Marvel is set to publish brand-new "Star Wars" comics starting in early 2015, but that doesn't mean the vast library of "Star Wars" material published by Dark Horse Comics will disappear. Marvel announced Wednesday via StarWars.com that "Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1" is scheduled for release in April 2015, featuring multiple stories previously published by Dark Horse. And things won't stop there -- Marvel said they're looking to "collect full unbroken runs" of multiple past Star Wars stories.
"The Empire Vol. 1" is slated to include "Star Wars: Republic" #78-#80, "Star Wars: Purge" #1, "Star Wars: Purge - Seconds to Die" #1, "Star Wars: Purge - The Hidden Blade" #1, "Star Wars: Purge - The Tyrant's Fist" #1-#2, "Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command" #1-#5 and "Star Wars: Dark Times" #1-#5. Each story is from the past decade of Dark Horse's "Star Wars" run, and take place in the aftermath of 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." The collected edition will include work from creators including writers John Ostrander, Randy Stradley, Haden Blackman and Alexander Freed; plus artists Luke Ross, Douglas Wheatley, Jim Hall, Chris Scalf, Marco Castiello, Andrea Chella and Rick Leonardi. The volume is slated to contain 440 pages, with a $34.99 cover price.
"We're thrilled to be bringing our innovative Epic Collections to a galaxy far, far away," Marvel SVP sales and marketing David Gabriel said in the announcement. "We'll be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years."
The "Star Wars Legends" branding is the new name for what was formerly known as the "Expanded Universe," following Lucasfilm's decree earlier this year that the stories under that designation -- dating back to 1978 novel "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" -- were no longer canonical.
Dark Horse's final Star Wars comics were published this month, after a 23-year run starting with "Dark Empire" in 1991.
Marvel's initial crop of new Star Wars material will start with a "Star Wars" series by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday scheduled for January 2014, followed by "Star Wars: Darth Vader" from Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca out the following month, and "Star Wars: Princess Leia" by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson, slated for March. Marvel reacquired the Star Wars license -- the original Star Wars comics were published by Marvel in the 1970s -- after Disney's 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm put both Marvel and Star Wars under the same corporate umbrella.