Home Publishers Dark Horse Report: Star Wars comics going to Marvel in 2015

Report: Star Wars comics going to Marvel in 2015


Well the other power converter has dropped, as respected Disney site Blue Sky Disney has some inside poop on the Star Wars comics license, which everyone assumed would be moving from Dark Horse to Marvel once Disney purchased Lucasfilm:

One of the things that many people wondered after Disney bought Lucasfilm was how long will this relationship continue? Especially since the Mouse owns Marvel, the largest comics publisher in the world. Well, it appears we now have the answer. The Suits in the know have determined that no new contracts will be given to Dark Horse after the current ones expire. So all new projects after 2013 will be handled internally by Marvel.

It’s not known yet if titles will be worked into the regular line up, or will Marvel create a special branch of the company that deals with Star Wars. It’ll take a couple of years for the old deals to work there course, but the stories that Dark Horse have coming down the pipeline will be the last. And you can expect anything new from Marvel dealing with Star Wars to arrive around 2015.

While totally expected, the move will still necessitate some changes at Dark Horse to plug the holes in their line—luckily they have some time to get things rolling and I’m sure they did the day the Disney deal was announced.

Meanwhile, what do you think of SECRET JEDI ACADEMY by Brian Bendis and Leinil Yu? What creators from Marvel’s lineup would you like to see on a Star Wars comic?


  1. I wonder if this is still technically a licensed property, given that the same entity owns the property and the publisher. In any case, makes perfect business sense as a corporate move for Disney and zero sense in regards to Marvel (where licensed titles have never been particularly successful or a high-priority part of the brand) and Lucasfilm (unlikely to be as well-served on the content side by Marvel as by Dark Horse).

  2. Is Marvel really the largest publisher of comics in the world? with the kind of numbers they have now, I would imagine Media-Participation / Hachette does better, some japanese manga publishers as well. Do I err?

  3. Re “Largest publisher”: Depends upon how you count (number of titles, total number of comics sold, number of characters, most well known, most movies, most overall gross sales, number of creators, number of pages printed…) I’m sure that they could be considered largest publisher in some sense…

    Re above quote: Dammit, I was completely distracted by the misuse of “there”

    Re Impact to Dark Horse – damn. I hope that this doesn’t destroy them

    Re Impact to Star Wars comics – Damn. Although to be fair, I don’t read them, outside of the original Dark Force Rising or the Tag and Bink issues. But I was darned tempted a lot. (Expanded Universe always tempted me, but I resisted due to the sheer size of it.)

    Re Impact to Brian Wood Star Wars series – I wonder how that will be impacted. That was a series I was gonna buy.

    Re Marvel publishing Star Wars. I’m much much much less likely to buy any Star Wars comics published by Marvel (format, ugliness of publisher’s business practices, etc). Dark Horse produces better comics.

    I am NOT looking forward to the Clone Wars now being started by the Jackal.

  4. Ugh. I feel like this is going to be a huge financial blow to Dark Horse. It’s actually a good thing they seemed to pick up all the ancillary Buffy licenses a couple of years back. I hope they find another license that will no doubt help support all the other books they put out.

  5. As far as Brian Wood’s series is concerned: my understanding (per a recent interview he did) is that he’s only going to be doing 12-issues; and then I assume will take it from there if he has any more stories to tell.

    Either way I like this news. And my hope is that Marvel will start fresh with the new movies and make a clean break from all of the Dark Horse stuff. (They’ll more than likely reprint the old Marvel stuff though, I imagine – even though Dark Horse recently wrapped that up themselves.)

  6. Here’s what I see happening:

    1. Marvel makes a new Star wars comic. They sell well for a little while (6 months? 1 year? 2 years?) and then they settle back into their current sales levels (~15k). And then Marvel starts in with their stunts (cross overs, variant covers, publishing twice a month, making a Rocket Raccoon and Jaxxon team up title, having Galactus fight the Death Star, etc), to get the occasional spike in sales.

    2. Fans will complain, but they’ll still buy it.

    3. Marvel releases a crapload of new trades or huge hardcovers. Each of which go out of print quickly, making it hard for peoplw to buy the series.

  7. Dark Horse make high quality comic books. I agree with some of the statements above, after some initial hype, Marvel will slaughter this franchise. Too bad for DH, I cant imagine with what they will replace this loss. It seems DH was not proactive but rather reactive, as the past 3-5 years IDW gre bigger and bigger with licenses DH owned in the past or should have acquired. I personnaly enjoy some of the IDW books, but it will be weird not seeing alot of DH on the stands. Oh well, until Galactus and the Silver Surfer battle Anakin, make mine DH!

