I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Marvel #29 - Dark Encounter





Issue #29 from November 1979 opens with a scene on a Star Destroyer and this cracking shot of Vader interrogating some poor sap. From this unfortunate, the Dark Lord of the Sith learns the name of Tyler Lucian; a rebel deserter who knows the identity of the one who destroyed the Death Star.



At the same time, our old friend Valance aka The Hunter is searching for that very same person on the planet Centares. After blasting his way out of a cantina not unlike a certain establishment on Tatooine, he makes his way to Rubyflame Lake, a body of acidic liquid heated by deep lava beds. In this lake is a towering citadel where we find Tyler Lucian (who looks a bit like Luke Skywalker with three-day-old stubble) hiding out and contemplating suicide. Valance approaches him and Lucian flees into his tower at the sight of Vader's approaching TIE Fighter.







What follows is an almighty showdown between the cyborg bounty hunter and the Sith lord. Valance manages to knock Vader down but is soon diced up by the red lightsaber. As he walks away, Vader's ankle is gripped by the wounded Valance and the two of them nearly tumble into the corrosive waters below. Vader finally dispatches him once and for all and makes for the tower.






Having witnessed the altercation from a high window, Lucian finally summons some courage and takes the plunge, plummeting down to his death leaving Vader fuming and contemplating the continuing hunt...

There's a lot of nostalgia for the Saturday morning cartoons of yesteryear so I hope you enjoy the glimpse of what NBC had scheduled circa 1979 here. I remember watching most of these cartoons. More Marvel superhero goodies. Do kids today still have licensed lunchboxes? And a pretty large collection of Shogun Warriors follows...





2 comments:

EJK said...

About two weeks ago I completed a week-long SW reading marathon, which was great fun. I really dug the Goodwin-Infantino story arcs, and especially liked Goodwin's plot pacing, keeping the action equal on all the Star Warriors without favoring Han over Luke or forgetting about the droids. I seriously believe Valance and Baron Tagge could hold their own vs. any current EU villains. Valance should get some serious retconning love and be brought back to life ala Fett. Or at least as an unlockable player in a SW game someday.

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

#29 was yet another issue I missed during its original run, so when I finally read it in 1990, I was stunned that Valance was killed off in only his third appearance.

I liked this one a lot. In the case of Tyler Lucian, it showed that not everyone in the Rebel Alliance was heroic and courageous all the time like Han, Luke, and Leia, but Lucian proved to be so when it became absolutely necessary. I also liked the subtle ecological message regarding the defunct hot springs-turned-corrosive acid.

As for the Shogun Warriors, I had one of the large ones, The Great Mazinga, which I even brought to "Show and Tell" in second grade. I literally rolled him using the wheels on his feet during the walk to school!