Dark Horse releases new Star Wars comics

Dark Horse Comics will once again be releasing new ‘Star Wars’ stories from each era in the franchise. Get excited.

Star Wars Dark Horse Comics


By Brad Gullickson · Published on November 20, 2021

Star Wars Explained is our ongoing series in which we dive into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers and news stories to predict the future of the franchise. This post examines the announcement that Dark Horse Comics will once again be releasing new Star Wars stories. Hell yeah.

For over a thousand generations (or at least what felt like it), Dark Horse comics was the guardian of peace and justice in the Old Republic … before the Dark Ages … before the Empire … before The Walt Disney Company.

Okay, forgive my Obi-Wan Kenobi crib. Disney and the Emperor is not a one-to-one comparison (maybe), but I’m pulling it Star wars line as a means of emphasizing how incredibly dry the years were between The return of the Jedi and Phantom threat. For a Jedi junkie longing for new adventures with the Skywalker family, the late 80s and early 90s were an unbearable period until the comic book publisher started working.

A long time ago…

From 1991 to 2014, Dark Horse released a wide variety of titles and explored Star wars in a way that the movies could never allow. With series such as Dark empire and xWing Rogue Squadron, the comic book company stretched beyond The return of the Jedi, giving a logical path where Luke Skywalker would take the New Republic and a resurrected Jedi Order, and it looked like nothing The power is aroused.

Then comics such as Tales of the Jedi tore up the galactic history books and revealed how Star wars the universe came to be as we first encountered it A new hope. These were topics we would happily explore, and dropped out of schoolwork to study Millennium Falcon drawings and Sith family trees.

The end of an era

When Disney acquired Star wars in 2012, the museum house donated the comic book work to their second franchise jewel, Marvel. Eventually, new titles began to flood the market, preparing the audience for the arrival of The power is aroused three years later.

The Dark Horse comics were branded as non-canon, and their post-The return of the Jedi plot was eradicated so they would not disturb future cinematic sequels. Marvel created Legends brand, a publishing umbrella where the company could reprint the old stories for new readers, but in a way that clearly defined them as inconsistent.

The publisher then threw its top talent against their rebooted in-canon stories. The results were quality, but a long-lasting sting remained as popular characters like Tag and Bink flashed from existence.

Dark Horse Comics was there for us Star wars nerds when no one else was. As a result, this era occupies an enormous nostalgic value for many. Marvel is cool and all, but they’ve never had our backs.

Star Wars is back on Dark Horse Comics!

Now comes the news that Dark Horse Comics will be producing again Star wars comics. The headline sent shakes throughout the fandom, though the press release is not as revolutionary on closer inspection. According to Dark Horse, founder and CEO Mike Richardson, the publisher will focus on all ages Star wars line, including comics from all eras of the franchise. So Marvel will still be responsible for their current titles, where lightsabers can happily separate limbs from torso.

IDW Publishing is currently responsible for the kiddie Star wars comics. While the Dark Horse news does not mention that the relationship is coming to an end, there have been rumors saying so. They’re the new old guys and Dark Horse are the old new guys.

There are some gems within the IDW line. The anthology Stories from Vaders Slot is a playground where various artists could tell eerie stories centered around the Dark Lord’s domicile on Mustafar. Their Clone War: Battle stories also offers a realm for fans of the animated adventures to continue their obsession with light, airy, tasty action. Not bad, but also not great. Can Dark Horse do better?

The High Republic is where it is

Mike Richardson seems to want to do what IDW has done, only faster and more expansively. Dark Horse has plans for an ongoing series as well as an anthology. The spray between these two concepts will also be “one-shots and specials.” Perhaps most notably, Richardson says, the company’s main focus is the High Republic.

Seen 200 years before Phantom threat and 800 years after the Old Republic, the High Republic became a massive focus for Lucasfilm in 2018. Although we have not seen it in live action, this is previously unexplored Star wars era is already in focus for several prose novels and comics from Marvel and IDW.

These stories read radically fresh, indifferent to the usual narrative hangups ignited by George Lucas and continued by his torchbearers ever since. In the High Republic, the reader feels unbound by expectation. These stories do not build towards an imperial rise or fall. They have their own things going on.

The excitement surrounding Dark Horse Comics is the confidence it brings to the material. The company knows, and we know it can kick ass Star wars comics. The IDW books are funny enough, but they feel second to none to what Marvel does. Dark Horse has already proven itself many times, not just with Star wars franchise, but also with young readers. For decades, it was home to Usagi Yojimbo. All ages comics have never been better.

The All-Ages Gauntlet has been dropped

Thanks to his previous work with Foreigners, Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator, we tend to think of Dark Horse Comics as this hardcore publisher. When the 90s were at their most extreme, Mike Richardson’s books were at their bloodiest, and teens giggled with joy. That Dark empire comics were never so gnarled, but they had a serious edge. The cloned emperor (yep, take it, The Rise of Skywalker) was somehow more frightening than his wrinkled, older self.

Dark Horse’s Star wars comics came with danger. And since Phantom threat and The power is aroused was not even a dream at the time, readers thought Luke Skywalker could actually kick the bucket. Richardson’s crew had fun threatening heroic murder.

The Dark Horse Comics series for all ages will not produce the same fear. It is impossible for many reasons. But the memory of what the company did in the 90s injects joy into their future opportunities. The expanded universe is where you go to tread uncertain ground. Ignorance is an addictive thrill, and the belief that Dark Horse will throw its energy from the 90s into the High Republic saga is palpable.

As a former keeper of the flame, Mike Richardson exudes a sense of competition. When some people hear “all ages”, they are forced to reject the project as minor. Richardson hopefully sees it as a challenge. He wants to beat Marvel in their game. He wants to recover Star wars supremacy. And so does my 10-year-old self for him.

Dark Horse Comics will bring new ones of all ages Star wars for racks in 2022.

Related topics: Comics, Star Wars, Star Wars explained

Brad Gullickson is a weekly columnist for film school rejections and senior curator of One Perfect Shot. When he’s not tumbling about movies here, he walks around comics as a co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him on Twitter: @MouthDork. (han / ham)

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