Top 20 Star Wars Graphic Novels, Part 2 of 4
As we’re looking forward to the future of Star Wars now that it’s a part of Disney, let’s continue our look at the best Dark Horse Comics Star Wars graphic novels – either stand alone stories or series published by the company over the last 22 years. Dark Horse has done a phenomenal job with the franchise, and the future will soon see what’s in store for the company and one of the most highly-sought licenses.
15) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Set 4,000 years before the films, Knights of the Old Republic tells the story of Zayne Carrick, a Jedi apprentice who is framed for the murder of his fellow Padawan learners. One the run after learning of a conspiracy within the Jedi ranks, he joins up with a colorful band of mercenaries and tries to clear his name while the threat of war between the Old Republic and the Mandalorians (warriors like Boba Fett) looms in the distance.
Vol. 1: Commencement. 2006. 144 pp. 978-1-59307-640-5.
Vol. 2: Flashpoint. 2007. 144 pp. 978-1-59307-761-7.
Vol. 3: Days of Fear. Knights of Anger. 2008. 144 pp. 978-1-59307-867-6.
Vol. 4: Days of Hate, Knights of Suffering. 2008. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-208-6.
Vol. 5: Vector. 2009. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-226-0.
Vol. 6: Vindication. 2009. 168 pp. 978-1-59582-274-1.
Vol. 7: Dueling Ambitions. 2009. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-348-9.
Vol. 8: Destroyer. 2009. 120 pp. 978-1-59582-419-6.
Vol. 9: Demon. 2010. 96 pp. 978-1-59582-476-9.
Vol. 10: War. 2012. 120 pp. 978-1-59582-959-7.
14) Star Wars Tales
An anthology collection featuring Star Wars comics created by some of the best writers and artists from both the mainstream and the indie comic book scenes. Each volume features unique non-canon stories that range from serious to humorous looks at the heroes, villains, and the other inhabitants who live in a galaxy far far away. Though the series is out of print, the stories are well worth hunting down. Here’s hoping an omnibus collection is in the works.
Vol. 1. 2002. 224 pp. 978-1-56971-619-9.
Vol. 2. 2002. 224 pp. 978-1-56971-757-8.
Vol. 3. 2003. 224 pp. 978-1-56971-836-0.
Vol. 4. 2004. 224 pp. 978-1-56971-989-3.
Vol. 5. 2005. 248 pp. 978-1-59307-286-5.
Vol. 6. 2006. 232 pp. 978-1-59307-447-0.
13) Star Wars Omnibus: At War with the Empire.
Features stories set before, during, and after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Darth Vader and the Emperor are targeted for assassination by rogue Imperial officers; Princess Leia gets her first taste of war and what it might take to overthrow the Empire; and Darth Vader, following the destruction of the first Death Star, crashes on a desolate planet and finds himself under attack by savage beasts.
Vol. 1. 2011. 408 pp. 978-1-59582-699-2.
Vol. 2. 2011. 464 pp. 978-1-59582-777-7.
12) Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. 1996. 128 pp. 978-1-56971-223-8.
In this story, adapted from the first Star Wars novel ever written, by Alan Dean Foster and George Lucas, Terry Austin and Chris Sprouse tell a tale of Luke and Leia on a mission to the planet Mimbam, where they seek a crystal that is rumored to give the wielder untold power of the Force. The only problem is one other person wants that crystal too—Darth Vader! The story is also reprinted in the Star Wars Omnibus: Early Victories. The artwork by Chris Sprouse is spot-on, and I personally wish that he would do more Star Wars comics.
11) Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago
Collected here are the original Marvel Comics Star Wars comic books, which were originally published from 1977-1986. The stories focus only on the original trilogy heroes and are many self-contained issues that laid the groundwork for many of the Expanded Universe lore that continues in the novels and comic books today. The five-volume collection includes all original 107 issues, plus the original adaptation of the movies. One of my favorite stories is in volume 3, issues #52 and #53—a two-part storyline by David Michelinie and Walt Simonson where Luke and Leia try to sabotage a deadly Death Star-like weapon called the Tarkin, while Darth Vader faces mutiny within the ranks of the Empire.
Vol. 1. 2010. 480 pp. 978-1-59582-486-8.
Vol. 2. 2010. 480 pp. 978-1-59582-554-4.
Vol. 3. 2011. 488 pp. 978-1-59582-639-8.
Vol. 4. 2011. 576 pp. 978-1-59582-640-4.
Vol. 5. 2011. 568 pp. 978-1-59582-801-9.
We’ll continue part three of this four part series tomorrow! May the Force Be With You!
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About Mike Pawuk
Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, and co-author of the follow-up book Graphic Book II both published by Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO Publishing.
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