Top 20 Star Wars Graphic Novels, Part 4 of 4
Lastly, below are my top five Star Wars graphic novels/series published by Dark Horse Comics—they are in no particular order except for the last three – which are my personal top picks. Dark Horse Comics has done a phenomenal job with the Star Wars license, and though the acquisition of Star Wars by Disney Studios has opened up a lot of questions about the future of the Star Wars license at Dark Horse, they have hands down done a great job with it, creating almost 22 years worth of space fantasy stories set “A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…”
5) Star Wars Omnibus: Boba Fett. 496 pp. 2010. 978-1-59582-418-9.
Every genre loves the man of mystery, and Boba Fett has always been a fan-favorite since his appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. Collected in this economical collection are a variety of stories featuring everyone’s favorite mysterious bounty hunter. My favorite stories are Bounty on Bar-Kooda and When the Fat Lady Swings by writer John Wagner and artist Cam Kennedy, but the collection is perfect for those who like their Star Wars adventures with a heaping helping of spaghetti western-style action.
4) Star Wars: Agent of the Empire – Iron Eclipse. 2012. 128 pp. 978-1-59582-950-4.
This is set at the height of the Empire, when diplomacy is needed rather than a show of Imperial might. There’s only one man for the job: Cross. Jahan Cross. Jahan Cross is an Imperial Intelligence officer, AKA the Imperial equivalent of James Bond. Expect plenty of action, adventure, and more excellent writing by John Ostrander, who proves he’s one of the best writers for Star Wars.
3) Star Wars: Legacy
In this story, set 125 years after the Return of the Jedi, meet Cade Skywalker—fallen Jedi in hiding and descendant of Luke Skywalker. After the Jedi temple and his own father were destroyed by a reorganized Sith army, Cade goes into hiding. A bounty hunter and pirate, Cade is joined by his companions Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue and has turned his back on his heritage of a Jedi. Meanwhile, the galaxy is up for grabs between the powers of the New Republic, a still-thriving Empire, and a returned Sith under the leadership of the enigmatic Darth Krayt. Cade may try to escape his destiny, but the problem with being a Skywalker is that destiny will always find you. Pure gold by the team of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. Frankly, I think John Ostrander should be the one writing the script for Episode VII.
Vol. 1: Broken. 2007. 144 pp. 978-1-59307-716-7.
Vol. 2: Shards. 2008. 176 pp. 978-1-59307-879-9.
Vol. 3: Claws of the Dragon. 2008. 144 pp. 978-1-59307-946-8.
Vol. 4: Alliance. 2008. 104 pp. 978-1-59582-223-9.
Vol. 5: The Hidden Temple. 2009. 104 pp. 978-1-59582-224-6.
Vol. 6: Vector, Vol. 2. 2009. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-227-7.
Vol. 7: Storms. 2009. 128 pp. 978-1-59582-350-2.
Vol. 8: Tatooine. 2010. 104 pp. 978-1-59582-414-1.
Vol. 9: Monster. 2010. 128 pp. 978-1-59582-485-1.
Vol. 10: Extremes. 2010. 104 pp. 978-1-59582-631-2.
Vol. 11: War. 2012. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-802-6.
2) Star Wars: A New Hope Manga
Though long out of print, this four-volume series was translated by Dark Horse Comics and reprints the original Japanese manga adaptation of the first Star Wars film from 1977. Hands down this is the best, most dramatic adaptation of any Star Wars film, and the manga style, which lends itself to being more like film, beautifully tells the story. Here’s hoping that Dark Horse Comics will eventually release the four-volume set as an omnibus edition, as well as the adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Phantom Menace in original non-flipped Japanese format.
Vol. 1. 1998. 96 pp. 978-1-56971-362-4.
Vol. 2. 1998. 96 pp. 978-1-56971-363-1.
Vol. 3. 1998. 96 pp. 978-1-56971-364-8.
Vol. 4. 1998. 96 pp. 978-1-56971-365-5.
1) Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy. 2010. 352 pp. 978-1-59582-612-1.
After the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker seeks to find what his father, Anakin Skywalker, found in the Dark Side of the Force and discovers that the Emperor Palpatine, thanks to the cloning process that created the Clone Troopers, is still alive and in full command of the Empire. As Luke begins to succumb to the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Palpatine’s new apprentice, can the combined power of Luke and his twin sister Princess Leia overcome the power of the returned Sith? The story was the first Star Wars comic book published by Dark Horse Comics back in 1991, and it’s still my personal favorite after all this time. The hardcover collection includes Dark Empire, Dark Empire II, and the admittedly less-than-stellar concluding volume Empire’s End.
Thanks for joining me at a look at some of my favorite Star Wars graphic novels and series. What are some of your favorite Star Wars graphic novels? Post below and let me know!
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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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