The (Comic) Books of Boba Fett

The (Comic) Books of Boba Fett

BY MATT TUCK

Boba Fett is poised to become the hottest character in all of Star Wars with The Book of Boba Fett premiering in December. While most collectors are scouting for Star Wars #42, astute buyers know there are other keys worth your attention as well.

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT

If it wasn’t for the success of The Mandalorian, there probably wouldn’t be a Boba Fett series at all. The first hit for Disney+ breathed new life into Star Wars after Last Jedi almost single-handedly brought down the enduring franchise. 

Of course, you can’t have a show about Mandalorians without drawing comparisons to the original Mando, Boba Fett. Although he had only a handful of scenes and even fewer lines between Empire Strikes Back and his unceremonious death in Return of the Jedi, the masked bounty hunter captured the imaginations of the devoted Star Wars fans for decades. After over 40 years, we will finally delve into his character like never before in The Book of Boba Fett. Disney dropped the trailer earlier this week, and it has catapulted Boba’s key comics to the top of the collecting wish lists. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at six issues you should be watching.

MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #16

Here is an issue that has been gaining popularity in recent years. For quite a while, Marvel Super Special #16 was the consolation prize among Boba Fett collectors. Many buyers considered Star Wars #42 the character’s first appearance in a comic despite MSS #16 being published in May 1980, while SW #42 went on sale that December. The difference is that this particular Empire Strikes Back adaptation, which was published by Marvel, was not considered canon in Marvel’s actual Star Wars series. Despite this being the first appearances of Boba Fett, Emperor Palpatine, Rogue Squadron, Lando Calrissian, and Yoda, what holds this comic back is that it was not part of the official Marvel Star Wars comics. 

Marvel Super Special #16 is gaining respect among collectors. On October 27, a 9.6 sold for $1,100, which is within $33 of the last 9.6 SW #42 to trade hands. Last year, that same MSS #16 graded at a 9.6 averaged under $200. The better deal may be the 9.4. For less than half the price of the 9.6, this grade last sold for $355 in August.

If you want a raw copy, those have sold for as much as $250 this past weekend.

STAR WARS #42

While Star Wars #42 may not be Boba Fett’s true first appearance in a comic, this is still his most popular early appearance. What helps is that he makes his first cover appearance for an American publication. That gives this comic the edge in the firsts categories, and the prices have been through the roof for years now. With The Book of Boba Fett on the horizon, we can expect record-breaking sales in the near future.

In fact, the prices are already on the attack. Just yesterday, a graded 9.8 sold for $4,099, which is inching closer to the record $4,990. It also happens to be the first $4k sale since June.

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK WEEKLY #129

This one is for the hardcore Boba Fett fans out there. Empire Strikes Back Weekly was a United Kingdom publication that ran weekly comic strips that were reprinted from Marvel Super Special #16. What makes this particular issue special is that it is the first time Boba Fett is featured on the cover art of a comic book as it predates Star Wars #42 by a month.

Since this was not available in the U.S., it makes for an interesting and unique collectible. As such, there are few graded sales to speak of. In fact, CGC has a grand total of nine graded copies on its census. The last time a slab sold online was in 2016 when an 8.0 sold for $139. On the plus side, these are not terribly hard to find on eBay. Earlier today, a raw copy brought $136.75.

STAR WARS #81

What strikes me the most about this issue is Han Solo on the cover art. Granted we have seen him on plenty of comic and novel covers over the years, but what stands out is the likeness to Harrison Ford. These days, any depiction of Han Solo, be it a game or comic, intentionally avoids Ford’s resemblance except in the most vague sense. Obviously, that is for legal issues, so this comic must have been from an era when the actor’s likeness was approved.

All that aside, there is another reason why you will want to add this comic to your collection. This goes all the way back to Boba Fett’s comedic demise when a blind Han Solo accidentally knocked Boba into the Sarlacc pit. After years of fan grumbling, Marvel remedied the situation with the story of Boba’s escape from the monster’s belly. This also happens to be the first full, original Fett story in the character’s history.

Already this year, a 9.8 Star Wars #81 has sold for over $900. Prices have not matched that sale as of late, but the most recent purchase was for $504 on October 24.

BOBA FETT: BOUNTY ON BAR-KOODA #1

Here is an interesting pickup that could be a diamond in the rough as it is an inexpensive key issue in Boba Fett’s comic history. After being a mysterious icon of the Star Wars franchise for decades, it wasn’t until Boba Fett #1 in 1995 that he finally starred in his first comic. There are no major first appearances in this issue, but those first solo adventures for major stars can result in cash as we have seen in superhero comics.

Last year, a 9.8 sold for a record $250. So far this year, it has not exceeded $188, and the most recent sale was for $140 on September 15.

STAR WARS TALES #7

As we have seen with The Mandalorian, Dave Filoni is not shying away from characters from the pre-Disney era of Star Wars. In the first two seasons of that show, there have been a number of characters who debuted in the Dark Horse and original Marvel Star Wars comics, and I suspect it will be a similar case with Book of Boba Fett

In Star Wars Tales #7, there are two characters with a high probability of being added to the show at some point. The most important is Boba’s daughter, Ailyn Vel. She is only shown as a baby in a hologram, but it counts as her first appearance. Since the new series will add to the lore of Boba Fett, it seems logical to incorporate his daughter into the mix. Odds are, we will see her as an adult or at least a teenager, and that will cause this issue to immediately spike.

The other character to watch is Sintas Vel, Ailyn’s mother. Again, it makes sense to have Boba’s past love interest to help humanize the man under the helmet. That would make it convenient to pull from the Dark Horse years and bring Sintas into the story.

With both these characters having good chances to be brought to life in Book of Boba Fett, you will want to get your hands on a copy as soon as possible. There hasn’t been a sale of a graded 9.8 since September, when one sold for $225. However, July saw a record-breaking sale of $460.

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.


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