BY MATT TUCK
FB@ The Comic Blog
Star Wars comics’ modern era is as hot as ever, and the temperature keeps rising. Here’s your market report.
Whether it’s The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian, or any of the numerous Disney+ shows on the horizon, collectors are on the hunt for any Star Wars firsts. That can be the first appearance of a character, two key players’ first meetings, or the first time a favorite face is seen on a cover - it doesn’t matter because they’re all on a lightning pace. With every new episode of BOBF, the market gets more intense, and more comics get added to the wish lists.
The latest waves of speculation are surrounding two popular characters in the modern incarnations of Star Wars. First, there was Black Krrsantan, who appeared in the last two episodes of BOBF. While audiences drooled over both the scariest and coolest Wookie to set foot on screen (sorry, Chewbacca, but the truth hurts), word spread that Katee Sackhoff would reprise her role as Bo-Katan Kryze for a solo show.
Between new streaming shows and hot gossip, the market has been changing so quickly as of late that it’s hard for a collector to keep tabs on it all. Luckily for you, I’ve done the research for you. On that note, here are six issues you need to be watching.
DARTH VADER #1
For two weeks now, this comic has been on another level. The Star Wars community has fallen in love with the former Wookie gladiator turned bounty hunter. Although we did get a nice fight scene between Black Krrsantan, Boba Fett, and his completely unnecessary teenage sidekicks, it hasn’t been enough to satisfy the fans. Obviously, there is more in store for everyone’s new favorite bounty hunter. After all, the kinder, gentler, and way more forgiving Boba Fett turned the other cheek (let’s not bicker and argue over who attempted to kill who) let him go at the end of Episode Three, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have bigger plans for Krrsantan. We could possibly see him in the finale of BOBF, but it’s more likely that he’ll cameo in Kenobi before getting a bigger role in another show. When he reappears, especially in a larger role, look for more record-breaking sales.
DARTH VADER #3
Speaking of Black Krrsantan, his live-action debut kicked off a new surge in the market for Darth Vader #3. If you don’t know why this issue is so expensive, where have you been? This is the first appearance of one of Marvel’s most popular additions to the Star Wars canon, Doctor Aphra. Think of her as the intergalactic Indiana Jones - a space-faring archeologist who finds herself in one adventure after another.
Aphra was such an instant hit with fans that she was starring in her own title within two years of Darth Vader #3’s first print hitting shelves. Because of the increasing fan base, there have been ample rumors and theories pointing to her getting a recurring live-action role or her own Disney+ series. Either way, the results have been a major boost in fair market values for her coveted first appearance.
What ups the ante further is the debut of Black Krrsantan. In her comic series, she often hires the bounty hunter to aid in her adventures and expeditions. With them are the evil versions of C3-PO and R2-D2, 0-0-0/Triple Zero, and BT-1. The four characters working together has made a fan-favorite team that has set their key comics on fire, and Krrsantan’s slap on the wrist in BOBF alludes to them joining forces on Disney+ at some point in the future. When Aphra is confirmed for live action, get ready for the roof to come off Darth Vader #3.
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS - DEFENDERS OF THE LOST TEMPLE
Leave it to an actor to spoil Disney’s big news. Last week, the one and only Fennec Shand, Ming-Na Wen, took a page from Tom Holland and stole Disney’s thunder. She posted on social media to congratulate Katee Sackhoff for landing the starring role of the Bo-Katan series before Disney had a chance to make it official. The post was quickly removed, but it stayed active long enough for the Star Wars fandom to spread the news.
Bo-Katan first appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon series before she debuted in live-action in the second season of The Mandalorian, and audiences are awaiting her return to the screen. Now, fans are getting their wish, and it is likely to give us more Mandalorians than we ever hoped for. It’s also putting an even bigger premium on her first comic.
This is not a traditional comic, which has raised some debate about this being her true first appearance. The comic in question is the paperback graphic novel, The Clone Wars: Defenders of the Lost Temple. Since it is in a comic book format, most collectors point to this as her debut. What also keeps the prices high for Lost Temple is the Dark Sabre, which was seen for the first time in this book as well.
JANGO FETT: OPEN SEASONS #1
With Bo-Katan getting her own Disney+ show, we will definitely see more of the Death Watch. So far in her Star Wars career, wherever Bo-Katan goes, the Death Watch goes. They first appeared along with her in the Clone Wars cartoon series. When Bo-Katan arrived in The Mandalorian, those were Death Watch members at her side. Once her solo series arrives on the streaming platform, we will likely see plenty more from Death Watch and the other Mandalorian factions. It all puts a premium on this issue as it is the first time we saw the Death Watch as a group in a comic. That will put a high price on Jango Fett: Open Seasons #1.
TALES OF THE JEDI #1
Not every Star Wars key is tied to The Mandalorian or BOBF. There have been long standing rumors that the next wave of Star Wars will take place in the era of the Old Republic. More specifically, it will introduce the events of Knights of the Old Republic, which was made famous with two video games, the first of which was released in 2003. The original game was so successful that Darths Revan and Malak made their ways into the comics, and those keys have been immensely popular in recent years.
Disney has announced several Star Wars projects are on the way, but there are still many more that have not been made official. Many theorists believe that a KOTOR live-action series is in the works, and that has put a premium on all those Old Republic keys. One to put high on your wishlist is Tales of the Jedi #1, which is the first story set in the KOTOR timeline.
STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #1
One of Disney’s mystery Star Wars projects has been The Acolyte. While theories have abounded about who this could refer to, be it Sith or Jedi, the only thing we know for sure is that it will take place during the time of the High Republic. It just so happens, Marvel has been publishing High Republic comics for the past year. See the coalition? That should have you seeking out those High Republic #1s because we are bound to see some of those characters featured in the series.
THE STAR WARS FUTURE
Where once the movies ruled Star Wars, the foundation of the franchise’s Disney era is clearly the streaming series. Since The Mandalorian rewrote the rules for Star Wars projects, the movies have become an afterthought compared to the numerous series in development for Disney+. Considering the overall poor fan reception for Last Jedi, Rise of Skywalker, and Solo, it’s hard to blame fans for being leary of another trilogy.
While Mandalorian may be the center of the Disney+ Star Wars universe, the best part about the multitude of streaming series is that it allows for a greater expansion than we’ve seen before. It allows for series in multiple timelines and broader stories, which makes for collector’s gold in the Star Wars comic market.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.