last week, along with a few other treats, concerning the Hasbro cinematic universe. We don't know if D&D is part of that universe but we do know the film is called Forgotten Realms. That should put this first appearance ( newsstand only ) on the map,
In August of 1981 both Boys' Life and Dragon published the first comic. Boys' Life did it in black and white and Dragon in Color, making each issue unique.
The Green Slime was the first comic published in a comic book and was featured on the backs of a few Marvel Comics in 1981. It was also released in August, 1981 but the comic is completely different from the one used in Boy's Life and Dragon. These issues have the comic and each issue features the same one.
( Warlock 48, What if? 28, Avengers 210, Marvel Two in One 78, Dazzler 6, Defenders 98 )
Darth Vader; Dark Lord of the Sith 2,2b,2c
First appearance of the Barash Vow
If you have seen the new Star Wars film then you know that Luke has taken this vow. Due to past failures Luke no longer practices the Jedi arts. The film almost instantly divided fans and even Mark Hamill has come out to kind of bash his own role.
The Amazing Spider-Man 298
First appearance of the Life Foundation
Conformation that the Life Foundation would be a part of the Venom film came a short while ago. The foundation is expected to manipulate the symbiote for their own nefarious purposes and will surly be run by some massive douche who will likely die a gruesome death on screen.
The villainous organization fist appeared all the way back in Todd McFarlane's first for Marvel!
Heir to the Empire 4
First appearance of a slicer
So I was not a huge fan of The Last Jedi but there were some great moments including Benico as the shifty, calculating slicer DJ. The idea for this type of character isn't new and DJ wasn’t the first Slicer. That honor goes to the forgettable Heir to the Empire character, Zakarisz Ghent further proving that Disney is letting it’s creators mine the Legends.
NOTE: These Dark Horse comics had newsstand variants and they are difficult to find. If you are going to collect the more rare version of a SW key looking for the DH newsstands is a the way to go.
Stars Wars Knights of the Old Republic 0
First appearance of the Jedi Crusaders/Revanchists
Looking for more clues to the non canon Star Wars material? Well if you looked close you could see a specific pendant in Luke’s quarters on Ahch-To, an ancient pendant called a Jedi Crusader Pendant. Who are the Crusaders? They were a renegade faction of the Jedi order founded by fan favorite Darth Revan.
NOTE: The first Zayne Carrick was in issue 1 which came out after this issue making it the first appearance of the KOTOR. But issue 0 is the first appearance of a Jedi Crusader who tries recruit Zayne in issue 0, a scene not seen in issue 1. Zayne's actual first is in the Ultimate Visual Guide but that is not a comic.
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 5
First appearance: The Four Sages of Dwartii, Braata, Faya, Sistros, and Yanjon
First appearing as Statues in Attack of the Clones, these 4 philosophers were favorites of Emperor Palpatine. So why were they engraved on Snoke’s ring in the Last Jedi? It’s just another connection to the Emperor by Snoke, someone we still know very little about. We did learn from the newly released guidebook that Snoke trained another, Palpatine perhaps? Hmmmmmm….maybe Snoke is simply his real name and the creators like giving their bad guys terrible names like Sheev.
Star Wars Dark Empire 5, newsstand, gold, platinum, UK oversized reprint
First appearance of Forcetime.
One of the best parts of the Star Wars film was Luke's epic return to confront his apprentice. It was a deceptive move that made me shed a tear along with another holographic scene. ( The best scenes in this film were projections )
Luke uses a technique where he projects his image across the universe. It was a successful maneuver but took the ultimate toll. And yet it wasn't the first time we have seen this power or the first time Luke used it. We have to go all the way back to Dark Empire for the first appearance. This power is a big deal and it was showcased along with some other new force techniques used by Snoke, Leia, Rey and Kylo.
NOTE: There are newsstands for issue 5 and for the classic reprint.