Panel Title: Dark Horse Comics Looks Ahead: 2013, Thurs. 8/23/12, 1:30pm Official Description: See what’s on the Star Wars horizon at Dark Horse with John Jackson Miller, Jan Duursema, Doug Wheatley, Dave Marshall, and Randy Stradley.
This panel took place in the Behind the Scenes Stage with host Pablo Hidalgo. The members of the panel were just as advertised in the program booklet, and began without any of the fanfare or hoopla of previous Dark Horse panels.
First up, Dave Marshall and Randy Stradley gave an update on the current series: Knight Errant-Escape, Darth Maul-Death Sentence min-series, and The Clone Wars digest, The Sith Hunters. Randy also spent a few moments spotlighting Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, the most recent issue which just came out.
John Jackson Miller talked a little about the Lost Tribe of the Sith eBooks and how the new collected edition ties into the brand-new comic series, Spiral.
Randy then returned to discuss "James Bond meets Star Wars" and the return of Jahan Cross in Agent of the Empire-Hard Targets which will feature cameos by the likes of Bail Organa, Princess Leia, Winter, Darth Vader, & Boba Fett.
Jan Duursema then briefly previewed Dawn of the Jedi and the new arc, which begins in November, The Prisoner of Bogan.
Then in a surprise to all, Randy showed the cover to a new Dark Times series, which will be written by him, feature covers by Doug Wheatley, and Gabriel Guzman on interiors. Fire Carrier will pick up the storyline with K'Krukh and follow his exploits since we last saw him.
Then for Vader fans, there's a new Purge series, The Tyrants Fist a two-part series by by Alexander Freed and Marco Castillo.
Next the full art for the Alex Ross cover of the Brian Wood penned Star Wars was shown. Besides the fact that classic characters like Luke, Han, Leia and Vader are showing up, Randy also let everyone know that characters like Wedge and Mon Mothma will also show up. Ross will be doing first three issue covers. Randy also wanted to stress that this series is not a reboot, it will not be ignoring continuity, and the rumors that have appeared online are all wrong. Just wait and see!
This was all for the scripted portion of the panel, and the time for fans to come up and ask questions. It started off with a fan dressed as Villie who asked a question about Villie appearing in Dark Times or another series. Randy asked Jan if that was okay, and said they'd take it under advisement. Other highlights include a question about Invasion returning. Randy explained that it had come to a natural stopping point and artist Colin Wilson wasn't able to continue at this time, so it will lay dormant for now. But he'd like to resume it later.
With Dark Times continuing the numbering of Republic, would the upcoming 108th issue be special in any way? Randy joked that it may have a small cover blurb about the milestone, but no significant 'celebration' will be held.
We also found out that there are no current plans for The Old Republic comics to continue, and that a new omnibus is on it's way, but was bumped to next year. Wild Space and Unknown Regions will be collecting Blackthorne's 3D issues, a number of the UK-only Marvel issues and other comics from toys and miscellany sometime in late 2013.
Doug Wheatley ended the panel by saying he wished he was doing the art for the next arc, but another commitment prevented that. But the arc after that really is exciting to him and he'll be returning to that one.
There will be further panels later in the weekend exploring Brian Wood's take on his new series, titled simply Star Wars.