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Dark Horse editor explains that odd promotion pushing shops to trade in unsold Star Wars comics

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Jun 26, 2015, 3:22 PM EDT (Updated)

Word broke back on April Fools’ Day that Dark Horse wants comic shops to trade in unsold issues of Marvel’s Star Wars toward a rare variant cover for a new Barb Wire series. Turns out it wasn’t a joke.

Dark Horse editor Randy Stradley chatted with The Hollywood Reporter to explain the odd promotion, which comes less than a year after Dark Horse Comics lost the Star Wars rights to Disney in that massive Lucasfilm deal. Dark Horse had been cranking out stellar stories from a galaxy far, far away for decades, but all that came to an end (and those stories were relegated to a new corner of the out-of-canon expanded universe) with the Disney sale.

The new promotion in question allows interested comic shops to trade 20 unsold issues of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 for a copy of the new Barb Wire series with a rare cover by artist Adam Hughes. That specific variant is only being made available through this trade-in promotion.

So, is it all sour grapes? According to Stradley, they’re obviously still bummed about losing the Star Wars brand, but they mostly thought the promotion would be a funny way to poke fun at the problem while generating some buzz for the new Barb Wire book:

"We were glad to see that so many people got a laugh from it. Mostly die-hard Marvel fans who seem to have been offended for Marvel’s sake, conveniently forgetting that a couple of years ago, Marvel pulled a similar kind of promotion with DC as the goat. I somehow imagine that Marvel can survive our ‘barbs.' …

After Disney bought Lucasfilm, the license was summarily given to Disney-owned Marvel. There was a bit of bitterness there, but we understand that business is business. What I personally didn’t appreciate was the posturing from Marvel as if they had somehow won back the rights. So, when the idea for this promotion was discussed, I was all for it."

What was your take on the promotion? Do you plan on checking out the new Barb Wire book?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)