  8. From the point of view of financial risk, I don’t quite understand this. With the Dark Horse license, Disney has a guaranteed income. But by bringing Star Wars in-house (to Marvel), the income they get is dependent on Marvel’s ability to produce the comics profitably. Perhaps they are confident of Marvel’s ability to do so, but it’s still a risk.

  9. Just out of curiosity, why is “Blue Sky Disney”, a blogspot hosted blog with a roster of pseudonymous authors, considered a reputable source for a story about Disney or Dark Horse or Marvel? I don’t see anything on the side which suggests they have inside sources any better than you do, and probably not even as good when it comes to Dark Horse or Marvel.

  10. This comes as no surprise, but I’m happy to see it (somewhat) confirmed.

    I thought DH did a great job w/the SW license for the most part, but the past few years, IMO since around the time LEGACY ended, the imprint has fallen on hard times. Too many new SW books that had no appeal to me and from the looks of the sales charts, no one else’s.

    I loved Marvel’s SW era title for the most part, I’m looking forward to seeing what they do w/it. I hope they do something like they did w/the Star Trek licence in the 90’s, covering the assorted tv Trek series and doing the occasional crossover…

  11. I’m not a regular reader of the Star Wars titles.
    I have read the occasional omnibus or collection, and enjoyed them.

    “I hope they do something like they did w/the Star Trek licence in the 90′s, ”

    Um… at that time, Marvel did do the crossover with Paramount Comics with the X-Men, which should be a warning. And then they abruptly cancelled the license when they found it too costly.

    Given his style and dialogue, Bendis is probably the best suited to writing a series. Get him steeped in the canon, and he’ll write some epic stories.

    Hey… maybe Bendis can finish that Indiana Jones adaptation he started as a kid! I’ll pay for the first case of pudding!

  12. I would have thought Kodansha or whoever the largest Chinese publisher is would be the world’s biggest comics publisher (speaking strictly comics and not expansion into movies/videogames).

  13. Bendis? Oh I see, you were joking. Because theres no way you could possibly be serious about him being an ‘epic’ writer or even being able to ‘write’.

  14. Never been impressed by Marvel’s licensed comic book properties… and now SW comic fans can look forward to $3.99 comics w/ those flimsy and crappy interior paperstock covers. Oh, joy…

  15. Is there any word on the retention of digital comics that fans have purchased?
    I would imagine from the terms listed at comixology that those two hundred or so issues of Dark Horse Star Wars comics I bought will evaporate.

  16. BobH, Blue Sky Disney has a good track record with these kind of Disney announcements. While not infallible, Honor Hunter (whomever he is in real life), is plugged into most of Disney’s divisions. His sources, usually referred to as “Bothans”, provide him with good intel. Unfortunately in this case.

  17. > I think JC is right – at least Marvel doesn’t beat some Japanese publishers, no matter wht and how you count… ;-)

    Obvioulsy, Shueisha sells a lot more products than Marvel.
    Shonen Jump alone is around 3M pieces every week when Marvel sells around 2M floppies a month.
    And I think One Piece alone sells several times more volumes each year than Marvel+DC+Image+everyone sell tpbs in the whole direct market.

  18. “I would imagine from the terms listed at comixology that those two hundred or so issues of Dark Horse Star Wars comics I bought will evaporate.”

    I’m a luddite and all, but that can’t seriously be the way it works, can it? I wonder if this means my old ink-and-print Dark Empire comics are going to see a spike in value.


  19. “I would imagine from the terms listed at comixology that those two hundred or so issues of Dark Horse Star Wars comics I bought will evaporate.”

    I don’t see any Star Wars content at comixology and I don’t think I ever have seen any. Dark Horse has a very small presence there as they seem to prefer having their own app.

  20. Oops. I should have typed “Dark Horse Digital Comics App” instead of “Comixology”. But the question is what will happen to those files?

  21. @Billy, I’m not sure and it is a valid point. I’m more concerned about the DH Star Wars content on Kindle. I hope some solid information comes out soon.

  22. My introduction to comics came through my brother’s Marvel collection in the 70’s. It’s bittersweet because Dark Horse has done a great job over the years but it feels like Star Wars is coming home since I still own alot of those Marvel issues.

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