Marvel Comics celebrates Black History Month with 'Star Wars' comics covers

Star Wars Black History Month Covers
Marvel Comics is honoring Black History Month with a set of special variant covers across its flagship lineup of "Star Wars" titles. (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Black History Month, first made official in 1976 by President Gerald Ford to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history," is upon us once again. 

Marvel Comics is honoring the occasion with a set of special variant covers across its flagship lineup of "Star Wars" titles.

Created by distinguished artist Ken Lashley, these five "Star Wars" Black History Month alternate covers showcase a heroic collection of characters of color existing in the galaxy far, far away.  

"I've worked with and known Ken for a long time," Editor Mark Paniccia shared in a Marvel press release. "He's one of the best comic book artists in the industry and one of my favorite cover artists. He brings energy and dynamism to every cover, and this variant program is no exception. I'm excited for fans to see these characters illustrated in Ken's powerful style."

Related: 'Star Wars' movies in order: Chronological and release

One of the coming Marvel "Star Wars" covers features Mace Windu. (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Behold the "Star Wars" heroes appearing on Marvel's weekly February covers:

  • Mace Windu, revered Jedi and member of the Jedi High Council known for his epic feats throughout the prequel trilogy. Mace's cover will be featured on the debut issue of his new solo limited series. Also launching in February, the series will be written by Marc Bernardin and drawn by Georges Jeanty and will reveal a dangerous mission Mace undertook before his intro in "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."
  • Adi Gallia, another respected Jedi Master who sat beside Mace on the High Council. Adi's fierce battles on the frontlines of the Clone Wars have been depicted in various video games, comic books and television series.
  • Kawlan Roken, brave leader of an underground network dedicated to helping surviving Jedi during the rule of the Galactic Empire. Roken debuted in last year's Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, where he helped Obi-Wan on his quest to rescue Princess Leia. This marks his first-ever cover appearance.
  • Bell Zettifar, a young Jedi during the High Republic era. Zettifar's journey with the Force from apprentice to full Jedi Knight has been told across the "Star Wars High Republic" publishing, including novels and Marvel's own "High Republic" comic series.
  • Captain Panaka, loyal protector of Queen Amidala. Captain Panaka is remembered for his dedication to the Queen during the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo, as seen in "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."

"l am a huge 'Star Wars' fan, so when Mark asked if l would be interested in drawing these covers, it was a fast 'HECK Yeah,'" Lashley added. "These five covers have all the bases covered, characters we all love and know along with a few surprises for the fans. l love what I do and getting to draw every day on creations that l loved growing up is a dream come true... Purple lightsabers are all over my office — haha."

Check out the official release schedule for all five Black History Month variants: "Star Wars: Mace Windu #1" (Feb. 7), "Star Wars: Darth Vader #43" (Feb. 14), "Star Wars #43" (Feb. 21), "Star Wars: The High Republic #4" (Feb. 21), and "Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances #2" (Feb. 28).

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.