Marvel have revealed the Sprouse Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary variant for Darth Vader #14 and it features characters from the 1985 cartoon, Droids! Many of these characters have never before been featured inside a comic book or on a comic cover, making this many of the characters’ first comic cover appearance!
Check out the breakdown of the characters featured on the Darth Vader #14 variant cover and grab a pre-order from TFAW if you haven’t already!
Great Heep, a masculine-programmed droid first appeared in The Great Heep, the 1986 1-hour animated TV film starring the characters of the Droids animated series. Great Heep has never appeared either in a comic book or on a comic book cover, making this background depiction on Darth Vader #14 his first comic cover appearance.
The Great Heep was a large, masculine-programmed droid who operated an enormous fuel ore processing plant on the planet Biitu in the early days of the Galactic Empire. The Heep was an Abominor, a member of an extra-galactic species of advanced, self-constructing droids, which enslaved organic life on thousands of worlds before they were driven from their galaxy.
Mungo Baobab was a male Human merchant from Manda. He first appeared in the Droids animated series episode 10, Tail of the Roon Comets, on November 9, 1985. He has never made a comic appearance in either interiors or on a cover, making Darth Vader #14 his first comic cover appearance.
Although Jessica Meade has made appearances in the children’s books The Lost Prince: A Droid Adventure (1985) and The Pirates of Tarnoonga: A Droid Adventure (1986) she has never appeared on the cover of or inside a comic, making Darth Vader #14 her first comic cover appearance. She first appeared in The Lost Prince, Droids episode 5 on October 5, 1985.
Jann Tosh is a human male miner who was actually born on Naboo if you can believe it. Yep! Jann actually appeared in the ambiguously legitimate and impossible to find Spanish language “MyComyc” in 1986. The Spanish comic was lost until it was mentioned on a Star Wars forum in 2012:
Had it not been for the efforts of Spanish fan Adolfo Rodriguez in 2012, we still wouldn’t know about them. Rodriguez posted a note at Dark Horse Comics’ forum, letting English-speaking fans know of the strips’ existence. He and fellow fan Eddie van der Heijden then provided Dark Horse’s VP of publishing, Randy Stradley, with scans so the publisher could consider having them translated for reprint purposes… –Blast Off Comics
Although, Jann looks different, he appears in issue 4 of MyComyc in the two page Droids strip named The Sabotaged Droid. However, he has yet to appear on a comic cover making Darth Vader #14 his first comic cover appearance.
The MyComyc strips are of ambiguous legitimacy because when Dark Horse editor, Randy Stradley, asked Lucasfilm to include them in a reprint edition, Lucasfilm could find no documentation of the licensing. However, the copyright information included in the strips appears accurate and it was likely licensed at the time.
These MyComyc issues are nearly unheard of coming to market in the normal channels and you’d be extremely lucky to find them in the wild. Having said that, any comic shop with them in the back issue bins likely doesn’t know what they have and their significance.
Let’s get it out of the way, Kleb is a disgusting creature. Now, although Kleb appeared in The Lost Prince: A Droid Adventure (1985) storybook like Jessica Meade, he hasn’t appeared in or on any comic, making Darth Vader #14 his first comic cover appearance. He first appeared in The Lost Prince, Droids episode 5 on October 5, 1985.
Screed’s an interesting character in terms of publishing history. Of all the characters featured on the Darth Vader #14 cover, he’s the only one who has been depicted in the current Star Wars canon! He first appeared in the Droids episode 4, A Race to the Finish, on September 28, 1985 and continued to make appearances throughout the remainder of the Droids series. He then appeared in the children’s book Escape from the Monster Ship (5/12/1986), then the PC Game Star Wars: Rebellion (2/28/1998), then the novel The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant (2/4/2003). Since Disney’s establishment of new canon, he has appeared in the novel Tarkin (11/4/2014), was mentioned in the Rebels junior novel, Servants of the Empire (10/6/2015), and appears in a hologram identified as “Terinald” in Chuck Wendig’s novel, Aftermath: Life Debt (7/12/2016).
But, you guessed it, he hasn’t ever appeared in or on a comic book. Darth Vader #14 is his first comic cover appearance.
Thall Joben first appears in the very first episode of Droids, The White Witch. Now as far as comic appearances go, you guessed it, MyComyc is his first appearance. He appears in issue #1 of MyComyc in the story Neutralizing Trigon:
Joben doesn’t appear on the cover, though, making Darth Vader #14 his first comic cover appearance. While its true Terrinald Screed is the only character to actually appear in current Star Wars canon, an artifact of Joben’s exists in canon indicating that he exists somewhere in the new Star Wars canon yet to be revealed.
The Joben T-85 speeder bike was a speeder bike model manufactured by the Zebulon Dak Speeder Corporation, and named after the famous swoop racer Thall Joben.
It first appeared ridden by Kanan in the Star Wars: Rebels episode Idiots Array:
The speeder then first appeared in comics in Rebels Magazine issue #6 released by Egmont in the UK on June 17, 2015.
It was later identified by name in the Canon Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles. So, Joben was a famous enough swoop racer in canon to warrant the production of a signature bike.
You guessed it! Kea first appeared in MyComyc issue 2 in the strip, Kea Kidnapped, but hasn’t appeared on a cover yet, making Darth Vader #14 her first cover:
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