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The Empire Strikes Back adaptation was published in Colombia by Carvajal S.A. Publicaciones in 1980 as the 2-part Star Wars: El Imperio Contraataca magazine.  According to prices printed on the cover, these were distributed in Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador for Spanish readers.  Carvajal published other Marvel comics in the early 1980s, but not many based on the scant information found online.

Star Wars: El Imperio Contraataca #1a - Carvajal S.A. Publicaciones, Colombia (1980)
Star Wars #39 - 41Star Wars: El Imperio Contraataca #1a - Carvajal S.A. Publicaciones, Colombia (1980)
back coverStar Wars: El Imperio Contraataca #1 is fashioned after Marvel Super Special #16 including the dimensions of the publication and the front cover artwork.  Even the indicia inside says the title is Marvel Super Special although that title is not used on the cover.

Star Wars: El Imperio Contraataca #2a - Carvajal S.A. Publicaciones, Colombia (1980)
Star Wars #42 - 44Star Wars: El Imperio Contraataca #2a - Carvajal S.A. Publicaciones, Colombia (1980)
back coverStar Wars: El Imperio Contraataca #2 uses the same cover artwork as the first issue, except the title is in blue instead of red.  It also has a green banner in the upper left hand corner that states Segunda Parte (Conclusion) or Second Part (Conclusion).  The Yoda depicted inside is the redrawn version which makes sense since these are foreign editions of Marvel Super Special #16.

These issues are rarely seen for sale and I only recently acquired the first issue after having owned the second issue for a few years.
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Alex Ross is an American comic book artist who is best know for his realistic painted covers.  There are many popular artists today known for their painted covers, including Gabriele Dell'Otto and Francesco Mattina, but Ross has been around much longer, achieving numerous awards for his work starting in the 1990s.  Ross is a favorite of many comic fans because his Norman Rockwell-style work captures the heroic essence of many heroes.

Alex Ross' breakout title is the 1994 4-part mini-series Marvels and received further acclaim drawing the covers for the 1995 6-part mini-series Astro City from Image.  In 1996 he cemented his status as a fan favorite with the 4-part mini-series Kingdom Come from DC.  His first professional work was for Now Comics on the Terminator: The Burning Earth 5-part mini-series.

Terminator: The Burning Earth #1a - Now Comics, U.S. (March 1990)In recent years, Alex Ross has mostly done cover artwork.  His first Star Wars cover was for the 2013 Star Wars #1 from Dark Horse.  The title was well received and the first issue went back to print three times.

Star Wars #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (January 2013)Star Wars #1b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 2013)
2nd printStar Wars #1c - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (March 2013)
3rd printStar Wars #1d - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 2013)
4th printRoss provided the cover artwork for the following three issues in the series.

Star Wars #2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (May 2013)Star Wars #3a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (June 2013)Star Wars #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2013)Sketch covers for the first four issues were distributed to retailers to thank them for the success of the title.

Star Wars #1g - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 2013)
Retailer sketch variantStar Wars #2b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (May 2013)
Retailer sketch variantStar Wars #3b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (June 2013)
Retailer sketch variantStar Wars #4b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2013)
Retailer sketch variantWhen Marvel reacquired the Star Wars license in 2015, they published innumerable variant and exclusive covers for Star Wars #1.  Alex Ross provided a cover that pays homage to the original 1977 Star Wars #1.  This variant was initially released in a 1:50 ratio.

Star Wars #1j - Marvel Comics, U.S. (January 2015)
Alex Ross variantA sketch version of the cover artwork was initially released in a 1:200 ratio.

Star Wars #1l - Marvel Comics, U.S. (January 2015)
Alex Ross sketch variantAn exclusive from the Alex Ross Store was also published.  This cover shows Luke Skywalker standing in a typical Alex Ross heroic pose.

