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The Comics 8-Ball: Top 8 Star Wars Comic Books

December 21, 2015 | Posted by Anthony Kennedy

From Infinities and Dark Empire to Tag and Bink, The Purge, and more. 411Mania’s Anthony Kennedy counts down the Top 8 Star Wars Stories in Comics.

Welcome back to the Comics 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! Per usual, I’m Anthony Kennedy and I’ll be your guide in our intellectual trip through comicdom. As always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the Top 8 selections related to comics. One thing to please understand, these are meant to be my personal takes and not the definitive list on the subject. Although I do consider myself somewhat an expert, feel free to disagree. I will freely admit you’re wrong! No hard feelings though? With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s topic!


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Top 8 Star Wars Comic Books

Nearly 40 years ago, George Lucas would bring his magnum opus sci-fi tale to theaters with Star Wars (I refuse to call it A New Hope.) This would go on to launch a $4 billion dollar multimedia empire that included toys (of course), a few specials, novels, even cartoon series. And of course, the comic books.

While Star Wars, the film property, went on a 16 year hiatus, creative writers and artists were expanding upon the Star Wars lore producing some of the most amazing tells. Filling in backstories of Jedi and Old Republic past, showing us what became of our favorite band of Rebels, to even posing a number of “what ifs” and alternative takes on the classic stories we knew and love. With that I present the Top 8 Star Wars Comic Books!

Caveat:

Just Missing The Cut
• Honorable Mention #1: Eight for Aduba-3
• Honorable Mention #2: Star Wars Tales

#8. “Heir to the Empire”

Why It Made the List: This would be higher had it been an original piece but I have it lower due to it being an adaptation of the excellent Timothy Zawn books. Regardless, reading it MANY years later, I find this comic series engrossing, with the debut of Thrawn, the introduction of the lost Jedi and the introduction of Ysalamiri, with the power to negate the Force itself.

#7. Vector
Vector2_cover

Why It Made the List: A major Dark Horse crossover that tapped into the Dark Times, Rebellion, Knights of the Old Republic, and Legacy series. Spanning 4,000 years, the adventures sees Zayne Carrick, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and, the debuting, Cade Skywalker all encounter the Muur Talisman, an ancient Sith artifact created by Sith Lord Karness Muur. “Vector” would go on to have long lasting ramifications, especially with Legacy as the talisman became an important weapon against the Sith.

#6. Knights of the Old Republic
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Why It Made the List: Ostensibly created to flesh out the backstory between Tales of the Jedi and the awesome KOTOR RPG game. This book dealt with the great schism within the Jedi Order that culminated with a bloody civil war, post Mandalorian conflict. We meet Zayne Carrick, a Jedi padawan dropped in the middle the chaotic world, whose framed for the murder of a fellow Taris Academy classmate. KOTOR, at times, was hella dark, but it still managed to implement the same fun and lightheartedness that made us Jedi wannabes!

#5. “To Take the Tarkin”

Issues: Star Wars Vol. 1, #52

Why It Made the List: This one-shot was set between the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi films. The empire had a new super weapon (stop me if you’ve heard that before) and it was up to Luke and crew (sans Han???) to infiltrate the massive cannon and take out the Empire. It gave a very satisfying story of the Empire’s defeat by the rebels, something many believed did a better job than ROTJ. A very tightly paced, change-up from the Star Wars story we had gotten at the time, as the Tarkin poses a huge threat that the team defeats.

#4. Tag & Bink are Dead

Why It Made the List: I honestly felt this mini-series was brilliant. Not centered around the Jedi, Republic, or the Sith, instead we got to follow two bumbling soldiers from the Tantive IV to the Death Star II, and even back into the prequel era as they left their impact on the Star Wars films in (comically) minute ways. The fact that we learn Tag & Bink were responsible for shooting C-3PO, who himself was responsible for getting the trapped, was hilarious.

#3. Star Wars Infinities

Why It Made the List: One of the best, outlier concepts books from Dark Horse. Using the original trilogy as a backdrop, these books explore “what if” small changes occurred that completely changed the course of Star Wars history. Yes, the premise is fan fiction, but they’re are some damn good consequences and diverging paths: Leia an apprentice of Vader, Luke misses his shot and the Death Star destroys the Rebel base! Brilliant story telling.

#2. Dark Empire

Why It Made the List: This had so much happening. Luke Skywalker succumbs to the dark side, we get the return of Boba Fett, and lastly the resurrection of the Emperor via cloning. Long-time Star Wars relished the story as Luke helps the Emperor seek out Leia across the galaxy as they race for the mysterious Jedi Holocron, an artifact so powerful that it would give its holder supreme control of the Force.

#1. Purge
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Issues:

Why It Made the List: believe it or not, when someone made a fan film where Batman took on the fallen Annakin Skywalker, I would argue with ANYONE who would listen that there’s no way the Dark Knight should not have been able dispose of a weakened Vader (his life giving suit was damaged by an EMP, thus his force abilities were diverted to sustaining him). Feel free to lament what an idiot I was after reading this. Against a kabal of in hiding Jedi, Vader walks into their lair and damn near single handily mercs them all, even while sustaining damage to his suit and the loss of another (cybernetic) hand. Outside of the fight, it was a great story showing the narrow-minded mission to hunt down the remaining Jedi to exact his revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi.


That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section! If you want even more Star Wars talk from me, please check out this week’s episode of Geeked Out where we give a spoiler free review of The Force Awakens. That’s my list, let me know where I completely missed and what didn’t deserve inclusion at all. Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Have a great week and don’t forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411wrestling.com! It’s still real to me damnit!