Star Comics (Marvel; April, 1986)“The Destroyer” WRITER: Dave Manak PENCILER: John Romita INKER: Carlos Garzon COLORIST: Marie Severin LETTERER: Grace Kremer EDITOR: Sid Jacobson EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Tom DeFalco
Star Wars Droids: The Adventures Of R2D2 And C-3PO was a Saturday morning cartoon airing on ABC alongside Ewoks (which also had a comic) and followed our favorite droids on new adventures. The shows featured three episode story arcs as R2 & 3PO searched for new masters after R2 got them accidentally shot out of an airlock. Since the Empire does show up on the show I place this between the two movie trilogies, and the comic ends with an adaptation of the first Star Wars movie from the droids’ perspective.
The Intergalactic Droid Agency finds work for our heroes on the planet Dodz working for a crystal merchant. However, the merchant was already run off by a governor who is using a destroyer droid (I shouldn’t have to tell you that it doesn’t resemble the ones from the prequel because this comic predates the prequels) to overtax the people and punish anyone who challenges him. Joining up with a boy named Jost whose parents were also victims of the destroyer (although not as lucky as the merchant) who has come across a robot defender. Jost attempts to use it to fight the governor’s destroyer but it needs R2 to transfer power from the destroyer to the robot. The robot wins but is permanently offline and R2 is damaged, forcing our heroes to travel somewhere the astromech can be repaired.
What they got right: The art style is close enough to the cartoon to be accurate as are R2 & 3PO’s personalities. The story itself, while still having some flavor of typical Star comics stories, is still close enough to the cartoon to be a proper adaptation (except for one detail) and a good enough adventure for the Droids.
What they got wrong: The show took place during the time of the Empire (if memory serves Boba Fett even appeared in one episode) so what is this talk about handing the governor over to the “Intergalactic Law Agency” (which I assume would host the intergalactic trial, although Jost claims the ILA ignores Dodz) instead of the Empire? (Although we would question if the Empire would favor a governor over the people. We don’t know how they actual govern.)
Recommendation: If you didn’t like the cartoon (or if you hate anything kid-friendly) you may not like this comic. But if you actually want to see the Droids in their own adventures this is worth giving a look.