The Dark Horse Barb Wire/Star Wars Comic Exchange Was No April Fools Joke
On the first of the month, Dark Horse made a hilarious April Fools' Day joke by claiming that they would exchange exclusive copies of the first issue of their new Barb Wire series for copies of Marvel's Star Wars comics in comic book stores. But, as it turns out, they were being entirely serious.
Dark Horse editor Randy Stradley told THR. "The promotion is completely real. But, because we thought it was funny, it occurred to us that we could announce it on April Fool's Day, get a laugh, and then come back a week later and say, 'no, we're serious,' and get additional attention. Why take just one bite from the apple when you can take two?"
For the promotion, certain retailers will receive an exclusive copy of Barb Wire #1 in exchange for 20 copies of Marvel's Star Wars #1. Fans just assumed that it was an April Fools joke, even though the exchange is actually not without precedent in the recent history of comics.
"We were glad to see that so many people got a laugh from it," said Stradley. When asked who didn't get the joke, he said, "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.'"
There's been some bad blood between Dark Horse and Marvel regarding the Star Wars comics, as Dark Horse ran the comic series up until Lucasfilm was bought out by Disney, at which point the rights were given to Marvel. Although the promotion is primarily a silly joke, Stradley admitted that Dark Horse was trying to stick it to Marvel a little bit. "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."
The new Barb Wire series, and the very pointed Star Wars #1 exchange, debuts in July.