Star Wars #1aj - Marvel Comics, U.S. (January 2015)
Alex Ross Store exclusiveWith the exception of Vader Down #1, Alex Ross would provide cover artwork for all the Star Wars first issues released in 2015.  He artwork for Darth Vader #1 shows a dynamic Vader flanked by Stormtroopers.  This cover was initially released in a 1:50 ratio.  There is also a sketch version of this cover initially released in a 1:200 ratio that I do not have.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1j - Marvel Comics, U.S. (February 2015)
Alex Ross variantHis Alex Ross Store exclusive for Darth Vader #1 features Boba Fett and is inspired by Fett's appearance in the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1p - Marvel Comics, U.S. (February 2015)
Alex Ross Store exclusiveMy favorite Alex Ross cover is for Princess Leia #1.  Initially released in a 1:50 ratio, this striking cover shows Princess Leia in action wearing the same flowing gown she wears on the famous Tom Jung Star Wars poster.  The layout is dynamic and the colors used are wonderful.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1j - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2015)
Alex Ross variantA sketch version of the cover artwork was initially released in a 1:200 ratio.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1k - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2015)
Alex Ross sketch variant(Sorry for the quality of the above picture, my copy of this comic is in a CGC slab.)

Princess Leia #1 also has the final Alex Ross Store exclusive.  The artwork shows Luke Skywalker superimposed over an image of Darth Vader.  The art is decent, albeit minimalist, and this is my least favorite of the Alex Ross Star Wars covers.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1n - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2015)
Alex Ross Store exclusiveThe Alex Ross variant cover for Lando #1 is another dynamic piece showing Lando Calrissian running through the streets of Cloud City.  This cover was initially released in a 1:50 ratio.

Star Wars: Lando #1i - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Alex Ross variantA sketch version of the cover artwork was initially released in a 1:200 ratio.

Star Wars: Lando #1j - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Alex Ross sketch variantFor Chewbacca #1 Alex Ross provides homage to another 1977 Star Wars cover, this time for issue #7.  My second favorite Alex Ross cover, this artwork uses a color palette similar to his Princess Leia cover.  This cover was initially released in a 1:50 ratio.

Star Wars: Chewbacca #1f - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2015)
Alex Ross variantA sketch version of the cover artwork was initially released in a 1:200 ratio.

Star Wars: Chewbacca #1g - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 2015)
Alex Ross sketch variantI'm a big fan of Alex Ross' art style.  His ability to depict dynamic heroism is unparalleled as he has demonstrated by aptly handle our heroes.  He was a great choice to pay homage to the original Star Wars #1 and it is unfortunate we have not seen more covers from him, especially on characters from other eras.
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Star Wars: Lost Stars is a 2015 novel by Claudia Gray and is considered one of the better Star Wars books published during the Disney era.  In 2017 an online manga adaptation of the novel was started by Japanese artist Yūsaku Komiyama.  Even though the adaptation has not been completed online for Japanese readers, Yen Press, a publisher of manga for U.S. readers, released Star Wars: Lost Stars #1 based on Yūsaku Komiyama's work.

Star Wars: Lost Stars #1a - Yen Press, U.S. (May 2018)Star Wars: Lost Stars #1a - Yen Press, U.S. (May 2018)
back coverThis 256-page, black and white book follows the format of many manga and is read from right to left.  Yen Press is the fifth publisher to release a Star Wars comic in the U.S. in the past couple of years, following Marvel, IDW, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, and Joe Books.
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Japanese publisher Shueisha is best known to comic fans for publishing Weekly Shōnen Jump.  Weekly Shōnen Jump was the magazine that introduced the popular Dragon Ball to manga fans and had circulation numbers north of 6 million copies a week in the mid 1990s and, while those numbers are down today, it still sells well over 1.5 million copies a week today.  Shueisha publishes many other magazines, including Weekly プレイボーイ or Weekly Playboy.  Like the U.S. counterpart it is fashioned after, Weekly Playboy is aimed at adults and contains nude pictures of females.  Unlike the U.S. magazine, this Japanese magazine heavily features manga.

The January 1978 issue of Weekly Playboy contains a black and white, 30-page Star Wars story.  The story is raunchy and focuses on Princess Leia, although it also contains Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Stormtroopers.

