Monday, November 19, 2012

1983 Return of the Jedi Marvel Comics 4-Pack!

There is a spot in my memory banks reserved for family trips, and a good section of those fond memories is taken up by little vignettes of a much younger me carefully picking out a small pile of comic book packs from highway oasis spinner racks and later spending the quieter moments of whatever trip we happened to be on sinking deeply into the worlds of Flash Gordon or haunted ghost stories or even the silly technocolor adventures of Bugs Bunny.

Thanks to these memories, polly-bagged sealed comic book packs will always hold a special place in my heart. But had I found today's example out in the wild when it was first released, it surely would have been the king of all comic packs.

I'm sure I don't need to go into how crazy I was about The Return of the Jedi when it first came out. And I truly treasured my Marvel Comics adaptation of the film, but I only had the large magazine format release (a publication that caused many ooohs and aaahs in my 4th grade class), and I never did find the individual issues.

Had I gone to a Toys R Us back in '83, I would have dropped $1.72 on this 4-pack faster than Boba Fett dropped into the Sarlaac.

The covers on these are just beautiful. The three-figure portraits are far classier that the usual Marvel covers.


But it's the art from the inside that instantly takes me back. I remember poring over these illustrations over and over again back in '83. I would carefully examine and redraw several of my favorite panels.

I remember thinking that Han would have totally broken his hand if he had punched a Biker Scout. Even at 10 years old, I started to wonder about the quality and effectiveness of Imperial helmets.

I also remember especially loving the below splash page. The final fight scene between Luke and Vader was amazingly tense for me and had me on the edge of my seat. So I guess that deep feeling of excitement translated well in this comic page.

And here's an extra added bonus... no Hayden Christensen...

May the Force Be with You.