May 19, 2014 9:05am PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel 'Star Wars' Comics May Be Coming Sooner Than Expected
When it was announced in January that Disney was moving the Star Wars comic license to Marvel Entertainment as part of the corporation's ramping up of the property ahead of 2015's J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: Episode VII, it was believed that the changeover would be happening at the start of next year. Two recent developments suggest it will actually be coming much sooner.
Firstly, Dark Horse Comics -- the current Star Wars comic license holders -- announced information about its August 2014 releases last week, featuring not only the final issues of its ongoing Star Wars-related series (Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Maul and Star Wars: Legacy), but also what appears to be the final collections of Dark Horse material related to the movie series, including stories released in single-issue format that same month.
Now, a report on BleedingCool.com from this weekend's comic-industry event the Diamond Retailers Summit in Las Vegas says that Marvel plans to announce its plans for the Star Wars license in mid-July, ahead of this year's San Diego Comic-Con, with two ongoing series to be announced. (When contacted by THR, a spokesman for Marvel declined to comment on the report.)
If true and there is a July announcement of some sort, the timing would allow the publisher to "retro-solicit" Star Wars titles for release as early as September 2014, something that could act as a third instance of counter-programming for Marvel in the face of competitor DC Entertainment's already announced month of "Futures End" special issues (the weekly Death of Wolverine and a new Avengers storyline being the other two).
A September date would also mean that Marvel's new series would launch in tandem with the release of Star Wars: A New Dawn, the first book in Del Rey Books' new Star Wars prose novel line. Star Wars Rebels, the new animated series from Lucasfilm, is also due to debut on Disney XD this fall, with Star Wars: Episode VII set for release December 2015. The Force, it seems, will be with all of us pretty soon.