Weekly プレイボーイ #1a - Shueisha, Japan (January 1978)What makes this manga interesting is not the smutty material, but the early date it was published and the artist Go Nagai.  Star Wars was not released in Japan until June 30, 1978, making this possibly the first Star Wars manga released in the world and the first Star Wars comic material released in Japan.  Go Nagai's work paved the way for the Japanese view on eroticism in manga.  He is best known for creating Mazinger Z, imported into the U.S. as a Shogun Warrior, and Devilman.

The cultural influence of Star Wars was huge and this is an interesting and early example of the breadth of that impact.
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The third Forces of Destiny one-shot published in January 2018 stars Hera Syndulla.  Hera previously appeared in the Forces of Destiny - Leia one-shot.  In her own title, she travels with Chopper to the farming community Fekunda Outpost hoping it will be a food source for the Rebellion.  It turns out the Empire arrived before Hera with the same intent, so Hera instructs the inhabitants on how to foment discord so the Empire leaves.  The story ends with the Imperials leaving resulting in Hera's mission to secure a supply line with Fekunda Outpost a success.  This is an original story, but interestingly, it could have a tentative tie to the season 1, episode 14 Forces of Destiny short An Imperial Feast.  In that tale, Princess Leia sends Han Solo and Chewbacca to get a crate of ration sticks from Hera.  Leia hopes giving the food to the Ewoks will prevent them from eating Imperial Stormtroopers they captured.  I like to think Leia knows Hera has the food supplies because of her successful mission to Fekunda Outpost.

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny - Hera a - IDW, U.S. (January 2018)Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny - Hera b - IDW, U.S. (January 2018)The retailer incentive is a wrap-around animated variant which was initially released in a 1:10 ratio.

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny - Hera c - IDW, U.S. (January 2018)
retailer incentive variantThe convention exclusive is the same artwork as the Elsa Charretier cover b artwork, except the front cover does not contain any text.

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny - Hera d - IDW, U.S. (January 2018)
Convention exclusiveHera Syndulla also made comic book appearances in both the main Star Wars and Doctor Aphra titles from Marvel in 2018.
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Mile High Comics had ended their uninterrupted run of exclusive covers for the main Star Wars title with issue #46.  It was an impressive undertaking for a comic retailer to solicit so many exclusive covers for a single title.

Star Wars #46c - Marvel Comics, U.S. (April 2018)
Mile High Comics exclusiveThis final cover is by Paul Renaud who has created Star Wars covers for not only Marvel, but also for Dark Horse.  The cover is a nice visage of Princess Leia.  In the foreground is a reference to the opening scene of A New Hope where the Tantive IV is trying to outrun a pursuing Star Destroyer.
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I want to bring your attention to an important book that is being published by MA Books and written by José Gracia Pont and Eduardo Serradilla Sanchis, Los Cómics de las Galaxias. La Era Marvel (1977-1986).  Eduardo Serradilla Sanchis follows this blog and is an avid Star Wars comic fan.  His and José Gracia Pont's devotion to the hobby prompted them to write this book detailing Star Wars comics published around the world during the period of 1977 to 1986.  To me, this is a book all fans of Star Wars comics have been asking for and I'm excited about it's existence.  To pre-order a copy, send email to mabooks18@gmail.com.  Additional information can be found on the MA Books Facebook page.

The book Los Cómics de las Galaxias. La Era Marvel (1977-1986) focuses on the process which took George Lucas’s first galactic film to land in Marvel Comics.  Added to that the book ponders on the different graphic adaptations of the movies which were published all around the world as well as the development of the so-called “Expanded Universe”.

For more information, please contact mabooks18@gmail.com

CREDITS
Title: Los Cómics de las Galaxias. La Era Marvel (1977-1986)
Authors: José Gracia Pont and Eduardo Serradilla Sanchis
Editor: Elena Santana Guevara
Design and layout: Lorena Sisterna Rodriguez
Cover artist: Judith Gómez Martín
Proofreading and translations: Elena Santana Guevara
Presentation: Stephen J. Sansweet.
Full-colour book. 286 pages. Paperback.
Limited edition of 600 copies signed by the authors.
The book is co-edited by The Force Group and MA Books. © 2018 Muñecos en Acción
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